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DD starting puberty too early.

(40 Posts)
hellymelly Wed 24-Jul-13 13:46:19

My dd is 8, a few months ago I noticed the beginnings of pubic hair- as there was nothing else really, no underarm hair, no change in body odour, no breast changes, I decided to wait and see how things panned out.
However, she has seemed on and off moody in a teenage way for some time, since the tail end of 7 really, and I think the hair probably began at 7, it was just not very noticable.
Now she is getting more hair downstairs, and I think there seems a slight difference to her chest, she is also very moody and flouncy.
I talked to my GP about it a few weeks ago (without DD) and she said it was fine, not to worry, she still might not start periods for ages etc.(she mentioned a weight that girls have to reach). But I am still worried. I have read about it affecting height and bones if girls start their periods too early. I was nearly 16, my mother 16, and dd, although tall, is very slim and slightly built, she isn't at the heavier end of the scale.
Do we need to take it further and if so how? My GP was so dismissive, (saying only if she was 5 would anything be done) that I don't really want to go back. Anyone we can see privately?

I think the thing about "not living with the childs dad" is actually more to do with a study that was done in relation to earlier puberty occuring in children who have a more deprived background (a higher percentage of children with a single parent are likely to live in poverty) I think they concluded that it was to do with nature making sure that the reproductive years were earlier as the health in later life was likely to be worse - I can't remember, but it does sound like it could be total hogwash.

hellymelly Fri 26-Jul-13 15:27:41

Zynzong- the "worse " made me laugh, i know what you mean (ditto the guilt, i am married to their dad but I still feel guilty all the time about all sorts of other things...my dd had three fillings this year for one!).
aloysius, (appropriate name for talking about body hair!) Good to hear that other things could be years off. She has just finished year 3, so has another 3 years left in primary school, and I have been really hoping it won't happen in year 5 or something. My friend has just called round and she mentioned she was 10 when hers started. She was home-schooled which helped, but she is also 5'8". She didn't grow after 13 though, whereas I grew about half an inch after leaving school, so I was still growing past 18.

aloysiusflyte Fri 26-Jul-13 13:45:41

I started getting pubic hair at age 8 but didn't start periods until 12 (I was still at primary school as ages were different then) I don't remember when I started getting breasts - possibly age 11 or 12? still haven't got much these days so it wasn't a particularly big deal for me!
Don't know much about the link between periods and growing, I had a huge growth spurt at 11 and grew really quickly and was left with stretch marks on my legs. I ended up at 5"6 but I don't know whether I finished growing then.

In my experience the pubic hair arrived way before anything else started and I do remember feeling a bit embarrassed about it when changing after swimming etc. I hadn't thought about it for years until I read this thread and I've ended up pretty normal period/body wise so I think there isn't too much to worry about smile

Zynzong Fri 26-Jul-13 13:26:19

I mean, hasn't got any more pronounced. can't believe I typed worse! sorry

Zynzong Fri 26-Jul-13 13:25:42

I don't live with my daughter's father and there is some study that shows that that is linked to earlier menarche. But I couldn't find out if that was like, on average an insignificant (imo) 3 months earlier, or were they talking nearly a year? But either way my heart sank when I read that. She knows she is loved but to read that your dd might start her periods earlier because you're not still with her Dad!! well, Guilt? you looking for me? This way. I didn't start til I was 13 and 11 months!! so I'm hoping that my dd's will inherit some lateness from me, even though it seemed to all kick of very early. Breast buds when she was 3 months away from being ten! luckily nothing much has happened since. I thought omg, she'll have breasts in six months, but actually she has just had the same tiny breast buds for ages now and it hasn't got any worse in the last year.

hellymelly Fri 26-Jul-13 12:30:01

Lots os really reassuring posts -thank you all very much. Glad to read it may not have the impact on height I was imagining. DD is very light for her height, she was still in a rear facing car seat at 7 as she was well within the weight range and the seat was a tall one, so maybe that will help delay things a bit.
Oh and her dad and his sister hit puberty the later end of normal, not as late as me but not early. DH thinks his sister was 14 starting her periods.

