Supporting Your Daughter Through Early Or Late Puberty
While puberty is often an exciting time for a girl, it can be difﬁcult to know what to do when your daughter gets her period early or late.
And what does ‘early’ or ‘late’ puberty actually mean – and if your daughter’s ﬁrst period is late, how can you support her?
Puberty for girls typically starts between the ages of 9 and 13, with one of the ﬁrst signs being the growth of breast buds. Her period will usually come about two years after this, between the ages of 11 and 15.
If your daughter has developed breast buds before the age of 8, and starts her period at the age of 9 or 10, she is experiencing early-onset puberty.
Early-onset puberty is increasingly common. The reasons for it are not fully understood, but factors may include:
If the signs of puberty come early and your daughter starts her period at 9, this shouldn’t be cause for concern. However, if your daughter gets her period at age 7 or 8, you should consult a doctor, as she may have a condition called precocious puberty, which is a medical condition caused by an abnormality in the brain and the way it releases hormones.
Starting puberty before everyone else can be tricky for a girl – and it can be hard to know what to do when your daughter gets her period early. The most important thing is to talk to her about these changes and help her understand that there is nothing ‘wrong’ with her.
If your daughter hasn’t shown any signs of puberty by the ages of 13 or 14, and hasn’t started her period by age of 16, she is going through delayed puberty.
Generally speaking, there is nothing bad about starting puberty a bit later – each girl is on her own timeline. However, if your daughter hasn’t started her period by 16, encourage her to see the GP so you can work out a solution together.
Emotionally, it may be difﬁcult for your daughter to sit back and watch all of her friends developing before her. But remind her that we all end up in the same place – as strong, conﬁdent adults. How and when she gets there is part of the magic of being a unique individual.