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Precocious Puberty?

(98 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.

SElady Sat 13-Oct-12 01:30:55

Hi there. We're right in the middle of the investigations with our DD who is 7.

Also this summer we've noticed some very fine pubic hair which are now getting a little bit darker and stronger. Made appt with gp who referred us to a pediatrician. She was examined by the ped who noted the fine hair and also said that DD's private bits down there were a little bit more developed than her age. She had a bone x-ray done which showed that her bone age is currently about 10-11 months ahead of her real age. Based on this, our pediatrician consulted an endocrinologist and ordered some blood tests to measure her hormone levels. We've done the bloodtest this week of which we haven't got the results yet. Also this week she had a pelvic ultrasound done to see what her womb and ovaries look like - all normally developing according to her age, which was a big relief. Whilst at the hospital I've also asked the doctor to have a look at her kidneys, especially the adrenal glands, she didn't see anything abnormal there either.

As mentioned above, we're now waiting for the blood test result after which, hopefully, her ped will have a better idea whether we're dealing with a "simple case" of premature adrenarche/pubarche or it is precocious puberty.

My DD is also tall for her age, nearly 128 cm, but she's always been tall and her growth/year has always been systematic and has never gone above the normal.
She doesn't have BO and no other symptoms are present at the moment. Having said that she does suffer from mood swings from time to time which could also be a symptom of some hormonal imbalance. Have you noticed this with your DD?

Whilst searching on the net I've come across a very good medical study - which has now become my bible - it explains all the possible conditions associated with the different symptoms and how the diagnoses should be made. It's saved on my other laptop, but will link it here in the morning. Hope this helps. Will come again tomorrow.

SElady Sat 13-Oct-12 10:24:49

Hello again, don't seem to find the weblink to where you can download the above study, pls try and do a search for "Clinical Expression of Precocious Puberty in Girls", the authors are Charles Sultana, Laura Gaspari, Nicolas Kalfa and Françoise Parisa (it's a 17 page pdf doc) - maybe you'll have better luck than me. Let me know if can't find it.

Aji Sat 13-Oct-12 15:07:52

Thanks for replying. I can't think of much else at the moment, she's so young and innocent sad.

Dd isn't moody, in general she's quite happy but quite quiet too. She's the best behaved of my children by a mile grin. She doesn't seem bothered by the pubic hair "no one can see it underneath my clothes", none of us have mentioned the armpit odour. I guess I'm worried about her being bullied in school at some stage. I didn't get my period till I was 11, I'm hoping it won't be too early for her.

I'll try and get some time to chat with the GP on Monday and see if they can see her after school sometime in the week. Thanks for giving me some ideas of what might come.

EdithWeston Sat 13-Oct-12 15:13:20

This happened to the 6 year old DD of some friends. She was referred to a paediatric endocrinologist, but I don't know exactly what followed the referral, sorry. I think the aim was to slow it down until she was 9ish, but I think the options depend on what they decide is going on. She's now in her teens and AFAIK there are no issues now.

basildonbond Sat 13-Oct-12 21:57:49

a friend's dd was diagnosed with this when she was about your daughter's age, OP

she had hormone treatment to suppress puberty from the age of 5 to 10 which stopped about 6 months ago (she's now in Y6)

the treatment she was on stopped her from starting periods, BO and breasts growing but didn't AFAIK stop pubic hair from growing

they're now just waiting to see what happens from now on but everything seems normal at the moment

SElady Sat 13-Oct-12 23:41:21

Aji, we've also been very careful not to worry DD unnecessarily. The first appt with our GP was only between me and the doctor and when DD was examined at a later date we just told her that it's normal for 7 yrs olds to have these "routine" checks and mom and dad also had them when they were young. She's not asking any questions yet and seems to be accepting our explanations. I'm also not sure if she's fully aware of the pubic hair as it is really not noticeable at the moment, you can only see it up close. Well, she has never mentioned it anyway, but once (hopefully soon) we know what we're dealing with I'll sit down with her to have a little chat about it.

Having read extensively about the subject, it seems to me that even if the diagnosis turns out to be a variant of precocious puberty, hormone treatments are not that commonplace. Your doctor would need a lot of evidence that a young girl would almost definitely start puberty abnormally early before they suggest taking hormones.

Well, I am hopeful that we won't have to make a decision whether to go down that route or not. I wish the same for you too.

Theas18 Sun 14-Oct-12 00:10:10

Btdtgt as they say!

