Puberty in girls

6 replies, Page 1

Meera 2009-01-29 12:24:31



My daughter just turned 11 years so we are getting ready to face puberty. While taling to her about menstruation, I understood from her that almost 3 -4 girls in her girls had attained puberty in class 4 ie at about 9 -10 years! I remember my days when 12-13 years was the age when we attained puberty. My mother's generation says that 15-16 was the age when they matured! Now I wonder why the age of puberty in girls is reducing. While improved nutrition might be one reason, i wonder if consumption of processed food can be a cause? Do you think milk consumption is another reason. Afterall with milk today coming in from large scale dairies there is a school of thought that says that hormones are often injected to increase milk production in cattle which might be reasons for early onset of puberty. Any thoughts?



mango_mama 2009-02-17 16:50:34


Hi Meera,

I have an 8 year old girl so I happen to ask my cousin who has two older girls and thought would share some info.

While it does not answer the question about why are girls getting periods earlier but helps address queries about typical age and when to broach and explain about periods and puberty.

It sounds like the norm here and even in the U.S. is that most girls start their periods when they are 11 - 12. So in their sixth standard. So most moms in India explain periods when their daughters enter 5th grade.

She mentioned that in the U.S., they have a nurse come in schools and have a tea for mothers and daughters and explain periods etc. in the 5th grade. How nice! So that all kids have the same information and tackle it in a matter-of-fact sensible manner instead of the giggly secretive manner I remember we did. Oh yes, and the nurse even gives tips on pain handling, what to do, and even what to do if you have  staining accident--keep a light jacket or shirt handy and if you stain, tie around your waist.

Wish we had this. Or even if our daughters can have this kind of education and information sharing. Wonder if any schools in India have this kind of session?


Sumo 2009-02-18 09:49:53


Hi Gita,

Having a nurse talk to the girls is a wonderful way to prepare them for puberty.  I am not aware of any school that does this, atleast in south India.  Short of that, I was wondering that may be some parents, preferably gynics, or even those who can talk with some facts, etc can volunteer to do this in schools, may be for sections other than where they girls are.  The only issue I see is that in a co-ed school, this needs to be done little subtly so as to not make the girls go shy in front of the boys later.

This makes me think that we could ask the school if they would encourage these kind of suggestions - I intend to do this in my daughter's school and may be we can all volunteer in respective schools to make it easy for kids!




mango_mama 2009-02-18 10:28:04



Apparently, they have a separate session with boys since boys need to know and not make fun of girls. Actually, these kids these days are not shy. I was talking to my sis in law and I told her to talk softly  because her daughter (just got periods) might get conscuous and she burst out laughing and said these kids these days are not shy and very matter of fact. Far cry (actually in a good way) from our giggly times.

Yes, actually talking to the school is a great idea.



shobha 2009-02-25 11:10:04


I came across an article in the New York Times about a very interesting book called "My Little Red book" by Rachel Kauder Nalebuff which is very relevant to this discussion. Looks like  "My Little Red Book" is a must have for all moms and daughters. It is a collection of stories from women all over the world about their first periods experience. This also gives a perspective about how periods is treated in different cultures. Though from different cultures and background all of them share a common bond. It also gives a first hand experience, suggestions, feelings explained by women from all walks of life in their own words. So give this book a try.


madhuriesingh 2009-08-10 22:46:27


 Well you are right when you say that there is some role of the hormones in early puberty in kids now a days!

All food that we eat are fortified. Even vegetables and grains too. Now what most people do not link is that hormones are triggered and catalysed into action by the presence of certain minerals and vitamins. So all food that we eat , directly or indirectly are boosting hormonal release or the onset. The non vegetarians will find things happening evena bit earlier because of the hormones injected into hens, goats etc. 

So what you eat is what you are !

I think as of now only sea food is still untouched. 

Its not though difficult to handle it, as you have gone through it. Its better to sit down and explain the reproduction in the simplest way and then introduce the periodic process to your daughter. 

Today internet is loaded with information. Do a good research and have a planned talk.


Madhurie Singh


Meera 2009-08-11 13:26:01


Yes Madhuri

I agree with you about food and its link with early onset of puberty. I am not sure about the purity of sea food - though with the quantity of waste that gets released into the sea- wonder how much of it gets into the fish tissues? And with increasing depletion of natural resources in the sea people are getting into culture fisheries which are again man made- with feed and other fattening chemichals added.

But coming back to the thread of discussion- some friends have mentioned about dealing with the issue- I think more than the information that is to be provided it is the manner in which it is conveyed! I think there is a need for sensitivity and openness when we talk about it to our daughters. I remember my own experience- I was about 12 years old- considered too young to be "mature". My mother conveyed the information certianly but I still can still feel the sense of anxiety that she conveyed along with the message. I hope I will not do something like this when my daughter attains puberty.

In south Indian Cultures the onset of puberty is celebrated with a ceremony. Not so in the north where I grew up- it was most embarrassing to have sometihng like this done so finally we didnt have it . But embarrassment continued during visits to Madras when relatives would hand me gifts saying "this is for you. You have become a big girl..."  I dont know if people still practice these customs but I am not sure if I want to do it for my daughter. I also dont want to publicise this kind of information among relatives. Everyone is entitled to some kind of privacy- even little girls

We  discuss these issues quite often and I get inventories every now and then about classmates who have "got thier periods"- so the topic is not taboo at home. We discuss how one feels about this and when to report and what symptoms to report- her school is also doing a wonderful job supporting us. I just hope that when the time comes we will all be prepared.




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