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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Empowering Girls: Early Puberty

Please click on this link to see a CNN news story about Body of Knowledge: Puberty.

Girls today are reaching puberty around three years earlier than in previous generations. The average age of menstruation was 15 years, it is now 12. Many girls are menstruating at 9 years old, outward signs of puberty, such as pubic hair, as early as 6 years old.

The cause is unknown, so there is little parents can do to prevent it.

Some suspects include environmental toxicity, eating from estrogen-filled plastic products, medicinal hormones in the water supply, hormones in milk and estrogen-like chemicals in soy milk, inundating girls with sexualized images in the media, even rising obesity rates in today's children. Read more about these causes (with relevant source links) in my earlier article: Precocious Puberty.

Concerns of early and prolonged estrogen include higher risk of various cancers. So I wonder if the danger of estrogen-related birth control increases as well?

I have some concerns about fertility that I have yet to see addressed: If a girl's puberty process is on fast forward what does that mean for her future fertility? Will she reach menopause at the traditional time or will that also occur earlier? Can she still expect to be fertile in her late 20s and early 30s? Is there any way to answer that question before this generation of girls reach that milestone?

Here is an interview with Dr. Sherrill Sellman from iHealthTube.com where she calls it a public health disaster effecting one out of six people worldwide in this generation of children.

This news cast is saying they've identified a new factor - stress in the home.


Lest you think boys are in the clear and unaffected, think about who needs an overdose in estrogen, or phytoestrogens, even less than girls? Boys.

At this point, I have far more questions than I do answers for you. Bookmark and subscribe to Empowering Girls: So Sioux Me, as I research the issues, I'll keep you informed.

9 comments:

Tom said...

Tracee - one other actor to be considered: higher obesity rates.

There is a connection between body fat content and the start of menstruation (remember that world-class gymnasts usually don't start until they finish competing).

My daughter, 10, started developing last year. Interestingly, she's as skinny as a rail. SO, like you, I just don't know.

Tracee said...

Higher obesity rates is in this article, and my last one.

Whirlwind said...

As I was reading this post, I was thinking the same thing - whats going to happen as they age.

I was trying to read the CNN article, but the link comes up with an error - it looks like they moved or took down the article.

Tracee said...

Thanks for letting me know about the CNN link, whirlwind.

I'm with you. Okay, they gets breasts and pubic hair 3 years early.

But, what does this mean for their reproductive futures? What does this mean for their fertility if they decide to pursue careers before family, as has been the trend. What does this mean for hormonal methods of birth control?

I'm concerned about a lack of height. Girls stop growing in height when they finish puberty. Does that mean women will be several inches shorter if they have three less years to grow?

Tracee said...

I think the link to the CNN News story is fixed whirlwind. You can watch the video now.

that girl said...

This is just so scary - and some of the things, like the hormonal water for instance or inescapable. Apparently all of our water sources are contaminated...

jen said...

Scary times sis.

Alex Elliot said...

I would suspect it depends for each girl on why she is in early puberty. For example, in my family girls get their period right before they turn eleven. It's been that way for a few generations. I was an athlete and very thin and still got my period right before 11. I had no problems with pregnancy and I do not seem to be having any issues with early menopause. My maternal aunt who got her period at ten went through menopause in her late 40's so my ob/gyn told me to expect to go through it at the same age. It's not considered early menopause by any means. Again, though this is genetic. I too would be concerned about girls who are getting their periods early from environmental factors.

Tracee said...

Alex, I think what the news is telling us is that what you're saying USED to be true.

What I gather, from all the sources (and for sure there are more questions than answers and every girl is different), is that since you got your period at 11, your own daughter might get hers at 8 or 9. Three years earlier than your genetic family average.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Empowering Girls: Early Puberty

Please click on this link to see a CNN news story about Body of Knowledge: Puberty.

Girls today are reaching puberty around three years earlier than in previous generations. The average age of menstruation was 15 years, it is now 12. Many girls are menstruating at 9 years old, outward signs of puberty, such as pubic hair, as early as 6 years old.

The cause is unknown, so there is little parents can do to prevent it.

Some suspects include environmental toxicity, eating from estrogen-filled plastic products, medicinal hormones in the water supply, hormones in milk and estrogen-like chemicals in soy milk, inundating girls with sexualized images in the media, even rising obesity rates in today's children. Read more about these causes (with relevant source links) in my earlier article: Precocious Puberty.

Concerns of early and prolonged estrogen include higher risk of various cancers. So I wonder if the danger of estrogen-related birth control increases as well?

I have some concerns about fertility that I have yet to see addressed: If a girl's puberty process is on fast forward what does that mean for her future fertility? Will she reach menopause at the traditional time or will that also occur earlier? Can she still expect to be fertile in her late 20s and early 30s? Is there any way to answer that question before this generation of girls reach that milestone?

Here is an interview with Dr. Sherrill Sellman from iHealthTube.com where she calls it a public health disaster effecting one out of six people worldwide in this generation of children.

This news cast is saying they've identified a new factor - stress in the home.


Lest you think boys are in the clear and unaffected, think about who needs an overdose in estrogen, or phytoestrogens, even less than girls? Boys.

At this point, I have far more questions than I do answers for you. Bookmark and subscribe to Empowering Girls: So Sioux Me, as I research the issues, I'll keep you informed.

9 comments:

Tom said...

Tracee - one other actor to be considered: higher obesity rates.

There is a connection between body fat content and the start of menstruation (remember that world-class gymnasts usually don't start until they finish competing).

My daughter, 10, started developing last year. Interestingly, she's as skinny as a rail. SO, like you, I just don't know.

Tracee said...

Higher obesity rates is in this article, and my last one.

Whirlwind said...

As I was reading this post, I was thinking the same thing - whats going to happen as they age.

I was trying to read the CNN article, but the link comes up with an error - it looks like they moved or took down the article.

Tracee said...

Thanks for letting me know about the CNN link, whirlwind.

I'm with you. Okay, they gets breasts and pubic hair 3 years early.

But, what does this mean for their reproductive futures? What does this mean for their fertility if they decide to pursue careers before family, as has been the trend. What does this mean for hormonal methods of birth control?

I'm concerned about a lack of height. Girls stop growing in height when they finish puberty. Does that mean women will be several inches shorter if they have three less years to grow?

Tracee said...

I think the link to the CNN News story is fixed whirlwind. You can watch the video now.

that girl said...

This is just so scary - and some of the things, like the hormonal water for instance or inescapable. Apparently all of our water sources are contaminated...

jen said...

Scary times sis.

Alex Elliot said...

I would suspect it depends for each girl on why she is in early puberty. For example, in my family girls get their period right before they turn eleven. It's been that way for a few generations. I was an athlete and very thin and still got my period right before 11. I had no problems with pregnancy and I do not seem to be having any issues with early menopause. My maternal aunt who got her period at ten went through menopause in her late 40's so my ob/gyn told me to expect to go through it at the same age. It's not considered early menopause by any means. Again, though this is genetic. I too would be concerned about girls who are getting their periods early from environmental factors.

Tracee said...

Alex, I think what the news is telling us is that what you're saying USED to be true.

What I gather, from all the sources (and for sure there are more questions than answers and every girl is different), is that since you got your period at 11, your own daughter might get hers at 8 or 9. Three years earlier than your genetic family average.