Not to medically treat my DD

(94 Posts)
StayingHere Sun 18-Apr-21 01:56:18

My DD is 8.5. We are overseas in an Asian country that relies on medical insurance, I think this might be relevant later. This time last year she started showing signs of puberty (a little under arm hair and adult body odor). For reassurance I took her to an endocrinologist who insisted that she had precocious puberty and as soon as she developed signs of Estrogen (ie breast buds) that she should be treated with puberty blockers for a couple of years. Her bone age scan showed 1 yr and 11 months ahead which he said would have an impact on her adult height. I consulted another doctor in the UK via zoom who said her results showed early adrenarche (adrenal hormones setting off a bit early), not precocious puberty and that she is really more likely to be 'just' an early developer - her development is not rapid and shows no signs of the hormone you need to trigger breast development followed by periods a couple of years later. She doubted that her full adult height would be wildly effected even with the advanced bone age. Based on her family history she is unlikely to be a 91st centile adult anyway so we wouldn't expect her to follow that line forever.
A year later and she has no breast buds, she has pretty much the same amount of under arm hair and she has stayed on her growth line. She is happy and healthy and aside from a little spray of deodorant on PE days her life is the same as any other 8 year old girl. The underarm hair is light and no one seems to have ever noticed.
I do not particularly want to treat her even if she does develop breast buds whilst she is still 8 or early end of 9. I am not convinced that puberty blockers are a good thing unless puberty is very precocious (ie 5 or 6) and I understand that there is usually 2 years or so between breast buds and periods which means even if that all started now she would be 10.5 (I was 11 and in primary school and I survived). I also don't think her predicted height of 5'3-5'4 would make her life particularly bad! I was a very tall child and early to my period and topped out at 5'6 which I find totally fine.

I guess I am worried that I am doing her a disservice and I should treat her. Will she resent me if she ends up short or has her period early? Or would she be more likely to resent me if I put her through puberty blocker injections every 2-3 months - I would have hated that. DH falls firmly on the side of not treating her - I very much lean that way too but want to do the right thing by her and not make her childhood difficult.

OP’s posts: |
EmeraldShamrock Sun 18-Apr-21 02:06:50

My DD had pubic and armpit hair at 8. She had her first periods at 10.5y.o same age I was.
She's 12 now and developing normally she's 5'4 similar to her peers.
It didn't do me any harm no fertility or growth issues. I stopped growing at 12. sad I wouldn't give her hormone blockers I'd let it play out. I'm not sure about the endocrinology end but lots of girls are there at 8.
If she was 6 I'd agree.

StayingHere Sun 18-Apr-21 02:11:37

Thanks @EmeraldShamrock that is really reassuring - this is the trajectory I would pretty much expect for my DD. I also stopped growing at 12 which is partly which I think she's just following in my foot steps and will end up with an early-ish period and a fairly average height. I'm not very keen on puberty blockers unless they would really improve her childhood.

OP’s posts: |
FontyMcFontface Sun 18-Apr-21 02:14:11

I wouldn’t treat this. I understand 8+ is considered normal for onset of puberty. Two of my dc needed daily deodorant at 8, although no underarm hair. Dd had breast buds at 9.

Norabuzz Sun 18-Apr-21 02:20:49

We are also in Asia and under the care of an endocrinologist for our son who is 11. My son has a different problem - severe growth hormone deficiency - but we are also considering puberty blockers (to give him more time to grow). We found the cultural differences difficult and spoke to specialists in our home country for second and third opinions. They were really reassuring. Perhaps you could do the same, might help you feel like you're making the right decision for your daughter?

Norabuzz Sun 18-Apr-21 02:23:01

Apologies, just re-read and you have spoken to a UK specialist. Please ignore me.

StayingHere Sun 18-Apr-21 02:39:49

Norabuzz

We are also in Asia and under the care of an endocrinologist for our son who is 11. My son has a different problem - severe growth hormone deficiency - but we are also considering puberty blockers (to give him more time to grow). We found the cultural differences difficult and spoke to specialists in our home country for second and third opinions. They were really reassuring. Perhaps you could do the same, might help you feel like you're making the right decision for your daughter?

