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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Precocious puberty

Other Names for this Disease
  • Familial precocious puberty
  • Idiopathic sexual precocity
  • Sexual precocity
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Your Question

Are there long term effects into adulthood from medicinal treatment of precocious puberty in a 2-3 year old child?  Has there been any type of evidence that an adult that had received treatment for precocious puberty has any health problems related to that treatment?

Our Answer

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What is precocious puberty?

Precocious puberty is when a person's sexual and physical traits develop and mature earlier than normal. Normal puberty typically begins between ages 10 and 14 for girls, and ages 12 and 16 for boys. The start of puberty depends on various factors such as family history, nutrition and gender. The cause of precocious puberty is not always known. Some cases of precocious puberty are due to conditions that cause changes in the body's release of hormones. Treatment involves medications that can stop the release of sexual hormones.[1]
Last updated: 12/21/2012

What are the long term effects of treatment for precocious puberty?

Several studies have looked at the long-term effects of treatment with hormone therapy on children with precocious puberty. Long-term hormone treatment has been found to be safe for the reproductive system and helpful in reaching target adult height levels.[2] Additionally, there is little evidence suggesting that long term hormone treatment is associated with psychological or behavioral problems. More studies are needed to determine this association.[3]
Last updated: 12/21/2012