Emphasizing that puberty is the change that every healthy child experiences when they reach a certain age, Pediatric Endocrinology Specialist Dr. Aliye Sevil Sarıkaya said that early and late adolescence can negatively affect the school success and social life of the child and underlined that in some children puberty may start early or late.
“EARLY ADOGENCY MAY BE GENETIC”
Stating that the first menstrual bleeding, called menarche, in girls, is seen before the age of 10, and the testicular volume reaches 4 ml before the age of 9 in boys, it is defined as early puberty. For this reason, if a girl has breast development before the age of 8, it is considered early puberty. Stating that early puberty may also be of familial origin, Sarıkaya said, “Early puberty can also occur due to hormone disorders, tumors and various syndromes. Parents who notice changes such as breast development, hair growth in the genital area and testicular enlargement in children before the age of 8 in girls and 9 in boys should definitely consult a doctor,” he said.
“THEY MAY NOT BE AN UNDERLYING REASON”
Regarding delayed puberty, Sarıkaya said, “Despite the age of 13 in girls and 14 in boys, breast development and testicular growth, which we call secondary sex characteristics, are called late puberty.” Stating that the absence of menstruation until the age of 16 despite the fact that breast development has begun in girls is defined as late puberty, Sarıkaya said, “Delayed puberty is usually the late onset of puberty without an underlying cause. Late puberty is common in children whose parents enter puberty late. However, children who do not reach puberty until the specified ages should be examined by a pediatric endocrinology specialist and conditions such as tumor, hormone disorder, chromosomal anomaly, systemic disease should be examined.
WHAT PROBLEMS CAUSE EARLY AND LATE Adolescence?
Stating that both early and late adolescence can cause emotional and social problems in children, Sarıkaya said, “The fact that the child develops earlier than his peers in early adolescence may cause the child to feel lonely. In late adolescence, the child may feel embarrassed and shy with the thought of falling behind his peers. All these situations can negatively affect the school success and social life of the child,” he said.
Mentioning the importance of getting psychological help for children to get through this process in a healthier way, Sarıkaya said, “Early and late adolescence can affect children in many ways as of their age. Therefore, getting professional psychological support helps children cope with adolescence problems more accurately,” he said.
TREATMENT METHODS IN EARLY AND LATE Adolescence
Stating that early or late adolescence treatment is done according to the underlying causes, Sarıkaya used the following statements:
“If the onset of puberty in a child is early or late due to structural reasons, we usually follow the development of the child without treatment. However, if the child has an underlying hormone disorder, systemic disease or tumor, we treat for this condition. Elimination of the underlying cause contributes to the healthy progress of the child’s growth and development. Delaying skeletal maturation and preventing sexual activity in the child in early adolescence are among the treatment goals. In late adolescence, it can be tried to enter puberty with low-dose testosterone or estrogen hormone support.
Recommending that parents should not worry too much about puberty, Sarıkaya said, “Parents should definitely consult a pediatric endocrinologist when they notice something wrong with puberty in their children. But parents shouldn’t be too obsessed with puberty. Constantly expressing their concerns on this issue can negatively affect the child.