Shocking, but true that on average, nowadays breast enlargement begins the way to earlier than when it used to be a few decades ago.
Earlier, girls’ breasts started to take proportions only after the age of eight years. But, now they start to grow at the age 7 years or earlier. Early or precocious puberty have psychological and biological consequences on the young girls who are not developed enough mentally to cope with changes.
What is precocious puberty?
When talking about puberty in girls, I am referring to the time when a girl have her first period. However, in the terms of endocrinology, this is actually a late step of puberty. Actually, breast enlargement is the first sign of the beginning of puberty. This does not necessarily mean that menstruation will be early too. When, it happens before the actual time or earlier than the age prescribed, it is known as precocious puberty or early puberty.
Symptoms of precocious puberty
In girls, early onset of puberty might indicate breast development and development of pubic hairiness. The appearance of the first menstruation usually occurs in the earlier age.
Why this happens?
From many years, obesity was considered as a decisive factor behind early puberty. But, recent studies have something else to say. According to many medical claims, psychological stress plays an important role in early puberty and in addition to these, chemicals in the environment can also influence the endocrine processes of organisms.
Can we overrule the role of obesity in puberty?
Despite other reasons, we cannot completely ignore the role of fat in the body. Actually, we all know obesity means accumulated fats and this fat increases the estrogen levels in the body that converts other hormones into estrogen. And, estrogen is a hormone that stimulates breast growth and other specific physical changes of puberty.
What is the correlation between stress and early (precocious) puberty?
The role of stress in precocious puberty is significantly high. Any trauma related to a sexual abuse during childhood may also contribute to early puberty. Girls living in conflict families or in an environment where violence is common are also exposed to this risk.
Is precocious puberty is a matter of worry?
Generally, not. When a girl has a precocious puberty but goes well through all other stages without showing a response to any other medical problems, endocrinologists have no reason to prescribe a treatment to regulate its body function.
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There is no need to worry about. However, if the diagnosis shows positive results for precocious puberty risks, it will require other imaging exams to check for the presence of abnormalities in other organs, abnormalities that can lead to the initiation of puberty earlier than normal.
The treatment of precocious puberty
Children diagnosed with precocious puberty may follow a medication called Gn-RH analogue therapy. It consists of monthly administration of an injection that slows pubertal development. After stopping treatment, the physiological development resumes by itself at the right age.
What could be the possible consequences of early puberty?
According to many cases revealed, girls with precocious puberty may encounter health problems both during adolescence and when they become adults.
In such a case, where a girl attains her puberty earlier than the age prescribed, she may have problems like depression.
Due to this, she may tend to consume drugs and chances are high that she may begin her sexual life early. In the worst case, women may develop forms of breast cancer, and even cardiac disease.
The onset of precocious puberty often leads to serious emotional disturbances. From social problems, lack of interest in school, friends or activities to depression and alcohol or drugs. Don’t make her feel embarrassed or abnormal.
It is important to talk to your child about the changes in her body. Tell her that those changes are normal.