How do doctors evaluate (check for) early puberty?

  • Review of your child’s symptoms and signs of puberty
  • Physical exam
  • Blood test to measure hormone levels
  • Imaging tests. This can include a bone age (X-ray) of their left hand and an MRI of the brain. A bone age helps doctors tell how much your child’s bones have grown and developed. The MRI checks the pituitary gland and the area around it.

How do doctors treat early puberty?

Treatment depends on the type of early puberty your child has.

  • If your child has early adrenal puberty, he might not need treatment. If your child is overweight, weight loss can help slow down early adrenal puberty.
  • If your child has early gonadal puberty that is happening slowly and with no serious causes, they might not need treatment. If it is caused by high hormone levels, your child can take medications until they reach an appropriate age to start puberty.

How can I help my child?

Reassure your child that the changes to their body are normal. They are just happening earlier than usual. Listen to your child’s concerns and answer their questions. Treat your child appropriately for their age. Continue to help them with self-esteem.

Rev. 3/2018. 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.