what are the signs of
Central precocious puberty?

A sudden growth spurt, with breast bud development, pubic and underarm hair, and body odor can be signs of central precocious puberty

Central precocious puberty, or CPP, is when puberty starts sooner than it should. For girls, that’s before the age of 8, and for boys, before the age of 9.

When does puberty usually start?

See Karen Klein, MD, pediatric endocrinologist, discuss the typical
age puberty starts in girls and boys.

Puberty begins when the pituitary gland gets a signal from the brain to release “puberty” hormones

  • Puberty is triggered when the hypothalamus in the brain releases gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)
  • GnRH tells the pituitary gland (a bean-shaped gland located at the bottom of the brain) to release hormones called luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
  • The result is that sexual development begins because:
    • Girls start producing estrogen
    • Boys start producing testosterone

For most children diagnosed
with CPP, no
underlying medical
problem caused CPP.
there is no known cause, it is
idiopathic CPP. If your
child is diagnosed
with CPP, it is
not your fault. Nothing you
your child did caused CPP.

The answer is in
the hormones

Watch Peter A. Lee, MD, pediatric endocrinologist, talk about the causes of early puberty.

Trust your
instincts and
act now

Talk to a pediatrician as soon as possible
if you see early signs of puberty, because
only a qualified healthcare provider can diagnose CPP.

Need help
talking to the

Create your own discussion guide to ask the right questions and get as much information as possible during the visit to the pediatrician.

Find and
download helpful

Download information sheets and find
links to additional websites with information about CPP.