Premature Sexual Maturation (PSM) and Precocious Puberty



Before the age of 8 years in girls, and 9 years in boys.


Drugs to suppress the onset of puberty.

Premature Sexual Maturation (PSM) is a rare condition affecting the gonads, adrenal or other glands and causing premature sexual maturation. The child grows at a faster rate than normal and develops secondary sexual characteristics (such as pubic hair, penile enlargement or breast development) at an inappropriately early age.

This condition is much more commonly found in girls than it is in boys.

It is separate from precocious puberty, in which normal puberty occurs but at an age earlier than 8 years in a girl and 9 years in a boy. There is a 20% possibility that it may occur before school entry.

Children with PSM and precocious puberty may be very large for their age but as growth stops early, final adult height can be relatively short. Premature sexual maturation must always be investigated and assessed by a growth specialist. Treatment depends on the underlying cause.


Further Reading

CGF booklet:

CGF Booklet 4 Booklet 4:
Premature Sexual
(including Precocious


Puberty and the Tanner Stages Puberty and the
Tanner Stages
Gonadatrophin Hormone Treatment Gonadatrophin
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