What is puberty?
Puberty is a period during in which a growing boy or girl undergoes on the process of sexual maturation. Puberty involves a series of physical stage that lead to achievement of fertility and development of secondary sex characteristics.
The onset of puberty varies among individuals but usually between 10-14 years in girls and 12-16 in boys. The changes that happen during the puberty have a typical pattern. The first sign of puberty in girls is breast development (breast buds) which occur at an average age of 11 years. The growth of pubic hair begins and next followed by the growth of hair in the armpit. The onset of menstruation (having period) happen later around two and half years after the onset of puberty. Regular ovulation usually develops rapidly once a girl begins having periods.
In boys, the first sign of puberty is increase in the size of testicles that begins at age of 11 and ½ years; and after 6 months the penis increased in size. The next stage is pubic hair and hair in the armpits. Next is the voice become deeper and muscles increase in size. The last step is the facial hair.
Fertility is achieved in male near the onset of puberty when the testosterone triggers the production of sperm.
What is precocious puberty?
It is the development of breast, first period, growth of pubic hair or the hair in the armpits in the girls before 8 years of age. In boys, it is the deepening of voice, enlarged testicles or penis, growth of facial hair, growth of hair in pubic or armpit before 9 years of age.
When you see any of these signs in your child before age 8 in girls and before age 9 in boys, you should consult your doctor.
Central precocious puberty: In this case the puberty process starts too soon. The pattern and timing of the steps are otherwise normal for the majority of children with this condition. Primary precocious puberty is where there’s no underlying medical problem, but in some cases, we can find a reason for that:
The following may cause CPP:
Peripheral precocious puberty:
Estrogen and testosterone in your child’s body causes this type of precocious puberty and the causes are:
Possible complications are:
Treatment for precocious puberty depends on the cause. The primary goal is to enable the child to grow to normal adult height and treating the underlying medical condition.