Precocious Puberty

Dr Ira Shah
Consultant Pediatrician, B.J.Wadia Hospital for Children, Mumbai, India
First Created: 02/25/2001  Last Updated: 08/01/2015

Patinet Education

Normal Puberty in Girls

Puberty is the time when the body changes from that of a child to that of an adult due to hormonal surge. In girls, the body becomes physically capable to have babies. In girls, puberty usually starts earlier as compared to a boy, usually between 9 and 13 years of age. Hence, many girls are taller and more mature as compared to boys of the same age, until the boys catch up.

In girls, breast development is the first sign of puberty. Initially, small tender lumps may develop under the nipples which grow bigger. It is not common for one breast to be larger than the other breast but they usually become equal as they attain their final size and shape.

Hair develops under the arms and legs, soft hair may grow in the pubic region(the area between the legs), it eventually becomes thick and curly.

The contour of the body changes as it becomes curvier. Hips become wider and fat starts accumulating in the stomach, buttock, and legs. As in the case of boys, the arms, legs, hands, and feet grow faster than the rest of the body and the girl teenager may feel a little clumsier than usual.

Skin becomes more oily and there is increased perspiration due to increased secretion from the glands. Some girls may get pimples (acne). These can be controlled and for more information consult your pediatrician.

In girls, the periods or menses begin. It is due to bleeding from the Uterus cyclically and the cycle occurs at every 21-35 days interval for 3-8 days. Most girls get their periods between 9 and 16 years of age. Initially, the cycles may be irregular but once the hormones balance out, the menses may become regular.

Normal Puberty in Boys

Puberty is the time when the body changes from that of a child to that of an adult due to hormonal surge. In boys, it usually starts with a height spurt at around 10-16 years of age. The boys tend to grow out of clothes & shoes faster. Arms, legs, hands & feet grow at an increased rate as compared to the rest of the body. Hence, adolescent boys appear to be lanky and clumsy until they start putting on weight later during puberty. Many boys may experience swelling below the nipples. However, it is nothing to worry about as it is common among boys in that age and is a temporary condition called gynaecomastia. However, if it is troublesome, consult your pediatrician.

Muscular development is also a part of puberty and shoulders start to get broader. The voice starts cracking and later becomes deeper in late puberty.

Hair appears under the arms, legs, face, and above the penis. Some boys may develop chest hair. The skin becomes more oily due to increased secretion from the glands, some boys may get pimples(acne). These can be controlled and for more information consult your pediatrician.

The penis and testes will get bigger and erection may occur. Erections occur when the penis becomes stiff and hard. Do not feel embarrassed and remember that most people will not even notice the erection unless attention is drawn to it. Some children may experience ejaculation i.e. release of semen (made of sperm and other fluids) through the penis during sleep causing wet pajamas and bedsheets. That is normal and stops as the boy gets older and is called nocturnal emission.

Don't worry, the hormones will balance out once the teen will become an adult.

Precocious Puberty Precocious Puberty 2015-08-01
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