Jean-Claude Carel and Juliane Léger in New England Journal of Medicine says "The parents of a 6-year-old girl bring her to a pediatrician because of breast development. Her pubertal development is classified as Tanner stage 3 breast development and Tanner stage 2 pubic hair development." The onset of puberty is affected by many factors like race, early maternal menarche, low birth weight, excessive weight gain in infancy, international adoption and when no father is present in the household.
This is not only a problem pertaining to some distant nations like US or Europe alone but even for our home / next door girls. The biological clock is ticking faster for adolescent girls worldwide. Puberty ages are coming down in countries where diets are the heaviest. There are few interesting statistics (biased to India) to shock us.
  • Menarche has dropped from 13 years to 10 years in the past decade.
  • 20 per cent of Kolkata girls attain puberty before the age of 10.
  • Some of them attain puberty very early - at 6 to 7 years.
Hypothetically, the main reasons identified are improper diet cum sedentary lifestyle (which leads to attain more body mass and results in pulsatile secretion of menstrual hormones), and over-exposure to sexually explicit images (on films / television / magazines at a very early age). The girls will find it difficult to cope with the mental and physical demands of menstruation leading to psychological breakdown.

The onset of puberty is marked by breast development (stage 2) which should happen between 8 and 13 years. If your girl is above 5 and has abnormal breast development or pubic hair growth (can be best assessed by regular inspection and palpation), just visit a Gynecologist. If she is below 5, regularise her diet, make her lifestyle lively and reasonably censor her accessories.

At least, in future, we don't want girls who can't fathom why they are bleeding


Anonymous said…
If this is your idea of sound medical research, I am soooo glad I don't live in India! You seriously think that watching certain movies contributes to precocious puberty? nuts!

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