Precocious Puberty


My nine-year-old daughter has just started her period. She has consistently been tall for her age, and began developing breasts at age seven. I know that it is unusual to begin menstruating at this age, but is it abnormal? Will it alter her growth pattern? Are my friends accurate when they say it could be caused by too much bovine growth hormone in the fast foods she eats? And how do I help her cope with this? She is mentally and emotionally still very much a nine year old.
Groton, New York

Dr. Greene's Answer

There is crucial information your daughter needs to know about precocious puberty.

First, some background: The age of onset of puberty varies widely. In girls, the breast bud is usually the first sign, and is seen on average at 10-11 years. Pubic hair usually begins to appear 6-12 months later. Next comes the pubertal growth spurt. Lastly, menstruation begins (called menarche), on average, 2-2.5 years after the onset of puberty. The mean age for a girl’s first period is 12.75 years. Wide variations are seen in the sequence and timing of these events, but peak growth velocity (fastest growth rate) always precedes menarche.

For boys, the testes and scrotum begin to enlarge first, usually at about 10 to 13 years. A few months later, pubic hair develops (facial hair comes about 2 years later). The pubertal growth spurt usually follows about 6 months after pubic hair. Lastly, the penis grows longer about 1 year after the testes grow, and is accompanied by changes in the voice.

Precocious puberty is defined as the onset of true puberty before 7 to 8 years of age in girls or 9 years of age in boys. (Isolated breast development which doesn’t progress to the rest of puberty is called premature thelarche, and is a different, benign condition). Precocious puberty is 10 times more common in girls than in boys. Sexual development may begin at any age. Pregnancy has been reported as early as 5 1/2 years old.

Most precocious puberty is simply early maturation. Nevertheless, the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society recommends evaluating for an underlying medical condition in Caucasian-American girls who have development of breast and/or pubic hair before age seven and in African-American girls before age six (Kaplowitz and Oberfield, Pediatrics 1999 Oct;104(4 Pt 1):936-41). These medical conditions include ovarian cysts, thyroid problems, McCune-Albright syndrome, central nervous system disorders, or external sources of estrogen. In girls over age 6, these other causes are quite rare, but should at least be considered by your pediatrician.

Your friends have suggested that bovine growth hormone is the cause of your daughter’s precocious puberty. I strongly doubt that. The only external compounds clearly implicated in girls’ early puberty are estrogens. Moreover, when human growth hormone is intentionally given to children to increase their heights, in doses far higher than your daughter could accidentally consume, precocious puberty has not been a problem. Your friends are right to be concerned about the chemicals used by agribusiness, but from bovine growth hormone I would be more concerned about cancer.

Early maturation in girls is categorized in two main types: rapidly progressive and slowly progressive. Most girls who begin puberty early (especially those who begin before age 6) have the rapidly progressive variety. They go through each of the stages (including closure of the growth plates of the bones) at a very rapid pace, and thus lose much of their adult height potential. About 1/3 of these girls will end up shorter than the 5th percentile of adult height. Many girls, however (particularly those beginning puberty after their 7th birthdays), will start puberty early, but still go through each of the stages at a more typical pace. While their “adolescent” growth spurts are over early, they will continue to grow until their bones reach final maturity at about age 16.

Now for the crucial information: The earlier before age 12 a girl starts her period, the higher her lifetime risk for breast cancer (probably from the prolonged estrogen exposure). The highest average risk for breast cancer is in non-Hispanic white women, where it is 1 in 8, or 12.5%. In all girls who start their periods before the age of 12, taken together, the risk is 16.25%. As she reaches maturity, she needs to be made aware of controllable risk factors for breast cancer, such as use of estrogen-containing birth control pills (10 years of use would raise her risk to about 22%), first pregnancy after age 30 (if she did this also, it would raise the risk to about 35%), high-fat diet, alcohol use, fertility drugs, pesticides, and radiation exposure. Each of these factors multiplies her accumulated risk. If she is aware of these, she can make informed decisions for herself.

