Photo credit: Getty Images

What about all these social media’s buzzes on pre-pubertal girls getting pregnant? So I wonder if these scribes have come to bamboozle us again with their fake stories? It was a pity I haven’t had such a time to open any of those links till now, but what I have got to use this crucial time to write about is the headline that got me totally perplexed: Mystery! A 5year old Girl Pregnant For An Unknown Man. Unbelievable is the word, I guess, but would you believe me if I said the story was possibly true? Or overtly untrue?

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Going through stories of the world’s youngest birth mothers, I discovered that prior to the case of this 5 year old Nigerian girl who got pregnant in Plateau state, we have always had the world’s youngest mother to be Lina Medina, from Peru, who gave birth at age 5years and 7months in 14th of March, 1939.

 

According to wikipedia, Lina Medina hails from the Ticrapo District of Peru, gave birth by cesarean section in Lima (Peruvian capital city) at age 5 1⁄2. The infant was a 2.64 kg (surprisingly not low birth weight) boy named Gerardo. Medina’s parents, who assumed their daughter had a tumor, took her to a hospital in late March, where she was then found to be 7 months pregnant. By interrogating her parents, the doctors understood that Medina had entered into precocious puberty very early after her birth. Although Medina’s father was arrested on suspicion of sexual abuse, he was later released due to lack of evidence, and the baby’s biological father was never identified.

 

Similar archive reveals that in Nigeria, there was this case of a child who gave birth in December 1884 at age 8years and 4months, a member of chief Akkiri’s harem on the island of Calabar.

 

Now the question is, how was it possible for those children that haven’t gotten to the normal pubertal age to conceive? I can hardly imagine how it was possible for these children to have had sexual intimacy with men! Was it rape or what?

Here is the logic, a female that is not reproductively mature (i.e. has not started ovulating or laying eggs and with no fully developed sexual organs) is not suppose to conceive if a sperm was introduced through her reproductive canal, possibly from sexual assault. The simple reason is, there would be no egg to be fertilised by the Mr ‘paedophilic’ spermatozoa. If these girls were assumed to be reproductively naive as the case may be, how did these eggs/ ova that were fertilised and became babies come to be?

Could they have been secretly ovulating at tender ages of 4, 5, and 6?

If they were, how didn’t the parents or guardians take cognisance of other obvious features of puberty?

The possible explanation to this is what’s medically referred to as ‘Precocious puberty’, which is literarily the onset of puberty before 8 years in girls or 9 years in boys. The earliest of these pubertal features in girls is development of breast buds called Thelarche, seen as small soft bud-like swelling around the girl’s nipple. This may be followed by growth of public hair, armpit hair and rapid height spurt—Pubarche, and later followed by start of menses—Menarche, which means a girl may now conceive if the male sex cell is introduced into hers.

 

What causes this early onset of Puberty in girls?

The commoner type, which is the central precocious puberty may be caused by problems in the brain: for example, a brain tumour that produces abnormal level of hormones in the brain that cause release of high amount of sex hormones prematurely. These sex hormones, basically oestrogen and progesterone, now become the culprits in a 4 or 5 year old girl having early sexual maturation. Don’t forget that, a boy with precocious puberty would also have features like early genital maturation, thickening of voice, and early male hair distribution.

 

Is precocious puberty treatable?

There are available medical treatments depending on the cause. These treatment options could also be medical or surgical.

 

What’s the best way to deliver such a baby?

The best available delivery mode is an elective caesarean section, where the young mother is monitored through the pregnancy and baby surgically taken out once term (usually 37 to 40weeks), not necessarily waiting for mother to fall into labour.

 

Well, Lina Medina remains the youngest mother in the world; her record, still yet to be broken. For this Nigerian girl from Plateau state, if she successfully delivers of her baby perhaps at age 6, it means she would take the record from the Akkiris as the youngest mother in Nigeria.

Thanks for reading.

 

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