badguider Fri 26-Jul-13 10:55:00

I honestly wouldn't be so worried. I started periods in primary school and it was all fine really. In fact, by the second half of secondary I was quite mature, had grown out of the spots I had breifly at 12/13 and was ready to get on with life.
In some ways it's easier to go through puberty in late primary and early secondary school than it is later on. You are more sheltered from peer-pressure and societal pressure when you are younger. You never feel like you have to do anything to 'keep up'.
Medically I am very healthy (36) particularly hormonally (easy periods, relatively easyish pregnancy). I believe my lifetime risk of breast cancer is higher than it would have been but not significantly compared to other factors (lifestyle or genetics).

kalidasa Fri 26-Jul-13 10:44:39

What about her Dad's puberty? My Mum and sisters were all very average but I was early (periods started at 11) and so was my Dad (shaving at 12 apparently) so I think you can inherit it from either side. If her Dad was on the early side that might be reassuring.

Zynzong Fri 26-Jul-13 10:25:25

My dd is so 'cool' with developing compared to me though. I was at least a year older, probably 18 months older when I got breast buds. I remember my brother commenting to me that I had boobs now and I said 'shut up shut up" and hid in my room. The other day, my son said the same thing to my dd and she just laughed and giggled 'I know!" confused so, at least it's not embarrassing her like it would have embarrassed me if I'd got boobs at her age. I found it all more embarrassing even though it happened to me a bit beyond the average age. I was terribly self-conscious!

I was almost 12 and 5 foot 1 when I started my periods. I am now 5' 10 and was still growing at age 15 - one last 2 inch growth spurt! I can't remember what age I was when I had the other signs, but I know I was wearing a trainer bra thing at about 11 ish

Zynzong Fri 26-Jul-13 10:01:10

I've no idea of the source, but when this was being discussed on magic mum a poster provided this information

Myth: menarche means the end of growth is near

The reality is that the average gain in height after menarche is about 7 cm (3 inches), and it is even greater for girls who menstruate on the early side of normal. Follow-up data from the Fels Longitudinal Study show that girls who start menstruating at age 10 grow, on average, 10 cm (4 inches), while those in whom menarche is delayed until age 15 grow, on average, 5 cm (2 inches).7 Additional reassurance is provided by data suggesting that earlier thelarche is associated with a increased interval before menarche: for example, an 8- or 9-year-old girl who has just started developing breasts will have an average time to menarche that is closer to 3 years than 2.8 The combination of a longer time before menarche and greater height gain after the start of menstruation may explain why girls who start puberty at about 6 to 8 years old do not end up short as adults. Conversely, the lesser gain in height after menarche and shorter interval between the larche and menarche in girls with pubertal delay may explain why the pharmacologic delay of puberty (using depot gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist preparations) has inconsistent and limited effects on increasing their final height.9

Zynzong Fri 26-Jul-13 09:55:55

it seems like periods normally arrive about two years after the first sign of puberty which is usually breast buds.

I'd believed that growing finished after the first period and I was wondering if my dd could possibly grow from the 145cm she is now to the predicted (by averages and charts) 165cm in under two years? But I think it's a myth that they stop growing after the first period.

lollylaughs Fri 26-Jul-13 09:50:13

My dd started the other way round, first the breast development, then pubic hair and then her periods. She starting the breast buds at age 8 going on 9, pubic hair about a year after than at 9 going on 10, and now just started her periods a few months prior to her 11th birthday. We had a check up with paediatrician for something else when she was just turned 10 and I mentioned the developments (as I thought it was too early). He told me that she was perfectly normal and not to rush to him in a year's time when her period started as its not early puberty.

She has always been small, but within the last year she has had the most incredible growth spurt. She is taller than her friends, and she was always way smaller than them, and her body is changing, so she has more 'shape' now, her hips are wider and she has a waist. The most gorgeous legs too now , im jealous as that is from dads side of the family smile. But we also have moodiness, she has had 2 pimples so far, and her hair has become incredibly greasy ?? (is that a puberty thing??). On starting her periods she weighed 37kg, they do say that it goes on weight at around 40kgs.

CoolBox Fri 26-Jul-13 09:39:23

Gah! Sorry you mentioned weight in your op didn't you. Didn't notice sorry.

