Sexual Health

Stopping Precocious Puberty With Puberty Blockers

April 9, 2018

Precocious puberty is when a child starts to show signs of puberty sooner than is regarded as normal. For boys, signs of puberty before age 9 are usually regarded as precocious. For girls, signs of puberty before age 8 are considered potentially problematic. But some young women experience only the puberty symptoms of early breast growth or pubic hair development.

Early pubic hair growth is very common in young black women. These signs alone aren’t necessarily regarded as precocious puberty.

It’s worth noting that evidence indicates that puberty has been occurring in younger and younger girls as time passes. There are several hypotheses for why this may be occurring. Earlier puberty may be linked to enhanced nutrition in youth. It might be connected to the rising frequency of youth obesity. On the flip side, there is evidence that it may be associated with changes in the environment. Researchers have pointed to everything from pressure to light cycle varies to chemical contaminants as possibly contributing to the trend Actually, no one actually knows.

It’s important, however, to recognize the difference between premature puberty and the tendency for puberty to be earlier in the people as a whole. Precocious puberty is puberty which happens early enough that it could possibly cause social or medical issues for the young person suffering from it.

Are There Issues Associated with Precocious Puberty?

A number of different conditions are associated with precocious puberty. However, the evidence for a number of these conditions is higher than many others. There’s, as an instance, strong evidence that children who experience precocious puberty will have an early growth spurt but then end up at a briefer adult height than their peers.

Short stature is chiefly an issue for children who begin puberty at a really young age. It occurs because their bones mature and stop growing too fast. This is 1 condition that will be positively affected by puberty blockers.

Proof for some other issues related to precocious puberty is much more mixed. Some research suggest that precocious puberty may lead to inappropriate sexual behaviors. Studies have found, inconsistently, that precocious puberty is associated with behavioral problems and poor interpersonal skills. There is also some evidence that precocious puberty may lead to emotional problems that continue into adulthood. But a number of the social and emotional side effects associated with the strain of early puberty can be lessened by good parental support and instruction.

There’s some evidence that early puberty might be associated with other long term health dangers. There may be a slightly greater risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or stroke. However, these dangers are confounded by the fact that obesity is connected to the early puberty and also to all 3 health conditions. There may also be a slightly higher risk of breast cancer in young women who have their first stage at earlier ages.

What Causes Precocious Puberty?

A range of different factors are linked with precocious puberty, even though the precise cause is still a mystery.

Puberty blockers are utilized to treat what is known as central precocious puberty. Central precocious puberty occurs when the brain starts sending out signs for puberty to begin.

Some variables related to central precocious puberty include:

  • Genetics
  • early nutritional issues followed by obesity
  • brain and central nervous system injuries

Unfortunately, several instances of central precocious puberty are idiopathic. That means that physicians don’t have any idea why they happen.

There’s a second category of precocious puberty known as peripheral precocious puberty or GnRH-independent precocious puberty. These cases are caused by abnormal hormone production that starts beyond the brain.

What Are Puberty Blockers? How Can They Stop Precocious Puberty?

Puberty blockers are more commonly known as GnRH analogues or GnRH agonists. They’re also referred to as GnRHa therapy . These medications interrupt the signals that the brain sets out to inform the body to start producing the hormones associated with puberty in both boys and girls. Before puberty, children have only tiny amounts of a hormone named GnRH–gonadotropin releasing hormone. The hormone has been released infrequently and in low amounts. When puberty starts, the body starts making more GnRH and releasing it more often. GnRHa treatment turns down that signal until doctors and patients are ready for puberty to start.

Puberty usually begins within 6 months to a year after quitting GnRHa treatment. Scientists have consistently found that young people who get GnRHa treatment for premature ejaculation reach greater adult heights than individuals who aren’t treated. That is particularly true for those who experience puberty beginning before age six.

Research suggests that young people receiving treatment may also experience decreased stress and stigma from the methods that precocious puberty makes them different from their own peers. But more studies are needed before scientists will have an actual understanding of the psychological ramifications of precocious puberty therapy.

The two short acting and long acting forms of puberty blockers are all readily available. Long-acting forms may last for up to 2 years without a need for repeat treatment. These either take the kind of long term injections or implants. Specific treatments include the histrelin implant and depot leuprolide acetate medications.

Are Puberty Blockers Safe?

Puberty blockers have been used for more than three decades to treat erectile dysfunction. They are usually considered to be equally safe and effective. Research suggests that young people who have been around puberty blockers have normal reproductive function once they quit taking them, although young women may have a higher risk of PCOS. Data also indicates that puberty blockers do not have long term effects on metabolic or bone health. But some scientists might still like to see study on lifelong effects of those treatments before declaring them really safe.

Of note, one of the chief considerations for young folks on GnRHa therapy is maintaining weight control. These drugs can be related to weight gain and obesity. As obesity can be associated with precocious puberty, it’s very important to focus on diet and exercise and other factors that can enable a young person maintain a healthy weight. However, the fantastic thing is that research indicates that at the long-term, GnRHa treatment is related to achievement of healthy weight, at least for girls. For that reason, it should not be a major factor in determining whether or not to begin treatment.