She can also learn what can reduce her risks. During adolescence, it is vital to teach her the habit of regular breast self-exam. If she has a child, breastfeeding will lower her risk. Strenuous exercise (particularly before the first baby), such as running, gymnastics, and ballet have all been shown to reduce estrogen exposure and thus reduce risk. Diet seems to be more important in the development of breast cancer than any other single risk factor. A low-fat diet, high in natural sources of vitamins A, C, E and zinc, is protective. Vegetables seem to be protective for other reasons as well, which is why the National Cancer Institute has come out with their “five a day” plan (which sounds hard, but is not so bad when you see what they call a “serving” — one carrot is a serving). A healthy diet is also one low in pesticides (wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly and/or use organically grown foods). It should also be low in artificial hormones, like those found in beef in the U.S. (your friends are friends indeed).

Although your daughter is still emotionally and mentally a nine-year-old, she now has the hormones of an adolescent. She undoubtedly feels a range of emotions that are difficult for her to cope with. As a parent, it is very important for you to carefully watch and listen to her. Help her put her feelings into words, and be careful not to make judgmental comments. She will probably express many diametrically opposed emotions in the same sentence and then feel confused about what she just said. This is normal.

One of the most difficult things she is facing is finding a peer group. She no longer entirely fits in with her nine-year-old friends, but it would be a big mistake for her to develop a peer group that is much older than she is (even if they would accept her). She needs people to help her bridge the gap between being a little girl and a woman. As a parent, this is an important time for you to be involved in the daily activities of her life. It may seem like a challenge to get excited about the things that she is interested in, but there is no one better equipped to help her through this difficult time than you.

Last medical review on: April 06, 2009
About the Author
Photo of Alan Greene MD
Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
Get Dr. Greene's Wellness RecommendationsSignup now to get Dr. Greene's healing philosophy, insight into medical trends, parenting tips, seasonal highlights, and health news delivered to your inbox every month.
comments (150 total)
Add your comment

Recent Comments

Am 12 and my boobs are normal but am just worried about my period, I haven’t started yet,

Hi Lola,

Thanks for writing in.

Please take a look at the chart on this page –> Puberty Stage: Where am I in the process of becoming an adult?

Please let us know if you still have any questions.

I hope that helps.
Best, @MsGreene
Note: I am the co-founder of, but I am not Dr. Greene and I am not a doctor. Please keep that in mind when reading my comments and replies.

How long is too long for a 9.9 yrs old menstrual cycle suppose to last.


When menstrual cycles begin they are often irregular. Some times short, some times long, and a variable number of days with bleeding. This typically evens out after a girl has been having her periods for about two years.

How long hs your menstrual cycle been?

Best, @MsGreene
Note: I am the co-founder of, but I am not Dr. Greene and I am not a doctor. Please keep that in mind when reading my comments and replies.

Hi I will not say my name but I am 12
I am around 5″2 and not overweight. My sister got her period at 12 and wears a bra and my mom got hers at 14 but had no trouble with bras. I have not gotten my period yet and I actually haven’t even gotten my discharge I can’t even wear a bra. But I am somewhat glad I haven’t as I am really scared of getting it and I don’t even like training bras to be honest! I dont know if this is normal so please help me


Thanks for writing in. Dr. Greene provided the information you’re looking for in a different post called Puberty Stage: Where am I in the process of becoming an adult? You can look there for specifics, but the short answer is, there is a wide range of “normal” when it comes to puberty. It can be normal for girls to start puberty younger than you are and older than you are. The wide variability is part of what makes each of us uniquely human. That said, if you have other reasons to think there are issues, it’s okay to talk to your doctor about your concerns.

I hope that helps.
Best, @MsGreene
Note: I am the co-founder of, but I am not Dr. Greene and I am not a doctor. Please keep that in mind when reading my comments and replies.

Hey it’s siena, I just had a quick question, I started my period a couple months ago and I have a very light period, what pad do u recommend?

Is it normal to get your first period a few days before you turn 10? I have had discharge since I was nine and have a heavy flow. My mom got her period on her 9th birthday but isn’t 10 still a bit too early?


Yes, ten feels very young, but it’s becoming more and more common. In fact, it is considered normal for a girl to have her first period any time after her 10th birthday and before her 15th birthday.

I hope that helps.
Best, @MsGreene
Note: I am the co-founder of, but I am not Dr. Greene and I am not a doctor. Please keep that in mind when reading my comments and replies.

