Puberty is the time when a boy’s body grows into a man's body. Puberty starts with a change in hormones. Because of a change in hormones released from the brain, your child’s testicles start making testosterone. Testosterone is the main hormone that starts the changes that happen when boys go through puberty.
Early puberty in boys starts before the age of 9. It may also be called precocious puberty.
Early puberty may keep your son from growing to his expected height.
The exact cause is not always known. Early puberty may run in the family. It may be caused by something that affects the release of hormones, such as:
If your child shows signs of early puberty, he should be checked by his healthcare provider.
Usually the first symptom of early puberty in a boy is that his testicles start getting bigger. This is a symptom often missed by parents. After a year or two, other symptoms include:
Your healthcare provider will ask about your child's symptoms and medical history and examine your child.
Tests may include:
Your child may be referred to a specialist for other tests.
Treatment depends on the cause. Early puberty is often treated with medicine that slows the release of hormones that start puberty. This allows more time for your child to grow to a normal adult height.
Follow the full course of treatment prescribed by your healthcare provider. In addition:
Ask your provider:
Make sure you know when your child should come back for a checkup. Keep all appointments for provider visits or tests.