2-year-old Starts Puberty, Develops Breasts: What Is Precocious Puberty?

Hormones control many functions, including puberty in humans, but if these mysterious body chemicals mess up, this could disrupt growth and sometimes cause precocious puberty.


Puberty is a period between the age 10 and 14 for girls and 12 and 14 for boys where the boy or girl reaches the age of sexual maturity. For girls, major physical changes happen during this period, including enlarged breast, menstruation, rapid growth, and the emergence of pubic hair, among others.

Puberty at Two

Take the story of this 2-year-old girl who started puberty at her tender age of two. All of these physical changes happened to this British girl, who after celebrating her second birthday, started showing unusual signs that would have been unlikely for a girl her age, especially a breast bud. Her condition is called precocious puberty.

Charlene Denton, the girl’s mother, told ITV’s Good Morning Britain that the time they discovered those peculiar changes the doctor reassured that there’s nothing unusual in the situation.

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“But then she started developing a second breast bud, so we took her back and had all sorts of tests done to diagnose her with precocious puberty. We were completely shocked. We’d never heard about it,” Denton told the show as quoted by the Independent.

Precocious Puberty Facts

The World Health Organization (WHO), defines precocious puberty in a report as the onset of puberty before the age of 8 in girls and 9 years in boys. It is characterized by a rapid growth rate and emergence of secondary sexual characteristics. It is caused by overproduction of hormones prematurely that signals the early onset of puberty.

In the UK, it affects one in every 5,000 to 10,000 children. The WHO report also noted that mycotoxins produced by the fungus Fusarium, spp., could trigger the development of precocious puberty in girls.

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