Hi I’m Siena, I got my first period two months ago and I’m nine, my period is very light and only lasted for two to one days, is this normal for the begging of puberty/menastration? If it’s ok I am going to tell the story of my first period👍🏻So one day I was at my friends house (there were seven of us) and I had to go to the bathroom this was in the morning and I went pee bet when I looked down there was blood! At that time I had a friend there that had already gotten her period she is ten, I went to the stairs and yelled “HAYDEN*(that’s her name) she came running up with one of my other friends (she had not gotten her period) I said “I think I got my period) she was like ohhhhh my” we looked in my underwear and we saw blood I had to go to one of my friends mom and ask for a pad! (SO AKWARD) so then I called my mom (at the time my mom was not in our state ) I told her and yea, so I told my dad to come but he was in a meeting, I was there lying in my friends bed crying, and to top it all of they went in the pool, I could not go in. So that’s my story👍🏻 Thanks please respond bye!

I was 10. I was at my friend’s house, too. They were all going to the pool. It is awkward. Sorry you had to go through that.

Hello, I’m Ruby. I am 12 years old and i just started my first period around 1 and a half months ago. It lasted for about 5 days. I was all ready for it,i kept pads in my bag, talked to my mom about it etc. But getting it is not what i’m worried about, it’s the fact that i’ve missed this months cycle. I know im not pregnant (again, im 12) and i dont know whats wrong with me! I’ve had white discharge for a long time since my first period but i’ve had it constantly everyday for the last month or so- and it smells down there even though i clean it thoroughly every day. I’m quite worried and i really want someone to reply.
Thank you

White discharge is also normal. Don’t worry about it, but you should probably talk to your mom anyway. If you are very active, underweight, or overweight, that increases likelihood of missing periods, but some people just miss them without any noticeable factors. Also, stress can cause delayed or missing periods- so stressing about your period really might make you miss it.

It’s not unusual for periods to be irregular in the beginning. I wouldn’t worry about that. I don’t know what to tell you about the white discharge and smell. Have you talked to your mom?

My breasts started to grow when I’m 8 years old and I started my period at the age of 10. After that, my breast didn’t grow anymore. It doesn’t even reach the size of 32a cup. Is there a chance that my breasts will be bigger?

I don’t know your age or weight, but the answer is yes, regardless. Your breasts grow well into your teen years and even early twenties, and if you’re very thin, they’ll likely grow if you put on a bit more weight at any age- which you don’t have to do so long as you are in a healthy weight range. Later in life, some women also have permanently larger breasts after pregnancy. Really, nothing to worry about.

I have had discharge for 6-7 months and i have had breasts for 2-3 years and i am a 36 a cup bra and 9 years old . I just turned nine 9 days ago which was on the 10th . My mom got her period at nine , my sister got her’s at nine , am i next ? I started puberty around the end of 7 years old . I had armpit hair and pubic hair at 8 . I was always taller than everybody even in pre-k and kindergarten and now I am in third grade i am taller than everybody , sometimes I have to look down at people . I am almost 5’2 . Most of my friends in my class says i stuff my bra because i am more developed. I just don’t fit in at my school compared to my friends . When people bump me i literally want to cry . So please somebody reply to me .

I bet u will if u are already an a cup and ur mom and sister got it at nine, I am nine too and got it two months ago, I think u should be prepared and get a small bag with pads, and a change of underwear.-Siena

Hi Londyn,

I got my period at 10. I’m now old enough to be a grandmother, so that was a long time ago. Back then, that was very young. Sadly, now 10 is normal. When it happened to me, I didn’t know what was going on. I was “too young” for sex and development education. There weren’t even feminine hygiene products in my bathroom at school.

Even though I was older than you are, I can relate and I’m really sorry for what you’re going through. You are too young and it’s not fair that your classmates don’t understand. I hope you can talk to your mother or a teacher or the school nurse.

One tip, you may want to ask your mom for a pad you can put at the bottom of your backpack in case you have your first period at school.

My heart goes out to you!

I’m 11 I’m going to be 12 in may I have armpit hair and public hair have discharge and my mom is over 52 who should i tell please help

Going through puberty at age eleven is perfectly normal, I got my first period at 11. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your mother, maybe talk to a close friend who is starting puberty instead. It’s best to tell your mother though, she will help you!

Hi Selly,

At 11, puberty is not considered precocious (or early). Here is a link to the Stages of Puberty.

If possible, talk to your mom. She’s been through this and can help you with your questions. If that’s not possible, talk to a school nurse or a female teacher.

