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Secondary Sexual Characteristics and Menstruation

RICHARD M. BUCHTA, MD
Am J Dis Child. 1984;138(11):1087. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1984.02140490087032.
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Sir.—I assume that there must have been a typographical error in the editorial by Lightner,1 "Treatment of Precocious Pseudopuberty Associated with Ovarian Cysts," that appeared in the February edition of AJDC.

In the first paragraph, it is stated that the "appearance of secondary sexual characteristics before the age of 7½ years or menstruation before 8 years of age" is defined as sexual precocity. It takes on the average two to 2½ years from the onset of secondary sexual characteristics for menstruation to occur. From the definition stated in this article, secondary sexual characteristics would have had to occur at 5½ or 6 years of age in order for menstruation to occur at 8 years of age, or menstruation would have had to occur prior to the appearance of secondary sexual characteristics. In either of these situations this is distinctly abnormal.

The definition of sexual precocity should read, "appearance

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