It is not usual for children to show signs of puberty, which may raise concerns among mothers, especially if it is at an early age before ten, for example, as the mother confuses concepts between what is normal and what requires presentation to the doctor.
In this report, we will try to explain the concept of early puberty, clarify the precautions that the mother should take into account with her children, and the difference between the signs of puberty and early puberty.
Early Puberty The beginning of a child’s transformation into an adult body early. Normal puberty begins on average in girls between the ages of 8-13, and in boys between ages 9 and 14.
Doctors diagnose the condition when puberty begins early and continues through spurts of growth and bone maturation.
The exact cause of precocious puberty is not known, but its clear signs are observed in girls before the age of 8 and boys before the age of 9, and it affects an average of one child out of every 5,000.
Two types of precocious puberty
According to WebMD, there are two types of precocious puberty: central and peripheral, or false puberty.
The signs Central precocious puberty Similar to normal puberty, but it occurs early. The pituitary gland begins to produce hormones called “gonadotropins” that cause the secretion of other hormones, testosterone or estrogen, which in turn cause changes in puberty, such as breast growth in girls.
As for Peripheral precocious puberty Pseudo-precocious puberty is a different condition, which is also less common, in which the hormones estrogen and testosterone trigger the symptoms, but the brain and pituitary gland are not the cause.
The problem is usually localized in girls’ ovaries, adrenal glands or an overactive thyroid gland.
The signs of early puberty may become a source of concern for the girl and the parents alike, especially when the signs of puberty appear without the occurrence of the menstrual cycle, which usually begins in a girl’s life 2-3 years after the appearance of physical signs of puberty.
The mother must take the daughter to the specialist doctor if the signs are frightening or a source of concern and inconvenience to her, such as the appearance of hair in some areas of the body, which is caused by the early secretion of hormones by the adrenal gland.
According to doctors, this is not the only or primary sign of puberty, and drug treatment is usually not required, except in some cases.
Early puberty symptoms
The signs of normal puberty and early puberty are usually the same in girls; It’s only a difference in timing. The signs include the following:
The breast begins to grow, and this growth is the first sign, with rapid and noticeable growth in length, the appearance of acne, and a different body odor.
Causes of precocious puberty
In most cases, experts don’t know what causes central precocious puberty, especially in girls. However, sometimes a medical problem can lead to central precocious puberty.
Puberty before the age of six
Signs of puberty may appear before the age of six in some girls, and there are a range of common reasons for this:
- Tumors are often benign.
- Brain injury, whether from surgery, a blow or an accident to the head, affecting hormonal balances.
- Encephalitis, sometimes caused by an infection.
Is precocious puberty dangerous?
Although rare, girls are 10 times more likely to show signs of precocious puberty than boys.
Although these signs do not represent a danger in themselves, what should be paid attention to are the reasons for their appearance, especially if they are related to the previous common causes.
Researchers don’t know why girls’ age of puberty varies by race, since African-American girls appear to reach puberty about a year earlier than white girls.
Some studies also suggest a link between obesity in young girls and an increased risk of precocious puberty. But researchers don’t know how direct the link is, as obesity does not appear to be linked to early puberty in males.
Early Puberty Diagnosis
To find out if your daughter has signs of precocious puberty, your doctor may:
- Review of family medical history.
- Examination of the body.
- Have a blood test to check hormone levels.
- X-rays of the hand and wrist to check the age of the bones. This is an important indicator if the bones are growing very quickly.
If the doctor sees signs that your child has precocious puberty, he or she will also do a test to see what type it is (central or peripheral).
For a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) test, your doctor will check your child’s response to hormones over time through a series of blood samples.
If other hormones are elevated, this is a sign of central precocious puberty. If hormone levels remain the same, this is a sign of peripheral precocious puberty.
facts and information
Early puberty may cause some physical and psychological problems, such as:
- short stature: While children with precocious puberty are often tall in comparison to their peers, growth may stop once they pass puberty.
- Behavior problems: Some studies have found a link between early puberty and behavioral problems, but some experts say the evidence for this is weak.
- Early sexual activity: There is no strong evidence that children in early puberty are more sexually active.
- Pressure nervous: Even when it happens to 12-year-olds, puberty can be a bewildering time, but a daughter may feel embarrassed about looking different from her peers.
A mother should help her daughter understand the physical, hormonal and psychological changes that are taking place in her, with the psychological containment and parental care that this requires.
Some studies have also found a link between early puberty in girls and a slight increase in the risk of breast cancer later in life, but the evidence isn’t clear.