I hope that helps.
Best, @MsGreene
Note: I am the co-founder of, but I am not Dr. Greene and I am not a doctor. Please keep that in mind when reading my comments and replies.

I was 9 years old when I first got my period, by the age of 12 I was a C-D cup in Bras, by time I started high school at the age of 13 I was a DD cup in Bras. I am now 15 years of age I am a G cup size breast, with a period that comes every 2 weeks, and my flow is very heavy. For the past year and a half I have been experiencing some problems with bad ovary pains which keep me up most nights. October last year I was rushed to the hospital as they thought that my appendix had exploded but it wasn’t that my Right ovary was inflamed. After I went home nothing was further done about it. In the past 4 months I have been going to doctors and gynaecologist appointments. They are looking for endometriosis or polycystic ovary. My Gynaecologist is positive that it is polycystic ovary, I am currently waiting for all my blood test results and the results from my ultrasound, if the results are negative for both endometriosis and polycystic ovary then it means I will have to be operated on. As A young child I went through very traumatic things with my family which I don’t know if that will change the effects. Do you have any ideas?

All I can say is that a quick google search showed some things linking stress to polycystic ovary as a possible cause. I haven’t researched it thoroughly. I also see having polycystic ovary can cause more stress. Mostly, I just wanted to reply and say that I was sending best wishes.

My daughter’s sister from different mum diagnosed with precious puberty. my daughter is 6 month old and she is 95% for weight and hight on growth chart. Do I have to worried? Is there any genetics test?

Hi Dr. Greene, I am concerned. My daughter received spotting 2 days ago. She is 9 years old, tall for her age and very slim. Her breasts havent even started to develop yet. Since 2 days ago, she had a bit of spotting yesterday and a small amount today. It doesnt even require her changing the pad as it is so little and you can barely even tell that there is much on the pad. I took her to her pediatrician. He said it is unusual because she has no breast tissue development. The pediatrican ordered an ultra sound and blood work. Do I have anything to be concerned about?

I don’t know if this will help I or not but I will try. I’m Siena, I’m nine and I got my period two months ago, I was not expecting it because I only just got Brest buds, maybe some girls get there periods with less development then most, did she have discharge before she got the spotting, if so it could just be a sign of her period, I hope I helped u a little at least, bye!

My daughter have her first period last September and she is 12 years old. its been 5 months she have no period. is this normal and what is the cause of this?

I started my period when I was 6 months old. I am now 64. I of course grew very quickly; would have been able to conceive by the time I was 5. my highest height was 4’11. I think I’ve shrunk a little. I have one child. I developed thyroid cancer in my 30’s, total thyroidectomy and radiation treatments, early menopause. No signs of any other cancer.

Hi, Is this normal?

-I have had Pubic Hair since age 6
-I have had breasts since 8
– I started my period when I was 9
-I am 11 years old and 5’3
-I wear a 40B sized bra

My mom tells me I’m fine and that I am just a really fast grower but, I am scared and, I want a doctors opinion.. I mean it, I’m scared

It’s not unusual for girls to start at that age, especially heavier girls, because higher fat content means higher estrogen. However, be very careful with your diet and weight and making changes.

My daughter is 9 years old and started spotting 6 months ago. Her breast getting litter bigger and very hard. She is 146 inches and 78 pounds. Endocrinology saw her and he wants her to star implant injection to stop her having periods. She had bacterial meningitis at the age of 2 months old. Endo says this is whyshe stared her periods.
If we do not do anything what will happend and if decide to go with the trearment what are the side effects?
I would like to your opinion. Thank you for your time.

I am almost 10 years old my Doctor said I will start puberty by the time I am 10 my 10th birthday is in 1 month and I still have not got it.I only have hair in the pubic area and need deodorant.I have no hair in my armpits and no breast development at all.Is it normal for puberty to come later than your doctor says it will come?Little worried about it.

Yes I thought the same I started puberty at 11.5 years and now I’m 12 an I have noticed a few changes like pit hair and pubic hair ok it will happen when the time is right

Hey Alina!

Ten is not late to start puberty. I think on average it’s like 10 to 15 years old. So I don’t think you have anything to worry about, but I’m not a doctor ;)


Hi my name is lynnette i have a daughter how is 10 years old she started to developing around 2 and half years ago. And still has not start her period. But she also a spacial needs child. She has cp she have epilepsy she has fluid on her brain. She dose have brain damage as well. My question is can this delay her period. I was once was told by dr that her brain did not developed the part that controls your period. I have so many questions. She all ready a 32 a.

