Puberty is the time during which the growing girls and boys undergo the process of sexual maturation, and it involves social and psychological changes. The child undergoes rapid physical and emotional changes.
The onset of puberty varies. In girls, it usually occurs between the ages of 10 to 14, and, in boys, it occurs between the ages of 12 to 16 years. In some children, they attain puberty before time which is known as Precocious Puberty.
Precocious puberty is more commonly observed in girls than in boys. In this blog, we will be mainly focusing on precocious puberty in girls.
Nowadays, puberty is occurring earlier than normal. Previously, girls used to mature at around 12-13 years of age, however, now the young girls are getting matured around 8 or 9 years of age.
As per the research by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, overeating and obesity can lead to precocious puberty in girls. Though junk foods, chocolates are unhealthy for the body, parents keep on pampering their kids. When it comes to kids, all parents want their kids to be happy and keep on fulfilling their demands, and the child starts developing the preferences for unhealthy foods. The long-term intake of high-fat food causes hormonal changes. The excess of fat triggers an excess of estrogen formation. Xeno-estrogens, which also is known as ‘Dietary estrogen or foreign estrogen’ which is present in artificial foods, plastics, pesticides, and chemicals, are similar to estrogen and cause hormonal imbalance. So, these two causes are considered important reasons for precocious puberty in girls.
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One needs to rule out the possibility of an underlying pathology that has led to early puberty. Early sexual development can result due to certain rare genetic disorders or if there is a genetic link or family history of the same, tumors in ovaries, adrenal glands, pituitary gland, or severe hypothyroidism, and, sometimes, there is no possible cause is found.
The signs and symptoms of early maturation in girls are the development of secondary sexual characteristics, such as breast buds continue to grow and expand, girls start menstruating before the age of 9 years, the development of pubic and axillary hairs which are thick and curly, and mood swings associated with hormonal changes. There is a build of fat around the hips and the occurrence of acne on the face and back. And, a rapid increase in height also occurs.
Precocious puberty can affect growth and sexual development. After puberty, there may be sexual difficulties, reduced fertility, height, and growth stops quite early, and there can be an absence of menstruation. Precocious puberty can affect the child’s psychological and physiological implications. Psychologically, the girl is quite young to adjust to the new situation. The girls may start separating themselves from the social circle, and they may become shy and embarrassed to go in people.
Not all the cases of Precocious puberty need treatment. The treatment depends on the cause. If there is no recognizable cause, in such a situation, there is no need for the treatment. The doctor may monitor the child for several months to observe how the child is growing.
Conventionally, the treatments may include hormone replacement therapy and assisted reproduction in the future.
With regards to the Homeopathic treatment, the early puberty cases due to major anatomical defect or outright deficiency of the essential hormones, there is no scope for Homeopathic treatment. However, there are a lot of cases of hypogonadism (the failure of the ovaries to function properly) in girls that homeopathy can treat effectively. If there are any emotional problems related to early puberty, for instance, if a girl is getting more conscious about the major change happening in her body, there are chances that a girl may go through depression and it may affect her self-esteem. In such cases, homeopathy plays an important role.
So, if you start seeing the development of secondary sexual characteristics in your girl child before the expected time, make an appointment with the doctor for the proper evaluation of the child.
Also, it is very important to make the girls aware of the menstrual cycle and hygiene before its onset, because it is a major change occurring in their body. And, the best way to do it is to communicate with them, talk to them, and educate them. Menses is still a taboo in our Indian culture, we try to hide about the menstrual cycles, and we don’t talk about it. However, with increasing education and awareness, it should not happen now. Girls should have that confidence that they are growing into a complete woman rather than feeling something bad about it. If you observe any signs of any physical changes in your girl child’s body, you should tell her about the changes which occur in puberty. Nowadays, because of the communication media, such as TV, Phones, and I pad, girls know many things, and if they ask you some questions because of the advertisements they see on the TV, please talk to them and explain them.