What are the Different Types of Precocious Puberty Treatment?

A. Pasbjerg
A. Pasbjerg
Precocious puberty may occur as a result of illness or injury.
Precocious puberty may occur as a result of illness or injury.

There are two main types of precocious puberty treatment, and choosing the right one depends on the cause of the issue. For some children, the early onset of sexual maturation occurs due to injury, illness, or another medical condition. In these cases, treatment is based on correcting the underlying problem causing the disorder. This could involve the use of medication or possibly surgery. Many times, however, there is no obvious reason for precocious puberty, and in these cases the best treatment option is typically drug therapy.

Drug therapy may be required to treat precocious puberty.
Drug therapy may be required to treat precocious puberty.

Sometimes an infection affects a child in a way that triggers his or her body to secrete extra hormones and develop prematurely. When this occurs, curing the illness is the appropriate type of precocious puberty treatment. Infections that affect the brain, such as encephalitis or meningitis, are some examples of diseases that can lead to precocious puberty; in these cases the treatment would involve using the appropriate medications to clear the infection as well as controlling fever, swelling, and seizures.

As a general rule, precocious puberty is defined as an onset of puberty before age eight in girls, and before age 10 in boys.
As a general rule, precocious puberty is defined as an onset of puberty before age eight in girls, and before age 10 in boys.

Children may be born with pre-existing conditions that develop and can cause precocious puberty, and the appropriate treatment depends on the disorder. McCune-Albright syndrome, a genetic disorder, may lead to imbalances in hormone production; this disease is treated with an estrogen synthesis blocker called aromatase-inhibitor testolactone. Congenital adrenal hyperplasia, another disorder caused by genetic issues, causes the adrenal glands to behave abnormally, and can be treated with glucocorticoid suppression of adrenocorticotropic hormone. Some children may need thyroid hormone replacement therapy if they develop hypothyroidism.

An early overproduciton of hormones could be caused by a tumor pressing on the pituitary gland, which may require surgery.
An early overproduciton of hormones could be caused by a tumor pressing on the pituitary gland, which may require surgery.

Sometimes surgery is necessary as part of precocious puberty treatment. For example, a child may have a tumor in his or her brain that puts pressure on certain structures such as the pituitary gland, leading to an early overproduction of hormones. A tumor may also cause issues if it grows in other areas involved in hormone production, such as the ovaries or adrenal glands. The tumors might need to be surgically removed to stop them from generating the hormones that triggered early development. Some children may also be born with structural problems in the brain that need to be corrected.

When there is no obvious cause evident, precocious puberty treatment is usually done with medication. Known as Gn-RH analog therapy, the drug stops the pituitary gland from abnormally producing hormones. Injections are typically given monthly until the child reaches an appropriate age for the onset of puberty.

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Discussion Comments

Melonlity

@Logicfest -- the jury is still out on whether there is any substantial truth to that. Until such time as more research is available, the only way to effectively treat precocious puberty is through conventional, medical treatments.

In other words, we don't have enough information yet to effectively determine the causes of precocious puberty. We do, however, have effective ways to treat the condition and those will have to do for now.

Logicfest

There are some claims that precocious puberty is brought on by steroids and other chemicals used to grow food faster. If those claims are true, one of the most effective treatments could be to identify what substances are linked to early puberty and working to eliminate their use.

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    • Precocious puberty may occur as a result of illness or injury.
      By: Monkey Business
      Precocious puberty may occur as a result of illness or injury.
    • Drug therapy may be required to treat precocious puberty.
      By: Ermolaev Alexandr
      Drug therapy may be required to treat precocious puberty.
    • As a general rule, precocious puberty is defined as an onset of puberty before age eight in girls, and before age 10 in boys.
      By: BlueOrange Studio
      As a general rule, precocious puberty is defined as an onset of puberty before age eight in girls, and before age 10 in boys.
    • An early overproduciton of hormones could be caused by a tumor pressing on the pituitary gland, which may require surgery.
      By: CLIPAREA.com
      An early overproduciton of hormones could be caused by a tumor pressing on the pituitary gland, which may require surgery.