Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Precocious Puberty?

(102 Posts)
Aji Fri 12-Oct-12 21:11:16

Dd is 5, nearly 6. This summer I noticed that she was starting to sweat with "adult" body odour from her armpits.

Tonight she asked me about a hair in her bottom, and showed me what looks like a pubic hair.

I had a look on the internet (the term I found was "precocious puberty", which talks about signs of puberty in girls before 6-8 - www.nhs.uk/conditions/puberty/pages/complications.aspx) and am going to make a doctor's appointment for her next week. She is quite tall for her age.

I wanted to ask if anyone had also experienced this with their children, and how they dealt with it? Am worried sad.

Aji Tue 20-Nov-12 21:07:30

Hi MammyKaz, I'm glad you found this thread. My dh is a little in denial too, but I guess now that she's been referred to the paediatrician, he trusts that there will be a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

SELady, I asked the paediatrician about a bone scan and he seemed surprised. He said it wasn't commonly done, but obviously it would depend on the results of the blood and urine tests.

Gottasmile, no hijack at all - this isn't "my" thread! GP did check for signs of breast development when we initially went to see her - there weren't any with dd but GP did say that they would have been more worried if there had been.

AMumGoingMad Tue 20-Nov-12 22:36:08

I have shared some of the links on here with my dh to try and get him to take it all more seriously. Its worked and he's now saying exactly the same things as me and supporting dd much better.

We've not made any progress today but I didn't expect to. I'm in the childrens hospital for ds tomorrow (different department) so I'm going to see if the receptionist will look up to see if dd's got an appointment on the system yet. I've spent today trying to keep busy to keep my mind on other days. DD has had a very teary day sad, I find this almost harder than the hair etc.

Hopefully tomorrow evening we'll have some news on her appointment. I really hope we do. My gut feeling is that there is something not right with her and my gut has never been wrong before with everything with my ds in the last few years.

MammyKaz Wed 21-Nov-12 15:16:13

Hi Aji, AMumGoingMad
Glad your DHs are starting to understand more. I guess they find it harder to understand & I know my DH can't bear the thought that anything is wrong with DD. But an ostrich approach helps no-one. He's parking thinking till we see the consultant & it gets more real hmm
Definitely trust your gut, you know your child better than anyone & no matter what the end result is i feel its always better to know. Keeping my fingers crossed on your apt.

Has anyone been offered, or asked for, counselling for your child or yourself? Maybe no-one is that far down the line. If we have to go through a load of tests I just don't know how to deal with DD- not that I know how to deal with her moods much at the moment either smile

SELady - thanks so much for the report you mentioned. It's the clearest piece of detailed information that I can actually understand! I will be keeping it close at hand.

AMumGoingMad Wed 21-Nov-12 17:10:04

My dd's school and us have asked for advice on giving DD emotional support but have been refused hmm for now until a dx has been reached because apparently the tears and sadness can be caused by 2 things, either not coping with the physical changes or the hormones pulsing through their body. If its hormones then it all stops with hormone treatment so no emotional support needed (will reserve judgement on that until I see it). If its not coping with the physical changes then they need specialist support but they can't be referred for that until precocious puberty has been ruled out or is being treated. I guess it all makes sense but its so slow and dd is just getting more and more teary and withdrawn sad. I just want my happy little girl back more than anything now sad.

AMumGoingMad Thu 22-Nov-12 11:15:39

MammyKaz Do you mind sharing who you are going to see? We're looking into getting dd a private referral now.

MammyKaz Thu 22-Nov-12 14:37:16

Hi, no I don't mind sharing although we may not be in the same part of the country we're in Somerset. We moved here only 2 months ago which is another stress all in itself - we know No-One!
I'll pm you the details.

Given that the only hormone treatment I've seen reference to is by monthly injection likely for several years I can't see how no emotional support is required! And you need it NOW not just when dx is confirmed angry. Our children are not lab rats gggrrrr. Sorry I'm very emotional about it & The thoughts of what they are going through just makes me weep.

I'm sure you are giving your DD all the love & support necessary to help her through it & it sounds like the school are being understanding too which must be a relief.

