How do I make
sure my child gets an
appropriate treatment?

All photos are of models and not of persons with central precocious puberty.

If you think your child is showing signs of puberty too soon, don’t wait. See your pediatrician right away.

Central precocious puberty (CPP) can affect your child both physically and emotionally, and those effects can carry into adulthood.1
If your child is diagnosed with CPP, the sooner he or she starts treatment, the sooner the progression of puberty may be stopped.

Can my regular pediatrician diagnose CPP?2

Your child’s regular pediatrician is your first step in getting a diagnosis. He or she knows your child’s medical history. If you notice any signs or symptoms of puberty occurring too soon, speak with your child’s doctor. Let him or her know your concerns. The doctor will review your child’s and family’s medical history and do a physical exam. In the meantime, prepare for your doctor's visit by using our Interactive Growth Tool to compare the signs of puberty you see in your child to the stages of puberty in normal development.

Hear a doctor discuss next steps in treatment for CPP.

Karen Klein, MD, Pediatric Endocrinologist

Taking the next steps

Karen Klein, MD, Pediatric Endocrinologist

Doctor Discussion Guide for your child’s doctor

It’s important to ask the right questions and give as much information as possible during your doctor’s visit. To help, we’ve created this Doctor Discussion Guide that you can print and take with you to help with your conversation with your pediatrician and/or pediatric endocrinologist.

Discovery:

Next Steps:

Treatments:

The Future:

Seeing a pediatric endocrinologist2

If your pediatrician thinks your child may have central precocious puberty (CPP), he or she may refer you to a pediatric endocrinologist to make an official diagnosis. Pediatric endocrinologists are specialists that focus on the treatment of hormone-related conditions in children.

The pediatric endocrinologist may perform some or all of the tests below. Once all the tests are complete, he or she will review the results and make a proper diagnosis.

Need a pediatric endocrinologist?

Need a Pediatric Endocrinologist?

While AbbVie does not recommend any specific healthcare providers, we can help you find a pediatric endocrinologist in your area.

Tests that can help diagnose central precocious puberty3

  • Bone age test
  • An x-ray of the non-dominant hand can help determine your child’s bone age. It is then compared to standard growth charts to establish whether the bones are growing too quickly.
  • Blood test
  • This test measures the level of hormones in your child’s bloodstream.
  • GnRH stimulation test
  • This test helps distinguish CPP from other possible causes of early puberty.
  • Pelvic and adrenal ultrasound
  • This checks the development of your child’s ovaries or testicles, and adrenal glands.
  • MRI or CT scan
  • This shows if any brain abnormalities are causing the early start of puberty.

If your child is diagnosed with CPP, remember that it can be treated. Before choosing a treatment, discuss with the doctor how it works and how it can affect your child.

Which treatment for central precocious puberty is appropriate for your child?4,5

The most common treatment for CPP, or central precocious puberty, is called a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist. GnRH agonists work by helping the pituitary gland ignore signals from the brain so it stops sending hormones that stimulate the ovaries and testes. That, in turn, stops the production of sex hormones. Once your pediatric endocrinologist decides that your child has reached a more appropriate age, he or she will stop GnRH agonist therapy, and your child will go through “normal” puberty just like his or her peers.

The pediatric endocrinologist may also tell you that not all children require treatment. In fact, the amount of time a child is on treatment will depend on his or her unique growth and development.

Hear a doctor discuss treatment for CPP.

Peter A. Lee, MD, Pediatric Endocrinologist

CPP treatment options

Peter A. Lee, MD, Pediatric Endocrinologist

To find out more about a treatment option

Talking with your child6

Often, children are too young to understand the physical and hormonal changes happening to them. It’s important to reassure your child that these changes are normal—all of his or her friends will eventually go through puberty, too. These changes are just happening earlier in his or her body than they should. Help your son or daughter understand that every person is different and that being different is okay.

When you talk with your child, it helps to keep in mind that CPP can be treated and that your child can have a childhood just like other children his or her age.

Having this conversation early on can help your child feel more comfortable with CPP and its treatment.

Always be sure to talk with your child’s doctor if you have any questions.

Some tips for your conversation

While the type of discussion you have will depend on your child’s age, here are some tips that can help:

  • Watch your child as you talk to see any reactions, so you know if he or she is ready to learn about CPP.
  • Simplify the condition by saying, “Your body is getting messages from your brain that are making you grow up too fast.”
  • When you talk about treatment, tell your child that there’s a medicine that can stop those messages until it’s the right time to go through puberty, just like their friends.
  • Reassure your child that his or her feelings and fears are normal…no matter how big or small they are.

References: 1. Precocious Puberty: Complications. Mayo Clinic Website. http://www.mayoclinic.org/​diseases-conditions/​precocious-puberty/​basics/​complications/​con-20029745. Accessed June 16, 2015. 2. Mayo Clinic Web site. Precocious Puberty. Preparing for your appointment. http://www.mayoclinic.org/​diseases-conditions/​precocious-puberty/​basics/​preparing-for-your-appointment/​con-20029745. Accessed July 16, 2015. 3. Carel JC, Léger J. Clinical practice. Precocious puberty. N Engl J Med. 2008;358(22):2366-2377. 4. Saenger P. Novel treatments seem promising for central precocious puberty. http://www.healio.com/​endocrinology/​pediatric-endocrinology/​news/​print/​endocrine-today/​%7Bbe447e73-0aab-417e-​8ce4-4cb91d8f095d%7D/​novel-treatments-seem-promising​-for-central-precocious-puberty. Accessed January 31, 2014. 5. WebMD Children's Health. Early puberty: Causes and Consequences. http://webmd.com/​children/​guide/​causes-symptoms. Accessed June 17, 2015. 6. Chemtob C. Talking with children about difficult subjects: illness, death, violence and disaster. http://www.aboutourkids.org/​articles/​talking_children_about_difficult_​subjects_illness_death_​violence_disaster. Accessed January 31, 2014.