I have endometriosis it runs in my family my mother my grandmother auntie cousins have it. I also ovarian cancer that runs in my family. Ovarian cyst as well.
When i started my period at 12 it took my life away from me. I did have a normal periods i bleed for 3 months from the day i started. And i stop for 2 weeks. I’m really scared for my oldest. I also have two other children. Any kind of help would be nice

Hi I have 2 daughters ages 12 and 10. My 12 yr old started her period back in November. Everything was right on track. My question is with my 10 yr old. She has also started hers this past week for the first time. She has developed quite fast over the last 2 years. She was born premie. Is this normal for siblings to start almost back to back?

This exact same thing happened with my sister and I. I was 13 1/2 when I started. My sister started a few weeks later when she was 11. No idea if this is common/normal but thought you would like to know that they aren’t the only ones.

Hey all concerned parents out there!
I’m here to ease your worries just a little bit. This will be a long read! (Sorry!)
I am not a medical professional, but I can share my experience (+advice for parents) from the point of view of the *child* that has undergone precocious puberty.

I period began at age 8 (I am 23 now), and there was a lot of unseen/unnoticed development before that: breast development at 5/6 years old, pubic hair at 6/7, etc. If you are noticing these things in your daughter at this time, GOOD! You have a head start. You’re paying attention. What made me nervous when I was a child was that my PARENTS were very worried – like it came out of left field for them. By noticing these changes, you can begin to prepare your child and yourself.
Most schools have “puberty talks” but these come later (grades 5+). Start talking to her about body changes, breast development, body hair, and of course, periods. Show her how to stick a pad onto her undies – I know this might be awkward, but PLEASE do it. Normalize it. You don’t want her thinking she is a “freak” or “weird.” She will need to use this information sooner than later.
Find a pediatrician that you like and trust. (Preferably a female? I mean, you’re just a little girl, but a ‘boy doctor’ might still be ‘icky’ to you!)
Be ready for her to complain about being teased by school mates, and be ready to support her. I didn’t experience much; I was jokingly called “Tissue!” because some of the girls thought I would stuff my training bra with tissue.

My mother is 4”11, and my pediatrician told her, “If you don’t put your child on these shots, she won’t even reach your height.” (dun dun DUN)
I was put on a hormonal shot for a few years (3 or 4?) – I don’t remember the details of the medication, name, brand… that info flies over your head when you’re a kid. :) It was an intramuscular injection that was administered every three weeks into my thigh. One thing I remember was that the injection spot would be sore for 2-3 days. I wouldn’t be as active or running around those days. The soreness was normal according to my doc. My mother used to allow me to stay home from school the day after the shot, which was very kind of her!
(As for my height now; I am 5’3, still short, but I have outgrown my mother [which was the goal of the shots], and am just a few inches shorter than my father -just about where I should be)

In retrospect, I realize that my parents support made all the difference in this experience. They were scared, so was I! But we went into it together.

To sum up:
-If you’re noticing precocious changes, good [that you’re noticing]! Begin preparing yourself and your daughter!
-Find a pediatrician and start talking to them right away
-Talk to her about puberty and periods. Normalize it.
-Teach her how to put a pad on.
-The hormonal shots will hurt a little, but DO make a difference in end height
-Just be there for her!

She’s still your little girl. A little bit of blood isn’t going to change her adorable smile or the fact that she is still going to wake up at 8am on Sunday to watch her favorite cartoon, or the fact that she hates broccoli (unless it is covered in cheese sauce…)

Trust your doctors and pediatricians. It will be okay!!

Wow! Thank you so much for sharing this with us parents. Today is the event of my little princess story n I. Thanks to you I know exactly how to help, support and understand her in every way! God bless you!

My little cousin has pubic hair and she’s 6 years old my aunt wondering what’s happening?

It could be precocious puberty.

It can be early puberty when I was 6 my breast started growing . When my mom has taken to doc . Doc said it is early puberty and you have to get hormonal shots.

Hi Maria,
Thanks so much for writing in! Girls develop at different rates, and every girl is unique.