AMumGoingMad Wed 05-Dec-12 22:21:29

We saw a general paed today (by accident but I don't care, in the hospital for another reason and the dr didn't like what he saw and went and got the on duty paed). He was very unhappy with the treatment we've had from the NHS so far. 2.5 months from contacting the GP and still no appointment is terrible. Anyway, he was brilliant with dd. He examined her and then sent her out to play with the nurses and decorate the Chirstmas tree and had a long and frank conversation with me. She's clearly got something going on, her growth is mental and the hair as well isn't good either obviously sad. He has ordered a load of tests and scans etc and is contacting the childrens hospital to get an urgent appointment there. So she's had a bone age x-ray today and we're back at the hospital tomorrow for bloods and hopefully a scan. He said that given her symptoms there is definatly something wrong. He's scared me a bit tbh because he talked about tumours being a possibility sad. I'm now actually hoping she's 'just' got unexplained precocious puberty. He did say her growth is so abnormal they're going to be monitoring her until adulthood now as they are likely to have to halt things and there is a risk that she's going to not grow any more and need growth hormones later on which is mad because she's sooo tall for her age at the moment. So at last progress, I'm scared but also relieved that someone at last is looking at my dd.

SElady Wed 05-Dec-12 23:57:51

Sorry, I haven't been here for a while, came to report back to you about our hosp appt yesterday and then I saw AMum's message...
I'm sooo glad someoe is finally taking your DD seriously - it must be a massive relief!!! Also keeping my fingers crossed that it is just something benign like premature adrenarche/pubarche! I still think that because of her age the diagnosis is highly likely to be turning out "normal". It has to be and it will be!!

Hello MammyKaz, hope you're being seen as we speak and will soon be getting some answers and particularly hope that you won't have to go down the monthly injection route! I'd hate to make that decision myself, especially that we were advised against it by my DH's uncle (who is a surgeon, so not strictly his field of expertise, but still a medical person) when we first started our investigations.

Aji, I'm terribly sorry if I come across as a “little miss know-it-all" and I really have no intention to worry you either, but I can't ignore what you said about your paediatrician being surprised and telling you that a bone x-ray wasn't commonly done. My personal experience and searches show exactly the opposite. A bone x-ray is one of the first things that they usually do even without knowing the results of the blood and any other tests. Sorry again for sounding too neurotic about it!

We had our summative consultation brought forward from January to yesterday as they did a reshuffle of the paediatric department at our local hospital. We also got assigned to a different consultant. He was very good, summarised all their findings so far, all negative/normal and after a short debate we mutually agreed to go for the MRI scan in order to complete the circle and rule out absolutely everything. He was very understanding and sympathetic towards our feelings. Also gave us his direct email and tel number should we want to discuss anything further. So hopefully, within 4 or so weeks we'll have done the scan...
If that comes back normal, his recommendation will be to do another bone x-ray in a year’s time to track her development.

My 6yo DD is currently under investigation for this...

She has quite a Bit of pubic hair and gets spots and blackheads. She has started to get little boobs too...she is very tall for he age too and seems to put weight on very easily too.

She has epilepsy which started recently too, around the same time she started developing the hair etc. we have to go back to see the paed next week to get the ball rolling with scans etc as he wanted to start by monitoring the condition...

twilight81 Thu 06-Dec-12 09:40:03

Just came across this thread while looking for some info...
My dd is 9 years old, since she was around 5 she has had BO which I did think was strange but just made sure she washed well and wore deodorant. I didn't release it could indicate a problem... Fast forward to now she has some hairs growing down below. From what I have now read this seems to be acceptable at 9.. She still seems so young for this though? She looks young and only weighs 4.5 stone so not big for her age at all. She has no breast growth.. Yet. With the fact that she had the BO so young should I have got her checked?

alwaysworriedtoo Fri 07-Dec-12 21:29:42

HoHoHo, hope your scans go well next week. Your poor bairn. Having epilepsy too must be awful. ((Big Hugs.))

twilight, I never worried about the b.o until she pointed out her 'hair' and then I started to put two and two together.(though she was young still when this happened) It might be worth mentioning the b.o/hair, but still being small for her age to your doctor or practice nurse and maybe just tell your dd that it is routine for coming up to puberty if you don't want to worry her unduly? they might run a few tests to make sure everything is progressing as it should. Hope all is well.

