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June 2001 Dr. Angela Martin

by Dr. Angela S. Martin, M.D.
Obstetrics and Gynecology
Womens Medical Group

 

Question: My daughter is only 7.5 years old and has started to develop her left breast. Is this too young and should I be concerned? Is it normal for one breast to develop before another and how long before the other catches up?

 

Answer: Breast development can occur in girls younger than age 8.   It may be due to increased sensitivity of breast tissue to low levels of estrogen.  

Breast development is the first sign of puberty, usually occurring between ages 9-11.  There can be some asymmetry to the development of the breast, and many girls will have one breast larger than the other.

What is happening to your daughter is probably normal, however, she should be observed for any accelerated pubertal development, like excessive growth spurt, pubic and axillary hair or early menstruation. Pubic and axillary hair usually occur abut 2 years after breast development.

If puberty is occurring at a faster than normal rate, then seeking a consultation with your child's pediatrician is recommended, to rule out certain central nervous system disorders, ovarian or adrenal tumors.

Dr. Angela S. Martin, M.D.
Obstetrics and Gynecology
Womens Medical Group

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