Central Precocious Puberty (CPP)

Central precocious puberty (CPP) often begins before age eight in girls or age nine in boys. CPP can even begin in infancy1. In CPP, the HPG (hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal) axis, a complex process that regulates puberty, activates too soon and the normal process of puberty begins1.

CPP occurs in one out of every 5,000 to 10,000 children, and is much more common in girls than in boys2.

In most children with CPP, there is no underlying medical problem and no identifiable reason for the HPG axis to begin prematurely. In very rare cases the following may be attributed to the cause of CPP:

  • Tumor, radiation or injury to the brain or spinal cord
  • Infection, such as encephalitis or meningitis
  • Brain birth defect like excess fluid buildup
  • Obstruction of blood flow to the brain1

Girls, African-Americans and obese children run a higher risk for CPP. Children exposed to sex hormones (i.e. coming in contact with an estrogen or testosterone cream) and children with medical conditions that involve abnormal production of the male hormones such as McCune- Albright syndrome or congenital adrenal hyperplasia are also at higher risk of developing CPP. And in rare cases, CPP may be associated with hypothyroidism1.

If you think you or your child may suffer from CPP, you should talk to your healthcare professional.

References

  1. “Precocious Puberty”. The Mayo Clinic Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). 2009. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/precocious-puberty/DS00883. Accessed January 12, 2010.
  2. Antoniazzi F, Zamboni G. Central precocious puberty: current treatment options. Pediatr Drugs. 2004;6(4):212-231.

Additional Resources

The following groups are dedicated to the education and assistance of patients that suffer from CPP. Find out more about CPP by visiting these websites:

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