MammyKaz Sat 08-Dec-12 15:44:15

Hi all, sorry i havent been online we've had family to stay & its been a bit manic. I'm really glad progress is being made.
AMum I'm soooo glad you're finally getting things moving, that's really positive. The talk of tumours is very scary but try to wait until you've got all the info together. It's so hard not to worry yourself sick about DD I know.
SELady must be a relief to have at least those test results come back normal. Keeping my fingers firmly crossed for MRI.
HoHo good luck with scans next week, hope you start getting some answers.
twilight if its on your mind & you've been searching then definitely mention it to GP, otherwise it'll just go round & round.....

Our private consultant actually got us onto NHS list to see paediatric endocrinologist instead of him on the same date. She's basically ruled out precocious puberty as there are no breast buds (they normally come first). She thinks its an issue with the adrenal glands producing too many androgens. Likely causes: a blockage somewhere, a "spot" on the gland!! She knows I'm already freaked so didn't use any scary T words. First step urine tests (not so easy from a 2yr old wink) & ultrasound. An urgent apt requested but its not till 17th so am trying to get it pushed. Following that horrible bloods - possibly every 30mins over several hours shock to monitor hormones. Am definitely not looking forward to that, am stockpiling treats in addition to Christmas pressies. Our follow up isnt until 9Jan, long wait, but she'll be in touch with initial results.

Paed was really patient & answered all my (repeated) questions but said she wasnt going to reassure us that its all ok as its obviously not right. Feeling a bit overwhelmed with worry right now. Just want some answers & quickly.

(((Hugs to all)))

alwaysworriedtoo Sun 09-Dec-12 14:43:20

Sending hopeful vibes Mammykaz... Hope it is just a glitch and easily sorted.

Aji Mon 10-Dec-12 23:05:40

Hi all,

Mammykaz, hope that the ultrasound goes well. Dd is going for hers on Wednesday and is freaked out after the last appointment. I've told her it will be fine, just a bit tickly and they'll put cold jelly on her tummy and use a camera to look inside. I have to give her a drink beforehand to make sure her bladder is full... I foresee disaster - will pack a spare pair of pants and tights just in case wink.

SELady I know what you mean about the paediatrician's complacency re. bone scan. I think I might ask the question again - dd goes back to the hospital in January after the results of her bloods and urine come back.

Hi HoHo and Twilight, glad you found this thread smile. I find it comforting to know that dd is not alone with this, and hope good results for all of us.

Aji Mon 10-Dec-12 23:07:06

AMum, how did the rest of the appointments go?

MammyKaz Tue 11-Dec-12 14:57:27

Hi Aji
Will be thinking of you & DD tomorrow, hope she's ok with ultrasound & isnt upset by any of it. It's tough going on ones so young.
We can't get any of our appointments brought forward [Sad] which means we'll have no update this side of Christmas. I'm not a particularly patient person at the best of times....

AMum - how did DD deal with all her tests? Hope you got the children's hospital appointment through.

Stay warm everyone, time for tea I think

AMumGoingMad Wed 12-Dec-12 19:42:50

MammyKaz Thanks for asking about DD. She coped really well considering. We're still waiting for the scan but she's had the bone age x-ray and loads of blood taken now (which was the worst of it all but once the needle was in she was really calm and chatted all the time).

MammyKaz Fri 14-Dec-12 13:36:59

Aji how did the ultrasound go? NHS tried to change ours to 31st angry luckily I was able to speak with a human being & we're still on for Monday.
<tries to display calm & control>

AMum really glad DD was so brave about it all. I'm a total wimp & hate blood tests.

AMumGoingMad Sun 16-Dec-12 21:10:07

We got a phone call from the childrens hospital up the road on Friday to tell us that they've made dd an appointment on Thursday this week with endocrinology. I'm so glad she's going to be seen by a specialist now. Just got to get the results of the tests done by the local hospital (which is actually further away than the childrens hospital!) so I can take those with us so things aren't repeated.

SElady Sun 16-Dec-12 23:45:42

Hello All - worrying times for so many of us, but such brilliant news too that finally everyone seems to be on the right track! Hope it all goes well - I too keep my fingers very firmly crossed for all our DC! Hope to hear from all of you very soon!

HoHoHo, your darling DD - must be so difficult for her (and you) to deal with epilepsy on top of everything else, hope it turns out to be benign and she will grow out of it!

twilight81, if my DD had BO at such a young age I probably would have had her checked out, but then again I'm way OTT when it comes to worrying about my DC's wellbeing, so I realise I'm not the best person to give advice. I think it's tricky to see things like BO, oily hair, blackheads/spots or even mood swings as real symptoms for a more serious health condition. The fact that your DD's symptoms hadn't evolved much during the last 4 yrs or so is very very encouraging.

