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.
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.
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.
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.