Early Menstruation in Young Girls

Dra. D, tanong ko lng po kc ung daughter ko nagkaroon sya ng mense 9 yrs. old plng normal po ba yun, ung weight nya po ay 55 kgs. at 10 yrs. old, tapos sa ngayon po ang mense nya hindi sya regular n nagkakaroon, bale 2mos na puro spotting lng po. Ano po kaya ang dahilan? Salamatpo..

 

Dear Mommy B,

‘Di ka nag-iisa.

Many young girls are now experiencing menstruation at an earlier age. The average age of menarche (this is what you call the very first menstruation in a woman’s life) is at 12 years old.

However, in a recent survey done by the Pediatric Endocrine Society in Stanford on 17,000 girls from 3-12 years old, the survey revealed increasing number of girls as early as 7-8 years old starting to develop breasts and menstruating at 9-11 years old.

The group explained that early puberty could be due to several factors:

#1 A diet high in saturated fat. Fat has a tendency to convert to estrogen which is the hormone responsible for sexual development in females.

#2 Insecticides/Pesticides. These products are used extensively in vegetable and fruit farms and even in our own homes due to the fear of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever. These insecticides have chemicals that break down into compounds with estrogenic activity. Again, this hormone will trigger early development of sexual characteristics in our young girls.

#3 Endocrine/Hormonal Imbalance. Some brain tumors like astrocytoma and glioma produce hormones at an early age that may present as premature or precocious pubertyPolycystic Ovary Syndrome can also manifest as early, irregular menstruation in a young female.

I didn’t mean to scare you, Mommy B. The most common reason for early menstruation is still due to the diet. I have seen and examined quite a number of young children with early menstruation and they turned out to be normal. There is no need to give medications, just observe.

But very often the issue is not physical, it is actually psychological.

How prepared are these young children for puberty? My youngest patient to have menstruation was at 7 years old. We did all the tests and everything was within acceptable range.

The problem was how the mother could explain to her 7-year old daughter that she would have blood coming out of her vagina every month, that she had to wear a napkin and she would have to wear a bra and shave her armpit hair.

According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), if the parents and their doctor feel that these early signs of puberty might threaten the child’s future psychological status, medications are recommended.

Some children are teased by their classmates, or the girls themselves are so afraid of the sight of blood and poor personal hygiene may also contribute to occurence of UTI, vaginal discharge and itchiness.

You mentioned that your daughter is already 55 kg. There might be a more serious problem not only in her menstrual cycle but other health issues like hypertension and diabetes in the young.

Please do not delay. Visit a doctor today to find out how they can help your daughter.

Doc D

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