How Do Doctors Evaluate Early Puberty in Boys?

Our evaluation of your son’s early puberty begins with a discussion about your son’s signs of puberty and a physical exam. If your son has signs of early puberty, we will typically have him get an X-ray of his left hand and wrist called a bone age. A bone age tells us how much your son’s bones have matured. It can also help us figure out if your son should have further evaluation with blood tests.

Your son might have a blood test to help us measure your child’s hormone levels. This will help us figure out if your son has gonadotropin dependent or independent puberty. It will also help us figure out if there is a concern about the adrenal glands. Depending on the results of the laboratory testing further radiology testing may include a head MRI.

How Do Doctors Treat Early Puberty in Boys?

The type of treatment we give to your son depends on the type of early puberty he has.

If your son has early adrenal puberty, he might not need any treatment. If your son is overweight and has early adrenal puberty, losing weight can help slow down puberty. If the puberty is caused by elevated hormones we can give him medication to decrease the hormone levels.

If your son has early gonadal puberty and it is happening slowly and with no serious causes, he might not need any treatment. If the gonadal puberty is caused by high hormone levels, we can give your son medication to decrease the hormone levels. He will take this medication until he has reached an appropriate age to start puberty. This can help your son reach a normal adult height and help him look and feel more like his true age.

What is the Outlook For My Son's Early Puberty?

Your son should do quite well if he needs to have treatment for his early puberty.

How Can I Help My Son with Early Puberty?

You can reassure your son that these changes are not different from other children – they are just happening earlier. Your son might be self-conscious about these early changes. This is an important time to listen and respond to questions and concerns he might have. You should continue to treat your son appropriately for his age and continue to help him with self-esteem.

Rev. 1/2015
MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Massachusetts General Hospital do not endorse any of the brands listed on this handout. This handout is intended to provide health information so that you can be better informed. It is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to treatment of any medical conditions.