Puberty is defined as the appearance of secondary sexual characteristics. Early puberty (PP) is the appearance of signs of puberty before age 8 in girls, and before the age of 10 in boys.
There are two main groups of early pubertates:
- central early puberty (or "true" PP), whose origin is located at the level of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis (the "control tower" of hormones contiguous to the brain);
- early peripheral puberty (or pseudo-puberty early), due to a secretion of sex hormones, independent of the hypothalamo-pituitary axis.
Central early puberty is the most common, and affects women in a privileged way. The causes can be very diverse (tumoral, cystic, medicated, etc.), but most of the time, none are found.
The signs of puberty are much more visible in girls, so more easily quantifiable. This is why the majority of studies focus on girls. And it seems that girls are more prone to precocious puberty than boys.
The peak of pubertal growth occurs on average in the girl at the age of 12, and at 14 in the boy. It should be noted, however, that the total increase in pubertal growth is lower for girls than for boys. The girl still grows about 5 to 15 cm after the onset of the first period.Want to react, share your experience or ask a question? See you in our FORUMS !
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Authors: Ladane Azernour-Bonnefoy and Dr Ada Picard.
Expert consultant: Dr. Pascal Besse, pediatrician, practitioner attached to HFME (Hospital Woman Mother Child) - Lyon Bron.