Dd2 was maybe 7? Whn it all started. We had the bloods, bone age etc. and she had what they said was premature adrenarche ( the hair and smell/acne) and premature thelarche ( boobs) but apparently not true precocious puberty.

In girls these odd premature hormonal things are almost always benign ( big warning though. In boys they almost always are not - so ealy hair / BO te before age 8 in boys is important).

What happened for us is, well, nothing was done in the way if treatment. She had a change if consultants and the delay and apathy of the 2nd ment us was too late , which angered me at the time but actually I'm sure was the best course of action.

She really seemed to have a normal primary school time. She wasn't the only 1 in a crop top bra in year 4 anyway and didn't start her periods till 11yrs 3 months, which strangely was the same age as her " normal" elder sister.

Now she's 13 and still a moody old cow at times - the mood swings just have gone one for ever!

Really the only need to treat precocious puberty is to preserve growth potential. The rest - hair, smell, moods, periods can be dealt with by good parenting and supportive help at school- look at the year 5-6 girls - many are very mature these days. dd2 did very much remain a little girl - she didn't become a proper teen or anything - she was just a an 8-9-10yr old with boobs and hair - didn't bother her or her mates. I have fond memories of a year 6 leavers amount trip for about 10 of her best mates ( and the families ) when they were rampaging around the campsite in swimming cossies for a big water fight- she had a very grown up figure and they were little girls (and she was taller then) but no one cared or commented.

Not sure if dd2 is short because of her hormonal issues - dd 1 is exactly the same height at 5 foot 1.

I do wonder if it's all odd genetics in our family as ds is 6 foot 1-2 now ( lol a full foot taller than his sisters) but had a relatively early puberty- with a fully broken voice at just 13.

Pm me if I can help further.

Theas18 Sun 14-Oct-12 00:18:16

The only slightly annoying bit this far down the line is helpful people telling her she will grow more because " your only 13" if her height is mentioned ( she would of course like to be taller) . There is no chance she will . Her bone age was 13-14 at 10 or 11. I just gently remind her that I'm afraid she really won't grown and her mates - yes evn the diddy ones, will probably shoot past her (at 13 there are stil a few who haven't really got going puberty wise - its all n variation)

ohnowwhat Tue 16-Oct-12 09:30:21

Our daughter (7) has had bone age test also and ovary scan.
She has body odour for which we use a pitroc roll-on as its not chemically.
She also has pubic hair.now and again she will say, this hair is getting longer and I feel a bit sad that she looks a bit too grown up down there.
(She was 6 when it became obvious.)
Her results were fine (she is tall though now not the tallest in her class)
but the doctor who saw us said that if she started complaining about joint pain to get in touch. This was last November. now I have got back in touch(just waiting for him to get back to us) because she is complaining more frequently of pains in her joints. Previously I put it down to sleeping arkward on her arm, or her knees hurt-'you fell over the other day its probably that' ankles-you might have cockled/ran and wrenched it..etc... She has always had joints that 'popped' when carrying her or she would do something and she would say 'did you hear that-it was my knee!' and we thought that she had taken after daddy mil and aunt with bad knees or something.
Now I am a bit scared in case it is anything more sinister.
Sorry for hijacking this thread but thought it seemed relevant on here with the precosious (sp?) puberty.
Daughter seems well in herself and Aji I would definatly recomend pitroc it works great, she doesn't smell 'oniony' at all when she has used it. We also get her to wash her armpits every day and her 'ladybits'

SElady Tue 16-Oct-12 10:02:09

Ohnow - did your doctor not say at the time what it could mean if she started complaining about joint pain? Did they give you any advice on how you could change your lifestyle in order to minimise symptoms, i.e. changing her diet? I've come across some American sites where parents discuss their DC with such problems and noticed they go to extraordinary lenghts to change their DC's diets.
Let us know how you get on.

ohnowwhat Tue 16-Oct-12 14:47:11

Hi, SE, no the doctor never told us what it might be. I wish I had asked now. they never mentioned diet changes either... I will look see if I can find the American stuff. I am hoping they call sooner rather than later, hopefully within the next hour!
I keep getting quivery tummy!

Aji Tue 16-Oct-12 16:17:24

Thanks all for your messages. I spoke to the doctor yesterday and dd will go and see another (we don't have a set doctor at our practice, just see whoever's available) on Friday. It had been a long day and I was surprised how teary I felt speaking with the doctor yesterday. I've told dd that I didn't know why she had a hair in her bottom, so I asked the doctor and that we were going to visit so she could tell us.

One thing I noticed is that dd has been more tearful of late, but I had put this down to tiredness. Now I wonder if it is something to do with her hormones?