You could show this to your aunt. Dr. Greene says, “Most precocious puberty is simply early maturation. Nevertheless, the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society recommends evaluating for an underlying medical condition in Caucasian-American girls who have development of breast and/or pubic hair before age seven and in African-American girls before age six (Kaplowitz and Oberfield, Pediatrics 1999 Oct;104(4 Pt 1):936-41). These medical conditions include ovarian cysts, thyroid problems, McCune-Albright syndrome, central nervous system disorders, or external sources of estrogen. In girls over age 6, these other causes are quite rare, but should at least be considered by your pediatrician.”

Hope that helps! Wishing you and your cousin all the best.
Alexandra (caring helper at, not a doctor)

Hi i have a daughter who is 9 years old and shes been saying she has pain in her ovaries is there a possibility of her getting her period at an early age?

Hi Jacqueline,
Thanks so much for writing in! As Dr. Greene says, some girls do get their periods earlier than others. If your daughter is in pain, it’s probably wise to go see your doctor.
Hope that helps!
Alexandra (caring helper at, not a doctor)

Hi , I’m Nicole and I started my period when I was 10 about a week away from my 11th birthday my period started at school but when I was 9 I started getting hair … I am currently 11 now about to turn 12 I am having chest pains and I’m pretty short compared to my friends I’m around 4’9 and around 94 pounds .they pick on my height but I try to ignore it . Now is the age I started my period at normal for my age my leg hair grows so much around every 2 – 3 days my legs look like puppy’s legs because there short , fat and hairy is all this normal for me . I worry because I’ve read articles about puberty starting at 10 and it says girls usually end up with breast cancer and it scares me . Please reply back I’ve been very worried about my period lately .

Do not be worried. Think of happy thoughts

my great grandaughter is 6 years old about six months ago she started to develop breasts the doctor said it was just fat bu 2 days ago she started vaginal bleeding


I’m so sorry. How very upsetting.

It’s time to take her back to the doctor. If he or she can’t help, ask for a referral to an endocrinologist who has dealt with precocious puberty.

I hope that helps.
Best, @MsGreene
Note: I am the co-founder of, but I am not Dr. Greene and I am not a doctor. Please keep that in mind when reading my comments and replies.

My sister got big Boobs at age 12, I am 14 and i started my Puberty at age 12, how come mine isnt Growing. I hate having no boobs.

Hi Caitlyn, I read ur comment and I think u should know that all girls (including siblings) grow at different times and are different sizes, have u gottin ur period if not once u do they might grow more, i hope u are soon satisfying with ur body, bye!

My daughter is 9 years old she started her first menstrual period about two weeks ago. And again today. I’m worried not only because she’s so young but to have it twice in a month?please advice

Hi, I’m Siena I am also nine the same age as ur daughter, and I also got my period, the first month the same thing happened to me, it is all normal to have an abnormal period at the beggining, tho if it gets more strang and abnormal, u might want to go se a doctor, I hope this helps by!

I am 13 and i have not started i am worried becuse i have started to masterbate and was wondering if i will never get mine but… i have had hair and discrage down there since i was like 9 and like i want to have kids … and i am wooried that my 10 yr old sister will get hers before me and that would be embarrassing so i was wondering if you could help me -unknown

why did you mention masturbating/, what age did you start that, or you saying you just started that?, i would not worry too much, puberty starts at different ages for different people, do not be too concerned, as for masturbation, that is not really part of puberty, but the urges come with puberty obviously, but i read and hear about “masturbation” at like 2 years old….

Hi I’m 12 and I have my period. I got it early and have kind of been feeling sick. I have been having really saw throats and has just been feeling yuck. Is there something wrong?

Hi! You might have Mono. Please ask your doctor to test you for it.

There could be something wrong, talk to your mom about it. If you have been using tampons that could be a reason.

Sore throats aren’t usually part of having your period. Have you been checked for strep throat?

I’m ten years old and have been having cramps, feel very moody lately, have dark but not all the way full hair down there, ever since I was 7 I’ve had strong under arm odor, and have to shave my legs between 3-5 days. I also weigh 85 pounds. Is this normal???

Hi Mia,

Puberty can start very early for some and still be normal. If you want to see where you are on the developmental timeline, check out Dr. Greene Q&A on Tanner Staging, which is the way doctors categorize the many changes boys’ and girls’ bodies go through during puberty.

I hope that’s helpful, @MsGreene
Co-founder & Executive Producer, Mom
Note: I answer a lot of questions on, but I am not a doctor. I am Dr. Greene’s business partner and wife. Please keep that in mind when reading my comments and replies.

