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Old 08-08-2013, 01:45 PM   #1
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Early Puberty - female child

This is an informal poll and is intended to be answered by women about themselves, or parents/grandparents/guardians about their female child(ren). It is purely for my own knowledge, as I'm dealing with this with Keira right now and I'm curious.

What were the first signs of puberty?

At what age did they present?

Anybody enter puberty at or before 8 years old?

If so, when was full physical maturity achieved (adult attributes--not just nubbins IYKWIM, underarm and nether regions hair, BO, stature, etc.)?



My daughter is 8 1/2 years old and we had to get her deodorant for her stinky pits. That made me really take a good look at her. She's a little bit pudgy, so I didn't think anything about her chest nubbins starting to show, but now I'm seeing more signs of breast development. I looked at her underarms the other day and noticed she's getting hair growth. I did NOT ask her about, nor request to see, her girl parts. She has complained of being overly emotional lately too, and even told me she thought it was hormones. My mother was an early developer and all this seems to fit right in with the timeframe she told me she developed. I was 12, and seemed to develop everything all at once, overnight.

So, I've done a little research and have read that puberty often starts in girls between 8 and 13 years old. That surprised me. I thought it was more or less 11-13. The things I've read say there's no reason to worry about it unless the child starts to develop BEFORE 8 years old, and then the concern would be that there's some other factor causing it (tumor, endocrine issues, etc.).

I'm trying to get her in for a check-up before school starts (just over a week away!), but I'm planning to have her thyroid levels checked along with just the regular well-visit stuff. Just wondering if there's anything specific I should ask the doctor, based on others' experiences.

TIA!
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:53 PM   #2
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I started my period at nine and maybe two months, and needed a bra within that same time frame. By the time I was eleven, I had a full womanly figure.

I take after my father's side of the family, as my grandmother and aunts and some cousins on that side all developed at a similarly young age. And my grandmother and one aunt were raised in Barbados, while the rest of us were raised in the northeast, so it's not environmental. My great-niece is not quite ten, and I saw on the latest posted pics that she now has buds.

My mother's side of the family developed much later, so my mother (no period and ruler-straight until 13-14) was shocked to see me with "buds" and a period so early.
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:12 PM   #3
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Thanks Ntombi. I know it's not unheard of, but I like to over-inform myself sometimes.

I also just read that early development can be related to hypothyroidism. I'm the 3rd generation (that I know of) with thyroid disease, so I'm definitely going to have that checked with her ASAP too.
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:23 PM   #4
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That's a good question. I don't know about the other women I referenced, but my niece (the mother of the great-niece) and I are both hypothyroid as adults, don't know when it started for either.

My mother also is, though, so...
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:31 PM   #5
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I know being a man I am butting in here but I once read a scientific article about this.
This article made an extremly strong point that in wemen puberity is tied into body weight. They made a case that the growth spurt that coincides with puberty starts
when the girl weighs about 83 lbs. They even pointed out that growing up at high elevations put on weight more slowley than those growing up at sea level and the
girls growing up there enter into puberity later. The data they looked at went back over
100 years and pointed out that back 100 years or so when people were so much thinner
wemen didn't get there first period till they were about 18.
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E.W. View Post
I know being a man I am butting in here but I once read a scientific article about this.
This article made an extremly strong point that in wemen puberity is tied into body weight. They made a case that the growth spurt that coincides with puberty starts
when the girl weighs about 83 lbs. They even pointed out that growing up at high elevations put on weight more slowley than those growing up at sea level and the
girls growing up there enter into puberity later. The data they looked at went back over
100 years and pointed out that back 100 years or so when people were so much thinner
wemen didn't get there first period till they were about 18.
That's really interesting. Keira's very tall for her age (her dad's 6'3" and I'm 5'9") and she's 86 pounds, so that fits right in line. We also live very close to sea level. I had never heard that. I can't remember how much I weighed when I went into puberty.
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:38 PM   #7
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Doesn't fit with my family at all.

My grandmother was shorter and was thin until she was an adult, plus she was born in 1902, and she got her period at about ten, IIRC. The other women in her family are all different sizes and heights.

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Old 08-08-2013, 03:45 PM   #8
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And honestly, thinking about it, how can the average age of a first menses be 18 back then? Women were marrying and having children as teenagers for millennia.
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:55 PM   #9
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Good points. It fit so perfectly with my daughter, lol.
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:17 AM   #10
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Back from the doctor. The physical exam revealed that Keira's developmental age is 11 1/2, a full 3 years ahead of her chronological age. Her buds are actual breast buds, not just pudge. She's definitely in puberty.

The doctor didn't seem overly concerned about it, but did mention several things I learned in my reading. The biggest initial risk with early development is that, once her period starts, it's likely she'll quit growing. She's currently 55" and 69 pounds (clothed with shoes on). She's usually either the tallest or within the top couple of kids in her class, so she's tall now, but if she stops growing, she'll be quite short.

The doctor asked if she's recently gone through a big growth spurt, and she has not, so she's not too concerned that her period will be starting any time soon, as that generally happens after a growth spurt. I remember in 7th grade, the same time I started my period, I grew 7 inches in just 4 months!! That's in line with what the doctor said.

She's ordered labs for FSH, TSH, Free T3, and a few others. I didn't write them down, and she's at the lab right now with her dad. She also ordered a bone age study, so we can see where Keira is in relation to other kids her age. I'm really interested to get the results of all of the tests.

Keira's excited because we discussed getting her "real" bras now that we know her nubbins are really breasts. Daddy hung his head, and decided to let Mommy handle all that. I got her camisole type bras a few months ago, but now I guess we get to get her the real thing. Back to school shopping's going to be GREAT! <insert sarcasm emoticon here>
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:43 PM   #11
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My dau. started her period when she was 9˝. She is now 12˝, She was always tall for her age, but seems to have stopped growing at 5'2. I'm only 5'0 & my hubby is 5'9, so I didn't expect her to be very tall, but I didn't expect her to stop growing so early. Her BO started at preschool age w/ underarm hair & buds by 1st grade. I never took her to the dr for testing, so I'm curious to hear what your dau's testing means besides that her body is older than her actual age. When my dau. had all the signs, I told her all about puberty & her period, so she would understand once her period started. It was hard at first, but it didn't take long before she was taking care of it herself.
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:30 AM   #12
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We got the blood test and bone scan results back.

Her bone age is only a few months older than her chronological age.
Her thyroid levels are all within normal range.
Her female hormones and FSH are actually a little low, so even though she's IN puberty, she's not on a fast track type of puberty. This is great.

Even though she's developing breasts, body odor and hair, she most likely will not start her period for another year or two, and her growth should not be too affected. I'm not happy that she's having to deal with all the other issues, but I'm ecstatic that my little girl won't have to be dealing with menses just yet. The doctor said that since both her grandmothers developed early, it's normal for her to develop early. Whew!!
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Old 08-13-2013, 04:46 PM   #13
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Very glad to hear it!
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