Central Precocious Puberty: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019

Precocious puberty is the onset of puberty earlier than that of the expected age. This typically means that development of "secondary sex changes" prior to 8 years of age in girls and 9 years of age in boys. Central precocious puberty is one type of precocious puberty. The term central implies that it is due to the central nervous system (brain). It is important to note that the symptoms and signs of central precocious puberty are the same as those of normal puberty. This means the symptoms and signs themselves are only abnormal because they occur earlier (at a younger age) than expected.

Causes of central precocious puberty

Central precocious puberty is due to the premature secretion of brain hormones that cause the ovaries and testes to produce sex hormones. Causes for this premature secretion of hormones include brain irradiation, brain tumors, brain trauma, genetic conditions, and other hormonal abnormalities. In some cases, the cause is unknown.

Other central precocious puberty symptoms and signs

  • Acne
  • Axillary (Underarm) Hair
  • Breast Tissue Development in Females
  • Development of Adult Body Odor
  • Enlargement of the Testes (Testicles) and Penis
  • Facial Hair Development in Males
  • Growth of Pubic Hair
  • Increased Muscle Development
  • Increasing in Sweat Production
  • Initiation of Menstrual Periods
  • Lowering of the Pitch of Voice in Males
  • Rapid Height Acquisition (Growth Spurt)


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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.