I am a nurse who is aware of a 7 year old child who has begun menstruating. She is a small child and has no other outward signs of early puberty. She also complains of lower back pain radiating to her abdomen. I have spoken to her mother about having the child evaluated but she says that her pediatrician told her that this is normal. I spoke with the pediatrician to share my concerns about the pain, no signs of precocious puberty and lack of any testing to make sure that there are no hidden issues but was told to call her back when I received my medical degree. Does this sound normal ? It seems like a number of abnormal things could be happening.

Wow, Maureen. As a nurse, doctors really should listen to you. You are there with patients and you see things they don’t. If it was my child, I would get a second opinion.

I am 11 i have some hair down there and armpit hair when will my period start ???


Here is a chart that doctors use to determine what stage of development a girl is in. It’s call Tanner Staging. It doesn’t tell you how long it will be between stages, but is an accurate measure of what will happen next in your development.

Note: I answer a lot of questions on, I am the co-founder of, Dr. Greene’s business partner and wife, but I am not Dr. Greene, nor am I a doctor. Please keep that in mind when reading my comments and replies.

I am devastated she is only eight years with breast buds I feel she is going to stay short :{ is there a special class where they can help me explain to her about puberty? I do not want to scare her

I have a 10 year old she already has pubic hair and headache and she was having a lot of cramps and discharge but it stopped yes her breast buds hurt but no period is there something wrong with my daughter please help


It’s not unusual for early puberty to be in irregular bursts, so this may be normal.

Has your daughter had your yearly physical? If not, this would be a good time.

Best, @MsGreene
Co-founder & Executive Producer, Mom
Note: I answer a lot of questions on, I am the co-founder of, Dr. Greene’s business partner, but I am a not doctor. Please keep that in mind when reading my comments and replies.

I’m eleven and my mom was 16 when she started puberty. I have a little bit of hair, but absolutely nothing else and all my friends are starting puberty. Is this normal?


The average age of the start of puberty in girls is very wide. It can be normal at 8, all the way to 15. That means some of your friends are already having their periods while others won’t for several years.

Hope that helps, @MsGreene
Co-founder & Executive Producer, Mom
Note: I answer a lot of questions on, I am the co-founder of, Dr. Greene’s business partner, but I am a not doctor. Please keep that in mind when reading my comments and replies.

My daughter started growing Pubic hair around the age of 10 and she turned 14 last week.. she started her period when she was about 6 months ago but is only getting it off and on and she is completely flat chested, is this normal?

Hi,I am 10 yrs old and I bleed but it’s really tiny what is it?im confused but I don’t have my period yet..

I got my period 1.5 years ago I was 9.5 years old I was pretty tall for my age and had to put on more weight before I became underweight.However now whenever we have our health check in school my weight is always increasing or decreasing by around 4 to 5kg. My height is always increasing and I am currently 5 feet if anyone could help me understand what is happening to me it would be great because I can’t understand anything.

Worried father here… my youngest daughter is almost nine but started her period about three months ago. She is as tall as my eldest daughter who is eleven and has developed much earlier than her. The only difference is that my youngest daughter loves milk so we switched her to organic. The concern here is my youngest daughter finished her last period two weeks ago and this morning she has stared again. We feel helpless and the doctors and no help. Any advise or help?

If she started at 8 it is precocious puberty.That means it is normal to grow early.Early breast development and tall height for your age are some parts of early development.

Hello my daughter is 8 yrs old. She started her period Thursday 9/29/16.

I feel for her it’s so miserable and so early for her to experience.

I had been preparing ahead of time for it because I wasn’t sure when selecting would actually get it. She didn’t freak out and was really good about learning about it and all the many things that your period comes with.

She has been experiencing nausea and just not feel up to herself. I just pray it gets easier for her. I want to know what I can do to ease her her discomfort. I know midol help a lot of womenergy but I’m not too sure if it would be ok to give her a midol or even half of one.

Nausea is one of the symptoms that a ova is being released.

Hi I got my period in third grade after that I still don’t have it it’s not bad it’s kind of actually good and I’m 13


Try a heating pad or hot water bottle on her belly. Also, camomile tea can help. Both are often very soothing.

I’m afraid I don’t know if Midol is appropriate at that age, but start with natural remedies first.

