The daughter was only nine months old when her mum, Sarah, 38, found her nappy full of blood.
She got up in the morning and checked her diaper. It was full of blood, not a little blood. There was a lot of blood, Sarah tells Kennedy News and Media.
Fear the worst
Until then, her daughter had been a healthy baby, so Sarah, a mother of three, feared something was wrong. She was afraid it might be a kidney infection.
– She was a perfect, happy child, and there were no problems with her. She was my second child, so it wasn’t like I was completely green as a mom, says Sarah.
She changed her diaper and rushed to the hospital in Sydney, Australia.
At the hospital, they ran a series of tests, and were quickly able to rule out serious illnesses. Then the doctors examined the baby’s skeleton and found something startling:
Her skeleton was well developed for her age. They diagnosed her with precocious puberty that same night.
For girls, precocious puberty is defined as the development of puberty before the age of nine, according to the Major medical encyclopedias.
Precocious puberty, or pubertas precox as it is called in technical parlance, can have many causes. The encyclopedia writes that, among other things, a brain tumor or other disease of the brain can accelerate puberty.
The cause can also lie outside the central nervous system (peripheral precocious puberty), states the encyclopedia. It may be due to a syndrome affecting hormone production or tumors affecting hormone secretion.
They write that tumors, benign or malignant, in the gonads and adrenal glands can secrete hormones that can initiate the puberty process.
I had to explain
Sarah’s mum says she doesn’t know what to think. You haven’t heard of the condition and don’t know what to expect.
– It was her first period. She did not walk or speak. It’s hard to say if she had other symptoms, like mood swings or menstrual pain, because she was so young, she says.
The daughter, now 2 years old, did not show other signs of puberty such as pubic hair or breasts. Sarah, who is also a mother of two other children, hates having to explain the situation to the staff at her daughter’s daycare.
– I felt I had to explain this to the nursery, so that they wouldn’t worry if they found blood in her nappy. She said we have a statement from her doctor.
Sarah expects to explain the same thing to the teachers the day her daughter starts school. She believes it is important for people to know:
– If blood is found in the minor’s underwear, it must be examined. My son googled and found this The youngest mother in history was a five-year-old who was abusedshe says, adding:
He said it must mean that she is the youngest to have children. In a way, this is true, but annoying. It’s awful to think about.
After the first period, she did not bleed regularly. She had hormone testing, ultrasounds, and X-rays every six months so that doctors could keep track of her development.
Slight bleeding that did not occur monthly. This makes it difficult for us to keep track of it. We try to make sure it doesn’t affect her physically.
If the two-year-old’s puberty is progressing too quickly, her mom, Sarah, is considering putting her on injections of hormones that can slow it down.
The condition can affect both growth and appearance and is therefore closely monitored. Now things have calmed down a bit, and it’s working very well. We caught her early and she’s getting good follow-up, so she has a good prognosis.
None of Sarah’s other children suffer from this rare condition. As a mother, she is naturally worried about the future of her two-year-old.
I hope it doesn’t affect her appearance. I just want her to have a normal childhood. If she needs hormone therapy to get it, we’ll do it. I just don’t want her to be any different.
Today her daughter is nearly three years old, and Sarah describes it as normal:
She has tantrums. She looks completely normal, and no one can see that she has the condition, because we have it under control, she says.
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