Why is Central Precocious Puberty on the Rise?

Central precocious puberty used to be much rarer than it is today. Doctors are seeing more and more patients who begin to develop too early, and they can’t figure out why.

There are a ton of theories out there, including being exposed to meats that are from animals fed hormones and antibiotics to elements of plastic leeching into food and water. Unfortunately, there isn’t any empirical evidence to support either.

This condition largely affects females, and apart from the physical dangers, the social interruption is almost equally disturbing. When puberty ends, so does the person’s growth, so undergoing early puberty puts the patient at risk of being short of stature. This can also cause underdevelopment in bone growth.

Precocious puberty has three different classifications:

  1. Central precocious puberty. This is associated with an early elevation of the brain sex hormones that cause the release of secondary sex hormones from the ovaries or testes.
  2. Peripheral precocious puberty. This describes the condition caused when the ovaries or testes release hormones independent of brain hormones. This causes secondary sex changes.
  3. Benign (non-pathological and non-progressive) development. This condition indicates a single secondary sex change, and are not associated with abnormal elevation of the child’s sex hormones.

If your child is experiencing early puberty, the following resources my be helpful:


Erica Zahn

Erica Zahn

Erica Zahn is passionate about raising awareness of rare diseases and disorders and helping people connect with the resources that may ease their journey. Erica has been a caregiver, and is a patient, herself, so she completely relates to the rare disease community--on a deeply personal level.

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