It will be a relief to get the process started on Friday - I have been stewing about it for the last few days.

I have a crystal deodorant somewhere which I'll dig out if dd needs it. With winter approaching, I just hope that she won't be sweating too much in the coming months!

ohnowwhat Wed 17-Oct-12 15:11:41

Well I got a call from the doctor today and he thinks that there is nothing to worry about! Yea! He still wants me to moniter the situation and if she has any aching joints that are aching for a long while (which I seem to interpret as between one and two weeks)(stupid me never asked how long is a long time DUH((Thick sound!!))) then I can get back in touch and he will arrange for an xray. He also said that if she starts complaining about her bones aching to get in touch, I think the bones aching is because on the news the other day I half heard something about 'growing pains could actually be signs of bone cancer'
So anyway I am more relieved today.

Aji, when my daughter pionted out her hair to me, she was quiet excited about it and said 'I'm growing into a lady!' At first I was unsure if it was normal for it to happen so young and when I looked on the embarassing bodies website and it said 'See a G.P if you notice any signs of puberty before the age of8' (or something along those lines) I quietly panicked. I knew she had body odour and had for a while, but thought that that was some freak inheritance off me cos sometimes I get really bad b.o! She also sometimes gets what looks like acne across her cheeks and nose, very small whitish bumps. I didn't realise that that was a sign and just thought she wasn't drinking enough water!
When I took her to doctors though I told her that I thought she was maybe growing up a bit too quick and that the doctors would measure her and weigh her and maybe do some tests and also have a look at her to see.
She was embarrased when the nurse had a look at her private parts but I was with her, and before we went in, and when we had come out we had a little talk about private parts and when someone is allowed to have a look etc.
After we had seen the doctor and had the xray for bone age done and then the ovary scan, just like a pregnancy scan. I felt really reasured that if there was a problem they would find it and they could give her something to stop her developing further.(Apparently once the periods start there is only about another five years of bone growth or something like that(can't remember the exact time) so although she was tall she wouldn't grow much taller that she was now. If you know what I mean!)

I hope all your test's come out o.k. Let us know when you know!

SElady Wed 17-Oct-12 15:11:56

ohnow - I'm sure it's nothing sinister otherwise someone would have mentioned something on here (I've read through most threads on precocious puberty) or we would have read about it on the net. Hope they'll soon put your mind at rest.

I too spoke to our consultant yesterday and have also just received a letter from her summarising their findings. So far everything seems to be normal, but still waiting for some specialized hormone test results.

Whilst googling again, I've come across this site, most of it goes above my head (very medical) but it makes an interesting read:

edrv.endojournals.org/content/21/6/671.full

ohnowwhat Thu 18-Oct-12 18:56:07

SE, You're right. I think if there was something sinister the hospital would have made more frequent meetings or something or more test. I have been reading some more stuff (as well as that site and most of it -whoosh- over my head!) some of it is very scare mongering =chemicals in dangerous amounts in the food we eat, shampoo we use etc. But others have been useful ( i lost the page i read it on but there was agood one for describing the diagnoses and my dd's came under 'benign' something or other (andranache or something?) I wish I had kept the page on favourites cos it was very interesting (a bit sciency in parts) this also made my mind easier.
(Also when they did the check up they looked to see if her clitoris was pronounced and that turned out to be normal wich I thinnk is a good sign as that can determine sexual interest, or some similar thing, Just wish I could find that page I tread all about it on!)
Hope your other results are o.k.

Elibean Thu 18-Oct-12 19:11:03

My dd1 had BO aged 4-5 the first time, and I worried about it too - and talked to our GP. She has on other signs of precocious puberty though, and aged nearly 9 her body is fleshing out a bit in line with many of her friends, no more. She does have a few fine pubic hairs, but seems fine about it.

I bought her a natural deodorant (Tom's of Maine) which works very well, so far. There were a couple of years (6-7) when the BO hardly ever happened, then it started coming back on 'sweaty' days when she was 8.

All the girls in her Y4 class look like they are becoming pre-pubescent now....apart from one or two....clear discharge in knickers (I talk to other mums!), hairier legs, body shape generally changing. I cant' believe how early it seems - I looked like a skinny boy till I was at least 12 or 13.

Aji Fri 19-Oct-12 20:50:23

Hi, well we went to the gp today and dd was a star. She has been referred to a paedatrician and we should hear from the hospital in the next few weeks.

ohnowwhat Fri 19-Oct-12 20:54:20

Oh, good luck! Glad your D.D was okay about it!

