Conditions

Precocious Puberty

Precocious Puberty

Puberty normally starts at around 10 in girls and 12 in boys and lasts for about five years, during which time all those physical, emotional and psychological changes kick-in that turn children into young adults. With all those hormones boiling away, puberty can be a challenging time for kids and parents alike. But what if those physical changes start happening earlier than usual? And what’s the best way to help kids who seem to be growing up a bit too fast?

In cases of precocious (which just means ‘early’) puberty, boys start developing at nine and girls at eight, and sometimes as young as six. That means a noticeable growth spurt, the appearance of pubic hair and, in girls, the development of breasts and the onset of periods.

Experts have speculated on some possible causes, ranging from stress to a high fat diet, but the simple answer may be that it’s just ‘one of those things.’ It’s much more common in girls than boys, though kids seem generally to be reaching puberty earlier. According to a study in 2000, one in six girls now reach puberty before eight. Precocious puberty is rarely a symptom of any other medical problem, but one possible consequence of an early growth spurt is that kids don’t eventually grow as tall as they might have done. Certain forms of treatment are available to delay and even turn back development for a couple of years. If you are anxious about this, talk to your doctor or paediatrician.

The changes that puberty brings aren’t just physical, of course. They’re also psychological, and younger children may not have the emotional maturity to deal with the sudden onslaught of new feelings, particularly if these are sexual. Again, if necessary, your doctor or paediatrician can advise on possible treatment, but in the vast majority of cases kids manage to weather hormonal storm, and aren’t adversely affected by the early onset of puberty.

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I'm 17 and my penis doesn't look developed I'm around 2inch hard and have little to no Pubic hair what do I do





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My daughter is 5 years old and for 8 months has hairy legs, back, top lip and eye brows and since nov has hair developed in lower region. Her dr at the hospital sent her for a scan and says it was clear and her blood test was negative however her hair growth in lower region is getting more and darker and she is aware of it. She also suffers with belly aches and is tearful help please





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Hi. One side of my labica MAJORIA is bigger (fatter and longer) than the other. This makes me feel very insecure when changing for gym at school. Is this normal?





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Yes. Mine is like that, too. ALL girls are different and have been embarrassed before. I used to be embarrassed until I saw a picture of one like mine. Get a little mirror and famiiarize yourself with what it looks like. There's a documentary about women who feel like you called "The Perfect Vagina" so Google that. Don't worry about what other people say. Guys like it, and girls who make fun of it just don't know enough about sex yet. They're still immature and childish. This will all be fine when you're older.

I am starting to grow facial hair is this normal ( i am 13)





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I have facial hair toooo...

Hi Nile. All boys get it eventually. You are OK so don't worry.

I am very short for my age and I have grown some pubic hair and small breasts but all of my friends are ahead of me by miles does is have anything to do with my shortness?





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Hi Wensdee. Quite possibly - you are highly likely to increase in height very soon. Try not to worry...things are happening and the rest of puberty will kick in eventually.

Hi I'm 16 and my boobs still hasn't grown only 2 inches what do I do?





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Hi, I am 15 years old and my testicles are very tightly packed and my penis is small and my erection is small, it is 2 inches when flaccid and 4 inches when erect. Is this normal for my age or what should I do?





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Hi Daniel. There is no average penis size for boys your age so chill out - you are OK. It could keep growing until you are 20 so plenty of time. The average size of an adult man is about 6 inches. Not as big as you may think. Tightly packed testicles is the bodies way of keeping them at the correct temperature for sperm production. Don't worry - you are fine. I hope this helps - take care.

Hi, I'm 14 and when I masterbate clear gunk comes out, is this normal? What is the correct way to masterbate?





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Hi John. You must be doing it correctly for gunk to come out! This is normal and at your age it may well be clear and watery. As you get older the gunk will become thicker and white. The proper name for it is semen. Hope this helps.

Hi, I'm 15 years old and when I pee I get a balloon shape at the end of my penis. Should I go to the doctor, or what should I do?





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Hi Lyle. This is quite normal so no Doctor needed. The ballooning is telling you that your foreskin has detached from your penis head and needs to be pulled back. All you have to do is exercise your foreskin by gradually stretching so that you can pull it right the way back behind the penis head. (Tip: Pull back before peeing if you like but not during or it will get messy!!) Hope this helps...get back to us if you need to.

Hi I am 17 and half and I have I small dangly bit of skin at the beginning of my vagina I know it's not my labia because it's a lot smaller,do you know what it could be?





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Content supplied by NHS Choices

Puberty is a term used to describe the time in life when the body begins to develop certain characteristics, such as changes to the reproductive organs. Puberty marks the gradual progression from a non-fertile child to a sexually developed adult. Read More »