HEARD of the shot that delays puberty? Well, many worried parents in Hyderabad, India, have, and are now opting for these growth hormone injections for their child to delay the early onset of the menstrual cycle.
According to the Times of India, the medication appears to be a rather expensive mechanism to combat a disturbing urban health reality — girls as young as 8 and 9 attaining puberty.
Considered to be a disorder called “precocious puberty”, doctors have not only seen a rise in this condition in the last couple of years but in the number of takers of this medical treatment, which costs Rs3,500 to Rs4,000 (RM244 to RM279) a month.
“We get five to six early puberty cases a month. These girls, who are mostly between 5 and 8 years old, are managed by GnRH analogues, basically an injection to postpone the menstrual cycle till they reach 10 years of age or more,” says Prof Rakesh Kumar Sahay at Osmania Medical College.
Sahay says there are no significant side effects of this treatment.
Doctors say this condition not only has implications on the child’s height but increases the exposure to oestrogen, which can lead to breast cancer at a later stage.