Our MRI is scheduled for right after Christmas. Our consultant requested a head and pituitary scan which I queried as soon as I saw the appt letter... I thought they were also going to scan the adrenal glands...

MammyKaz Mon 17-Dec-12 14:32:37

Good luck Thursday AMum, will be thinking of you.

SELady hmmm would definitely push on that point. Better to have it all covered off at once than risk having to put her through it again at some point. It'll be scary enough for her.

We had our ultrasound this morning. DD was a total star & was very patient & stayed nice & still throughout - helped trying to spot the Cheerios she'd had for brekkie grin. But my sonograoher body language/comment interpretation is going into meltdown hheeellppp!

He didn't say anything of great importance just - that's fine, the report will go back pretty quickly, before end of the week. You do have a follow-up appointment don't you?

See, Nothing?!? But I'd been told it can take 2 weeks to return the report, that & fact he'd checked we were having a follow up .........aarghhh. Tell me I'm over worrying please! At least we will have some news before Christmas.

Hope we all enjoy our Christmases & park the worry for a couple of days at least

MammyKaz Tue 18-Dec-12 13:54:16

Yes I was overreacting, just heard ultrasound clear <phew>

SElady Tue 18-Dec-12 22:44:21

Phew, MammyKaz, what a relief!! You almost had me going there for a moment, too... Well done to your DD, what a clever and brave little girl!! Hope the rest of your investigations will go just as smoothly as this one!

I have a very good tactic for uninformative medical professionals by simply being bold (very bold). I always do a lot of research upfront and ask lots of questions, then rephrase them and ask again. I never leave the hospital after a test without asking the consultant what their initial assessment is. At follow up appointments I always ask for a detailed step-by-step interpretation of test results (in layman's terms) and even take hard copies of the results. My surgery charges £1 per page.

You see, I wasn't brought up in the UK and I'm used to being given diagnoses in written form and copies of test results without making a request.

With regard to our MRI, I spoke to the MRI department + our consultant through his secretary the day before he went on holiday and they explained that DD's initial test results (blood, urine and ultrasound) didn't warrant an MRI scan of the adrenal glands... I thought I'd leave it for now, especially as it takes half an hour to scan just one part of the body. What do you think, should I still push for it? Bearing in mind they won't be able to give us two consecutive appointments now...

Aji Tue 18-Dec-12 23:36:52

Phew MammyKaz!

We had good feedback from our ultrasound too - no evidence of any abnormality on the kidneys/adrenal glands and ovaries showed no sign of pre-pubescence either. I am starting to relax a bit, although we still have to get the results of dd's bloods and urine in January.

I asked again about the radial bone scan, and the sonographer indicated they would look into it if necessary, but that depended on the results of the blood and urine tests.

Sorry I've been quiet - too busy in real life!

AMumGoingMad Wed 19-Dec-12 11:15:50

Mammykaz That is a relief. I hate the no information after scans and whatnot. They must know when they scan so why not just tell you. You must be pleased that nothing is coming up menstration wise, thats such a worry.

Aji Again, good news for you as well with the scan. I can't remember, has your dd had a big growth spurt? If so I would push for the bone age x-ray but otherwise given her ultrasound and bloods were fine maybe it isn't needed? It was the 1st thing done for my dd but she's had a massive growth spurt (described by the consultant as abnormal).

We're of to the childrens hospital tomorrow. I have the results of the bone age x-ray and blood tests in my possession but not been talked through with a consultant, the local hospital has said the endocrine consultant will do it with us. There are some bloods that are outside normal range. No idea what they mean though and I'm not going anywhere near Dr Google because Dr Google makes everyone die! Her bone age is 2yrs and 3months older than her chronological age. Seems a big difference to me but we'll see what they say tomorrow I guess. I'm very worried about the outcome of it all, now the dr has mentioned tumours I'm scared about it being a possibility. I just need answers now. I'm guessing she's going to need more blood tests and she hasn't had an ultrasound scan yet which I'm guessing she's going to need as well. Don't know how much can be done tomorrow and how much we'll be waiting again for another appointment.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now