AMumGoingMad Tue 23-Oct-12 17:48:41

I've been pointed in the direction of this thread by SElady. My dd is 6 and has significant pubic hair and has grown an amazing 10cm in 6 months shock. She's constantly complaining of pain in her legs which is hardly surprising given how quickly she's grown. She's having terrible mood swings as well, crying at nothing one minute and being a moody teenager and being a typical innocent 6yo the next. I took her to the GP yesterday and he's referred her to an endocrine consultant at the hospital to have a look at her. I'm quite worried about her. I can't wait to see the consultant and have my mind put at ease. I'm particularly worried about her height and how to support her emotionally through this as well.

Anyone spoken to the school about this? The GP advised that we do so that they can support her properly. She's got a male NQT who probably doesn't even know whats normal for his gf let alone a 6yo girl!

alwaysworriedtoo Wed 24-Oct-12 09:31:05

Had a name change and its not changing back! (ohnowwhat)

Amum, I really feel for you it is horrible waiting for appointments. I jsy told my d.d that I thought she was growing up a bit too fast and that the doctors will be able to help if she was. I think with the moodyness, just be sypathetic and let her know you will answer any questions -she might not understand waht is happening to her and might even feel a bit scared.I think reasurance and lots of hugs and kisses is a good bet!
(I havn'nt told the school but am wondering if I aught to. Just to make them aware of it. Next year I think I may have to say something as they start swimming. And I know from experience that most schools use communal changing ereas. I don't want her to get picked on, but niether do I want her to feel embarrased or arkward about 'down below'.)

SElady Sun 28-Oct-12 19:41:43

AMum, glad you found us here, it seems to me that there are more and more of us out there, it almost feels a little bit "normal" to be going through these things with our DDs. I haven't had "the talk" yet with my DD (after all it's only a few hair and she doesn't seem to be bothered at all at the moment). We're certainly not planning on involving the school until we know what we're dealing with and even then only if we feel that DD would benefit from the school knowing it. Her year group just stopped doing swimming too, so it was perfect timing.
Ohnow, I too have a great study which explains all the various diagnoses and how each category should be treated. Can't find the link for the life of me, but have it saved on my laptop.
Elibean, your DD just confirms my conclusion that most of the time having individual symtomps (or even a number of them) doesn't necessarily mean a diagnosis of precocious puberty. The height of these girls seem to be the main common factor.
Aji well done to your DD, hope you'll soon hear from the hospital.

I read it in one of these studies that as much as 50% of girls in the UK start their period by the time they are 10 shock. Not sure whether to accept this widespread explanation of chemicals in consumer goods... with DD1, being our first, we made sure she didn't eat anything which was non-organic in the first two years of her life. With our subsequent DC we've found it difficult to maintain this, mainly due to the credit crunchsad. But even today, 7 yrs down the line, I make sure that at home they eat and drink out of non-toxic products, I tend to buy organic bathing stuff for them and outside the house we use Klean Kanteen bottles, so still doing as much as we can to limit their exposure to chemicals and toxins. I know this probably still isn't enough, but I'd like to think that all our efforts weren't in vein.

Our pediatrician seems to be very thorough, ordered a urine test to see if there are steroids in DD's urine - it takes a few weeks to get the result sad. Other than that we're still waiting for the results of some specialist hormone tests...

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Sun 28-Oct-12 19:55:45

When you say it can be a problem if boys develop BO before age 8 it can be an issue, what do you mean?

I am mildly worried by this statement as DS1 has had to use daily deodorant since age 7.5, he has been very private so I have no clue what he is like 'down there'. He is also 5ft1 at 10y6m, and his voice is going a bit 'up and down', like it does when it starts to break.

He also has the startings of a very fine moustache. It's almost like baby hair (what as a teen I would have called 'bumfluff'. So not needing shaved yet, but probably not long.

Why is the BO before age 8 an issue for boys?

alwaysworriedtoo Tue 30-Oct-12 16:52:26

I'm not sure why it is an issue for boys.? (I thought it was bad enough for girls!) You could maybe look up precocious puberty for boys and see what comes up? Hope you can find some answers.

hugglebug Wed 31-Oct-12 12:12:34

My Dd aged nearly 4 has just started being investigated for precocious puberty. I noticed about 5 months ago that she smelt strongly of BO, almost daily. The Endocrinologist was very non committal and sent her for the radial bone scan and will look at her urine test results before we return in February. Not sure what to think or feel, but worried, of course and sad for her at the prospect of it.

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