It is very important for all parents to have knowledge of puberty, especially when their children are in pubescent age. You may have noticed since birth so many changes occur in our body daily. Puberty is the stage in which our body evolves into sexual maturity. In this phase several physical as well as emotional changes develop in kids, it is a transition phase where they grow into young adulthood.
Normally puberty begins between the ages of 8 to 12 years in girls. In boys it is from 9 to 13 years.Here we are discussing early puberty in girls. There are small numbers of girls who mature earlier than normal age. They develop breast and pubic hair before the age of 7. Early puberty in medical parlance is called precocious puberty. Let us know the reasons for early puberty in girls.
Causes Of Early Puberty In Girls
The cause of early puberty in more than half of girls is not known. It will be easy to understand early puberty in girls, once we understand how normal puberty begins.
Puberty begins when the body starts to release chemicals known as hormones.There are different hormones which affect the body differently. Growth hormones stimulate the skeletal growth. Other hormones direct the breast growth, growth of pubic hair, release of egg from the ovaries and leading to menstrual bleeding.
The production of these hormones is controlled by hypothalamus and pituitary gland in the brain. In precocious puberty, the pituitary gland in brain starts producing these hormones much earlier. There is no identifiable cause known for why early puberty sets in. However researchers believe following are the triggering factors:
- A tumor in brain which secretes estrogen.
- Birth defects in brain.
- Radiation exposure.
- An injury to brain.
- Hypothyroidism in children.
- Prenatal exposure to chemicals.
- Obesity in girls.
- Girls exposed to estrogen creams and ointments.
- Cyst and tumor in ovary.
Signs Of Early Puberty In Girls
The onset of puberty signs and symptoms begin to develop before the age of 7 years. This may include the following:
- Early breast growth in girls. A small mound starts developing below the nipple region. In few cases one breast may grow larger than the other. The breast feels tender when touched.
- Pubic hair and hair in underarm starts developing before the age of seven.
- Rapid skeletal growth.
- Early onset of menstrual cycle. Few months before the onset of menses, there may be yellowish or white mucous discharge from the vagina.
- Some girls may have acne on their face.
- Peculiar body odor as the sweat gland becomes active in underarm and pubic region.
- The hips begin to grow wider and the waist begins to slim.
- Emotionally they become depressed. Their scholastic performance may suffer. They lose interest in daily activities.
How To Prevent Early Puberty In Girls?
Since in most cases the cause for early puberty in girls remain unclear, it is difficult to prevent it in first place. However parents can take few steps if they suspect their daughter may have a risk of developing precocious puberty.
- Avoid your daughter to become overweight and obese. She should regularly engage herself in outdoor playing activities. Studies have shown excess of fat in girls body may accelerate secretion of estrogen, insulin. They are believed to be responsible for encouraging early puberty.
- Avoid giving your daughter animal protein such as meat since in most cases the animal is treated with synthetic estrogen for commercial benefits.
- Nowadays even dairy products contain hormones, especially the estrogen. Insist on all organic dairy products.
- Girls below the age of 7 should always eat organically grown fruits and vegetables. Broccoli is one of the best vegetable to prevent early puberty in girls.