We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Thelarche?

Tricia Christensen
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Thelarche is part of normal maturation in females or it can occasionally occur early or prematurely and be considered an abnormal finding. Like menarche, the first period, thelarche represents another first. This is when the breasts first begin to develop and a small breast bump, bud, or lump because perceivable right underneath the nipple.

Normal thelarche may range in time of occurrence. Some define this as being normal when it occurs any time after the age of six, or others suggest a better average age is about eight. Like menarche, there can be vast range in when breast buds first occur. They also don’t always occur simultaneously and there could be some difference in size of breasts, or months between development of one breast and the other.

Though first periods are often thought of as a time a girl “becomes a woman,” thelarche illustrates the gradual nature of puberty. Signs of developing breasts usually occur before the first period and they represent an increase in the female hormone, estrogen or estradiol, which will ultimately lead to ovulation and menstruation. It is not uncommon for there to be more than a year between thelarche and menarche.

Under some circumstances, breast bud development occurs at a much earlier time. Sometimes girls between the age of one and three might have noted development of breast buds. This is usually not accompanied by any other symptoms of sexual development, and it would be extremely unusual for the breast to continue to enlarge to average woman size. Significant enlargement of the breasts won’t take place until real puberty occurs. Often the condition goes away within a few years time and a clear cause cannot be found.

There are some premature thelarche causes that do need to be considered. One could be exposure to hormones from another source, such as ingestion of birth control pills or coming in contact with estrogen creams. Sometimes there is evidence of other signs of puberty or elevated hormones that can suggest dysfunction with glands like the pituitary gland. Doctors will ordinarily test for any abnormalities of this sort and, as stated, the situation may simply resolve. Sometimes girls who have premature thelarche also have precocious puberty, beginning sexual maturation before they are eight.

In almost all instances thelarche occurs only in females. Yet, baby boys may occasionally have enlarged breasts too. This is generally caused by exposure to the mother’s hormones while in the womb. It is transient and suggests nothing about gender identity or normal male sexual maturation.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen , Writer
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a The Health Board contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.

Discussion Comments

By anon256467 — On Mar 21, 2012

If thelarche occurs in a boy, is it dangerous?

Tricia Christensen

Tricia Christensen

Writer

With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a The Health Board contributor, Tricia...
Learn more
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.