Precocious puberty means a youngster enters puberty early. Girls begin puberty earlier than males. Thus, breast development is an early symptom. Genetics, body fat, and chemicals are probable reasons for early puberty. When females enter puberty too early, it’s stressful for them and their parents. If your daughter starts puberty before she’s 8, see her doctor.
How Uncommon Is Early Puberty?
Only approximately 1% of U.S. teens reach puberty too early. Hispanic and Black females may enter puberty sooner, increasing their rates.
Early puberty has two forms:
- Central precocious puberty (CPP). This is most common, as early pituitary hormone release causes it. Hormones instruct the ovaries to create estrogen, starting puberty.
- Peripheral precocious puberty (PPP). The pituitary gland has nothing to do with this form of early sex hormone production. It might be the ovaries, adrenals, or thyroid.
What Does This Mean For Little Girls?
Girls’ breasts develop as they age. Growth spurts are common. Your youngster will undergo several changes over two to five years as puberty progresses.
- Development of breasts. When females obtain breast buds, they realize they’re becoming older. One breast may develop first and hurt to touch.
- Growth spurt. A female can gain up to 25 pounds and 10 inches throughout puberty. First, her hands and feet will grow, then her hips and waist. Her trunk will grow, and her lower jaw bones will enlarge, changing her facial form.
- Growth of pubic hair. It may start nice and light but become tough, curly, and black. Some girls grow pubic hair before breast buds. At the end of puberty: leg and underarm hair.
- Menstruation. After getting their first breast bud, most females have their first period 2 to 3 years later. A girl may experience vaginal discharge 6 to 12 months before her first menstruation. Girls have their first period at 12 in the U.S.
- Increased body fat. Fat accumulates in the hips and breasts.
- Acne. Hormonal changes may make sweat glands work harder, causing acne, underarm perspiration, and body odor.
- Mood changes. Your youngster may get irritated and alter throughout puberty.
How Is COVID-19 Making This Happening?
Many physicians assumed it was due to the stress of the pandemic lockdown, which placed kids under a lot of strain. Stress may affect a child’s body.
Weight, prenatal nutrition, dietary habits as a child, physical activity, and psychological variables all influence early puberty.
Increased exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals at home and less physical exercise during lockdowns might have led more females to start puberty early. “Persistent lifestyle changes” started before the lockdown.
Pediatricians in the U.S. report early sexual maturity. Girls as young as five are growing breasts and starting periods. Pediatrician Adiaha I.A. Spinks-Franklin noted that many of her young female patients had their menstruation following a lockdown.
“Breast buds appear at 10 or 11, and your menstruation two years later,” Spinks-Franklin says that’s typical. “You go through