CoolBox Fri 26-Jul-13 09:37:40

Hi . I haven't read the whole thread but I had the same worries with dd. she is now 11.5 and developing at a normal rate, we had some early signs but didn't progress at a fast rate at all. I took her to the dr at 8. She still hasn't started periods, which is a relief, but has underarm hair. Btw, what weight/size is your dd. Mine is on the border between healthy weight and slightly plump. Weight can be a factor... Losing excess weight in a healthy way, without making it into a body image issue for dd can help slow the rate of puberty, I think. Obv this may not be relevant to you. Sorry if this has been mentioned already.

Minifingers Fri 26-Jul-13 09:30:26

My ds is in year 4 and many girls in his class are showing signs of breast development. It's more common in girls of African and Caribbean descent. (my dc's school is 80% non white).

My dd started showing breast development at about 9 or 10, but didn't start her periods until she was 13 and a half. Her cousin started her periods at 9.

It's hard for them isn't it?

OrangeLily Fri 26-Jul-13 00:08:05

Yes she dealt with I fine though. Only me and the teacher knew. I think I recall the teacher giving her time to go and change pads when no-one else was there. Think she was possibly 'getting medicine' if any of the other kids noticed her absence. She also used to get to sit in if she was sore at break or lunch but that was her choice. We used to colour in during those lunchtimes.

hellymelly Thu 25-Jul-13 23:21:38

Orange your friend started at 8 shock. That is so little to be dealing with periods. I am pretty sure no-one in my class started in primary school. Even in secondary no-one in my form started until the second year, aged 12. I was the last of my whole year, which was brilliant. By the time it happened I was emotionally ready. I think I would have dealt with it very badly at 11 or younger.

OrangeLily Thu 25-Jul-13 22:52:02

I was 8 or 9 when I started puberty with pubic hair/underarm hair but didn't get my periods until I was 12. Then no real breast development until I was 16 and then they grew very quickly which was a bit surprising. I'm also average height.

However, I do remember my best friend at school started her period at aged eight.

Sorry cant offer anything apart from anecdotal advice.

maja00 Thu 25-Jul-13 22:25:19

I started my periods at 11 and am 5'1" - my sister started at 16 and is about 6" taller.

Year 5 and 6 in primary school is really not that unusual to start periods now though.

hellymelly Thu 25-Jul-13 22:23:27

I think I also read there was another issue with bones due to early puberty, not solely height, but I can't remember what it was. I wonder if I should get DD checked over privately so that we know how things are likely to progress, I don't want to worry my dd though.

hellymelly Thu 25-Jul-13 22:19:53

I have heard of regression to the mean, but most of the tall boys and girls I know have tall parents, and all my friends dds who are adults are taller than their mothers. The only exception I know is DH's sister, who is not tall, and DH. Their parents are quite a bit taller than them, as are their extended family. They had a short Granny though! DD is the tallest in her class at the moment (she's about 134cm, but we live in Wales where people are smaller than in England).

cocolepew Thu 25-Jul-13 17:28:42

My DD started to have hair at 8 and her breasts started to grow. She is very hairy and had been using hair removing cream since she was 8. She started her periods at 11, though they are very erratic.
I remember having hair at age 9 and my periods started at 13.
DD1 is now 15, she isn't as hairy and her periods started at 14.

Theas18 Thu 25-Jul-13 17:21:38

We have thyroid hormone resistence syndrome. a rare dominantly inherited genetic thing of no consequence. Not related to the puberty issues and not related to hyper/hypothyroidism in most cases but by gosh our thyroid function blood look very odd.

Statistically your dd is likely to be shorter than you as you are taller than average ( just by "regression to the mean") but you can find the adult height predictor calculation, plot her on an age related centile chart ( in your red book) And see what that looks like.

hellymelly Thu 25-Jul-13 15:56:56

I would be sad if she didn't reach her full height, I was very tiny until 15 and then grew 6" in a year, getting growth stretchmarks on my legs. I like being tall, but my DH is not tall for a man, he is 5'8" like me. He comes from a tall family though. Thea what was the thyroid thing if you don't mind me asking? My mum and I both have auto immune thyroid problems.
Tiny- although she is quite "young" for 8, she does know all about periods etc. I've always been really clear and open with my dds from todderhood, when they asked questions, and we also have books like "where Willy went" and "hair in funny places". (amusing picture books that explain reproduction and puberty).

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