Hi @Norabuzz I think it's been a little harder because I know this would be handled differently in the UK. Also Caucasian children are a minority here - most children are of a different ethnicity and I think 8/9 would be very early for the girls of this ethnicity but not so much for mine. The UK specialist did not even consider her to have precocious puberty and said they would have watched and waited with her, and only treated if she suddenly developed very rapidly. I hope you got the reassurances that helped you decide what to do for your DS.

OP’s posts: |
Embracingthechaos Sun 18-Apr-21 02:52:57

I think I was about 8 when I started developing body hair in those places. Started my periods when I was 11 and by 13 I looked like an adult woman. I'm 5"8 which I suppose is on the tall side for a woman, but my mum is the same height so I assume that's just the height that I was genetically destined to be.

But anecdotes from strangers on the internet don't mean much. We can't assume that the British doctor is definitely correct, just because they have nothing to gain financially from your daughter being on a long term treatment plan. I would get another doctor to look at her results and let them know what the previous two have said. If they also think it's nothing to worry about then I'd be very comfortable leaving her to develop naturally, if it were my child.

StayingHere Sun 18-Apr-21 02:58:42

Thanks Embracingthechaos. My consultation was with a doctor at GOSH - she did suggest that when we arrive back in the UK (soon) that we have her bone age/height/development reviewed.
I guess part of my concern is that the endocrinologist here has a lot to gain financially by treating my daughter - my insurance company would pay. I don't want to put her through anything unnecessary if she's going to end up an average height with a early-side-of-normal period. I think I will consult one more doctor but wait till we're back in the UK. Thank you!

OP’s posts: |
TheTeenageYears Sun 18-Apr-21 03:13:51

We also live in Asia. I would follow UK rather than local advice as it's more relevant to your DC. I found out during a call to the school nurse that the paracetamol dose the school could administer here to DD under local guidelines would be 1/4 of the dose as per U.K. standards. As she has been brought up with UK amounts it basically wasn't going to touch the sides and would therefore make it totally pointless. It's just one of many examples of how things differ medically. The ages you mention seem perfectly normal by U.K. standards, I wouldn't intervene.

Wandawomble Sun 18-Apr-21 03:20:16

My daughter has pubic hair at 8 and armpit hair same age. Star started her periods close to her 10th. She is absolutely fine. I would not be touching puberty blockers unless it was a medical emergency. Wait and see.

ChampionOfTheSun Sun 18-Apr-21 03:23:18

No advice but I too had pubic/underarm hair aged 8. I vividly remember because my hair is naturally extremely dark and I was bullied mercilessly at school on swimming day. Loved those communal change rooms hmm my period started age 11, I'm 5ft 7in, taller than DM and same as both my sisters whose periods started when they were 13/14.

FakingMemories Sun 18-Apr-21 03:29:02

I thought precocious puberty was something like 5 years old. I started periods at 9. I never quite made it to 5 ft but my whole family is short. Never caused me any harm. I was unable to have children but I don’t think my age of puberty had anything to do with it. I have 4 sisters and all of us started periods before 11. The other 4 all have had no issues at all with having children. They all got pregnant at the drop of a hat.

GrumpyHoonMain Sun 18-Apr-21 03:35:20

My period started at 9 (breast development from 6/7) but I still grew to 5 ft 7 and I would imagine early menarche is commonplace in Malaysia (I’m Indian and 8+ is within the range of normal; and Malaysia has a significant Indian origin population). I would probably get a second opinion from a specialist trained in India or the UK as they will more experience in this space.

StayingHere Sun 18-Apr-21 04:22:30

Thank you everyone. It's difficult to know what to do for the best sometimes but I rarely err on the side if medication unless it is really needed.
I am the tallest in a family of short women and my DH family also have short women so I don't think she is destined to be massive regardless of when her period arrives. I think 5 foot something is fine for any woman but perhaps she might feel differently in future.

OP’s posts: |
StayingHere Sun 18-Apr-21 04:25:00

FakingMemories I think it's technically anything prior to 8, and she was 7 when we first spotted hair so technically precocious. But the absence of breast development is important because it shows she is still a while away from her period. I believe that 'urgent' treatment is for girls around 5 or 6 with clear breast development and rapid height growth which isnt her. But in the country I live in they really love medicine....

