Precocious Puberty: What Parents Should Know

Precocious puberty occurs when puberty manifests earlier than stipulated and is characterized by a growth of breasts or testicles, as well as the appearance of hair and hormonal changes in children under ten years old.
Precocious Puberty: What Parents Should Know
Nelton Ramos

Reviewed and approved by the doctor Nelton Ramos.

Written by Yamila Papa

Last update: 27 December, 2022

Puberty usually begins when we’re around ten years old, and continues until we’re about 14. However, some boys and girls go through what’s known as precocious puberty, which occurs earlier than usual.

This milestone is characterized by a growth of the breasts or testicles, appearance of hair, and hormonal changes in children ten years old or younger.

Puberty: what should you know?

Puberty is a period in which, little by little, we stop being boys and girls to become adults. A part of the brain called the hypothalamus is responsible for the process to happen. It secretes a gonadotropin-releasing hormone, which in turn stimulates the pituitary gland to produce other hormones: the luteinizing and follicle stimulant.

These two stimulate the gonads (ovaries or testicles) to increase the production of sex hormones — estrogens and testosterone, respectively — that are responsible for such changes during puberty.

On the other hand, we must also talk about the adrenal glands (located above the kidneys) as well. These play a significant role in producing sex hormones.

Precocious Puberty: What Parents Should Know

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Desojo, A. V., Tobío, P. M., Etxebarría, I. R., & Calcenas, A. A. (2007). Pubertad precoz. Endocrinologia y Nutricion.
  • Vargas F, Fuentes MA, Lorenzo L, Marco MV, Martínez-Aedo MJ, Ruiz R. Pubertad precoz. Protoc diagn ter pediatr. 2011;1:193-204
  • Victoria, M., Salas, M., Toda, L. I., & García García, E. (2015). Pubertad precoz y pubertad adelantada. In AEPap ed. Curso de Actualización Pediatría

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.