Co-founder & Executive Producer, Mom
Note: Not Dr. Greene, not a doctor. Keep that in mind when reading my comments and replies.

hi my daughter is 8 yrs and for the past 1 week she is having severe stomach pain she is evev getting her white discharge is she going to get her first periods as she maintains a good diet how do I prepare her shes jst 8 wht will she understand

Look up Just Around the Corner for girls on YouTube and click the video that says just around the corner girls 1.It will tell you about the changes in the girl during puberty.It will also give advice about what to do to help with it.Hopefully that will help her understand and prepare for what she will be going through.

Hi Christina
My daughter is nearly 8 and two months ago she felt sick for about a day or two but was never sick. This Sunday evening and all day Monday she had real bad stomachs pains. She doesn’t seem to be developing buds yet. But I’m worried incase she is getting ready. Has ur daughter got breast buds yet. Feel she still a baby to start puberty

My name is Kiana and I’m 14 and have had all of the things that happen in puberty accept my period. I’m scared is there something wrong with me. I stared puberty when i was 9.

Hi Kiana,

10% of girls don’t start having their periods until they are in the final stage of puberty, so this can be normal.

At your age, yearly physicals are recommended. It would be great to bring up your concerns at your next physical.


My 10 yr old started her period on July 13th and it hasn’t come back. Is this normal?

This can be normal.

I need ur help please …. i am 13 years old and had my first period in January however it still hasnt come back 8 months later… Also, i have thick discharge all the time… is there something wrong with me ?? i am very worried and got no one to tell help me

Hi Jess,

It’s not unusual for there to be a long period between the first period and the next one. But with a thick discharge, it would be wise to have someone check on you. If you can’t talk to a parent, consider the school nurse. The school nurse should be able to help you set up an appointment to see a doctor.

This is probably not an issue, but it’s a good thing to have checked out.

Mom, Co-founder & Executive Producer –

My daughter started her period at the age of nine. She has had her period for a year . She started her period August 16 and then stopped. And restarted on August 28th again. Why is that happening?

Because her periods arent regular yet

She stopped on the 23rd and then restarted on the 28th

I am an 11 year old girl I am about 4’8 and I am really thin I started puberty when u was 10 1/2 and I have some armpit hair and I am short for my age and my birthday is. Coming up really soon so I am turning 12 and I haven’t gotten my period and breast isn’t that big when do u think I might get my period cause I heard that when u get ur period u won’t grow taller I really need some advice

I’m 10 and I started my period at 10 my first sign was breast I was 9 then I saw so hair below called pubic hair then I had armpits hair and discharge and this summer July 15 2016 I saw so dark brown stuff on my panties it was discharge so I went to the bathroom and whipped I saw blood I did not wanted to tell my mom until it got worse so I told her July 16 2016 and she understood so we went shopping for pads and we had a talk I’m still 10 until Oct 16

Dear kg,

You are very brave to share your story. I was 10 when my periods started and I didn’t want to tell anyone either. Once I did, I felt much better.

I know you are very young to be going through these changes. I’m glad your mom is there for you.

Thanks again for sharing,

I started puberty at 8-ish? Around that age, I was bigger than beyond. Already over 5ft and bigger than the other 8 or 9yrs. I was the same height as my sister and nearly as tall as my dad (but under 5’5). I started breast development around 9 (that’s when I got my period). I wore a bra between the age s of (9?)10-12. I remember borrowing one of my mom’s bras (similar to a training bra) every time I get ready for elementary school. I know this girl who 9 and she is the same as I was. She wore a bra like I did. I know this doesn’t happen to every girl, but I guess I was lucky to hit puberty earlier than the average. My sister hit puberty at a fair time, but never got her period. She’s blind and suffered from octave nerve coloboma . Not sure if that had anything to do with her not getting a period….

Hello. I’m 13 and recently got my period. It’s only been around a year after breast development began; I don’t even fit a bra yet. I also never had a growth spurt and am still 4’11. Discharge has been coming for only around two months. I used to be over the fiftieth percentile in height, but now I’m in the tenth. Will I ever get a growth spurt?

I’m 9 and i’ve got more hair, I sweat more and i’ve got bigger breasts than most of my friends and i’m a bit worried. I’m also sometimes quite moody.

You are not alone. This happen to me before. I started early just like that, but I think it’s pretty normal.