OP’s posts: |
Crabbypaddy Sun 18-Apr-21 04:29:57

Wtf...no!!! That’s actually madness. My daughter is 8 and showing signs of starting puberty. I was similar ages, there is nothing wrong with that

Mummyoflittledragon Sun 18-Apr-21 04:37:36

Please read this article about people on puberty blockers both from adults, who report to have life long issues to children, who had very disturbing issues within a relatively short time frame. Including one girl, who needed a wheelchair for 6 months and subsequently diagnosed with low bone density. khn.org/news/women-fear-drug-they-used-to-halt-puberty-led-to-health-problems/

A quick Google will tell you puberty triggers bones to thicken and strengthen. Puberty blockers disrupt this process. Idk if the process is fully recovered even when normal puberty is achieved. Does the medical profession even know / agree?

Lupron is used for sterilising dangerous males and described by Women’s Voices on Twitter as only being used for the most difficult offenders due to side effects. I’m just including a couple of pics from Twitter, Women’s voices. Idk where the info they’re citing comes from. Idk if dosing can have a different long term outcome.

I would do a lot of reading around the subject before allowing my child to go on them. And in your place, your dd in my lay persons opinion doesn’t need to go on them. Does she really have indicators of precocious puberty?

For context I was shocked to notice my dd had a few quite long under arm hairs when she was 8. Her leg hairs had been noticeably longer for a while by this point. The length of the under arm hairs would also indicate they’d been growing for a several months. What I can tell you is dd smelt a bit by age 7 so there may be a correlation between the two. Like you, I was concerned dd would develop early. As is, she started her periods about 3 months before her 12th birthday.

If your Dd has not started developing breast buds, I’d say as a mum of a girl, she’s bang on normal. And would be even if her breasts started to develop now.

RaeRaeMama Sun 18-Apr-21 04:38:19

I started puberty around that age, the doctor didn't see it as a problem. I'm 5'7" so I'm tall...

GeidiPrimes Sun 18-Apr-21 04:49:14

Fucking hell OP, not enough mention of "breast buds" there hmm

StayingHere Sun 18-Apr-21 05:03:35

Um GeidiPrimes what? It's literally relevant to this medical situation that I'm talking about.

Thank you for the reading Mummyoflittledragons it's very interesting and makes me further sure that medication is not very likely to be necessary for her.

OP’s posts: |
Mummyoflittledragon Sun 18-Apr-21 05:04:48

StayingHere

FakingMemories I think it's technically anything prior to 8, and she was 7 when we first spotted hair so technically precocious. But the absence of breast development is important because it shows she is still a while away from her period. I believe that 'urgent' treatment is for girls around 5 or 6 with clear breast development and rapid height growth which isnt her. But in the country I live in they really love medicine....

As per my message above, I don’t think a bit of under arm hair age 7 is definitely precocious puberty. kidshealth.org/en/parents/precocious.html. I’ve also attached a pic. Dds leg hair was growing age 7 and possibly under arm as she smelt aged 7 and very long when I first noticed it age 8.

I am definitely more a watch and wait type person rather than getting tests. This paid off for my dd, who developed perfectly normally and it sounds as if your dd is too. I really think you’ve been spooked by the doctors in Asia.

Isn’t your dd being adversely affected by all the talk, prodding and poking? I really don’t understand why you want to continue to subject your dd through anymore tests when she is 8.5 yo and showing no signs of puberty.

StayingHere Sun 18-Apr-21 05:08:39

Mummyoflittledragon aside from her appointment a year ago it's never been mentioned or discussed, and no one has measured/weighed/reviewed her. I was wondering whether to take her to the 1 year follow up but probably wont. So no I dont think she is being traumatized by me having her checked out a year ago.

OP’s posts: |
StayingHere Sun 18-Apr-21 05:10:29

And I specifically dont want to subject her to anything. Which is the point of the post really, to see if anyone has under similar circumstances, but it seems not which is reassuring. Which of my posts suggests that I want to subject her to anything?

OP’s posts: |
AhMustardMitt Sun 18-Apr-21 05:11:59

GeidiPrimes

Fucking hell OP, not enough mention of "breast buds" there hmm

You felt the need to count? hmm

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in