Effects of early puberty hold true for both the genders. So a little awareness on the part of parents will help the child in the long run when it comes to his height and development. Here is an exclusive excerpt from an interview with Pediatric Endocrinologist Dr. Alok Sardesai On Doctor Mommy Speaks Podcast. We spoke on many topics like growth hormone use in kids without any deficiency of this hormone, will the child be as tall as the parents? and more. Find all the deets in the podcast.
What is the relationship of menses/periods to a girls height?
Estradiol is the hormone responsible for feminising the girl’s body, but at the same time, advancing bone age rapidly. Simply put, if your girl gets her menses early, then there are chances that she will not reach her full height based on her genetic potential. And if that doesn’t happen and your child ends up with a short stature then growth hormone can be used to help the child achieve her final predicted height.
Nowadays, due to changes in lifestyle, dietary habits, and environmental factors like food containing pesticides, consumption of polished rice lead to early menarche. Girls a young as 9 and ½ to 10 years, end up with their first period and parents feel its normal as many among their friend circle, family, and neighbourhood have a similar occurrence.
One word of caution here “Precocious Puberty” Precocious puberty(1) is when a child’s body begins changing into that of an adult (puberty) too soon. When puberty begins before age 8 in girls and before age 9 in boys, it is considered precocious puberty.
So thinking this is a normal pattern and neglection the changes that your young girl’s body is going through, will be a major fault on your part. Not only is the young girl not ready physically, for such a change but also mentally.
Puberty is like a tool that helps the child’s body to transform into an adult but think of it like a Nitro Boost, like the ones we have in car racing games. A Nitro booster can be used only once in a race and it has to be used at the right time. If it’s used too early or too late then its full potential will not be unleashed.
Problems with early menarche?
- Not only is the young girl not ready physically, for such a change but also mentally it can be really traumatising.
- First off assuming its just a case of early menses which were genetically determined and not a disease then short stature would be the number concern.
- From the time, a young girl starts menstruating, over the consecutive few cycles she will also start ovulating.
- He reproductive window has already started as she is loosing precious healthy ova.
- Nowadays a lifestyle-induced delay in parenthood is seen when it comes to young career-oriented couples who wish to enter parenthood, not before their 30s.
- This leaves a very small window of fertility for a woman who had early menarche and has lost her ova much earlier than other girls.
- The quality of the ova also degenerates as age advances, infertility and issues with conception arise. Such couples might have to alter consider IVF as an option for enjoying the fruits of parenthood.
What can you do to catch short stature and precocious puberty well in time?
The best thing a parent can do is to track the child’s growth. Here is a helpful growth tracker by PediaSure. These trackers reduce the headache of wondering if your child is growing fine or not. No need to wait for every visit to the clinic where the paediatrician decides if your child’s growth is on the right track or not. This tool is backed by research and science and it does the calculations for you.
I am sure you’ve heard of “percentile charts”. These are the most important and first step in catching stunted growth, or short stature well in time so interventions can be done to augment the child’s growth. These interventions involve the use of hormones to help the child reach his/her height on the basis of his/her genetic potential.
To catch precocious puberty and early menarche in time, one needs to be aware of the signs of puberty in girls and boy. This is a simple visual guide that explains what puberty can look like in girls and boys.
Image credits #pubetyceremony
Effects of early puberty hold true for both the genders. So a little awareness on the part of parents will help the child in the long run when it comes to his height and development.
You can connect with Dr. Alok Sardesai on his social media
If you wish to get a consultation with dr. Alok then he runs Clinics which deal with hormonal problems in children and adolescents in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane.
- T2T Hormone Clinics India Private Limited, Andheri
- Apollo Hospital Navi Mumbai
- Sparsh Children’s Hospital, Parel
- Colours Children’s Hospital, Navi Mumbai
- Mala Children’s Hospital, Thane
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