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Early Puberty: Speak to Your Doctor If You Spot These Signs

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Puberty is a natural process and occurs when a child’s body begins to develop and change as they become adults. However, it may not be a good sign if your child starts puberty too early. Parents need to be educated about the signs of early puberty, also called precocious puberty, as these physical changes could psychologically affect your child more than you think.

It is important for parents to pay attention to these signs of early puberty.

 
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Signs and symptoms in boys
 

Before age 9

  • Enlarged testicles and penis
  • Pubic or underarm hair
  • Facial hair on the upper lips
  • Deepening voice
  • Chest development
  • Muscle development
  • Acne and adult body odor
  • Rapid height growth or a growth spurt

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Signs and symptoms in girls
 

Before age 9

  • Breast development
  • Pubic and underarm hair
  • Changes in body shape e.g. waistline and hips become more evident
  • Start of menstruation
  • Acne and adult body odor
  • Rapid height growth or a growth spurt

 

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Diagnosing Early Puberty or Precocious Puberty
 

  • Consult with your doctor to develop a profile
  • X-ray imaging to assess the bone maturity
  • Hormonal blood testing
  • MRI scan to investigate any possible causes
  • Ultrasound scan to assess the ovaries

 

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Treatment for Precocious Puberty
 

  • Treating any underlying cause
  • Using medication to reduce hormone levels and pause sexual development
  • Evaluating the symptoms regularly

 

If parents are concerned that their child may have developed precocious puberty, it is recommended that you bring your child to consult with the doctor and have proper diagnosis and treatments. Children with untreated precocious puberty sometimes do not reach their full adult height and stop growing too soon.

Source: Dr. Alisa Kulpiya, Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism, Bangkok Hospital


For more information:

Child Health Center, Bangkok Hospital
4th Floor, Bangkok hospital building
Call 0 2310 3006, 0 2755 1006
Email: BMCPed@bgh.co.th