‘She hasn’t had a chance to be a little girl’ Mum of five-year-old facing menopause shares her heartbreak

A little girl who grew breasts at the age of two is now facing menopause after starting her period at just four years old.

Emily Dover was a toddler when she started showing the classic teenage signs of puberty, and by three she had developed breast buds, strong body odour and cystic acne.

She started menstruating at just the age of four, and, within the past 12 months, has grown hair on her forehead, back and vagina.

Emily’s mum Tam Dover, from Australia, told The Mirror how body conscious her daughter is, and just how heartbreakingly aware she is that she’s different to other children her age.

Recalling the moment Emily started her period, the 41-year-old said: ‘Because she has trouble toileting, she thought she had done a poo in her undies. We used panty liners and it didn’t last more than a day. 

Images: GoFundMe/Tam Dover

She added: ‘She just hasn’t had a chance to be a little girls, she’s having to learn how to put panty liners on.’

When Emily gets her period, she describes in the only way a child would, that her ‘foo foo is bleeding.’

‘It’s difficult to explain to her what is happening,’ Tam admitted to the paper. ‘She knows she’s different, she knows she’s much bigger than other children. I don’t want her to fear what is happening.’

Emily, who now weighs around seven stone, was born ‘in the most normal of condition, and was perfect in every way.’ 


Tam, who is also mum to a 22-year-old and 20-year-old, recalled: ‘Emily is my youngest child and she was also my smallest baby after birth. She was 8lbs.’

It wasn’t until she was four weeks old – when she grew a whopping 4cm in a week – that her parents noticed anything different.

At four months old she was the same size as a 12 month old child, and by two she was displaying signs of puberty. However, it took two years before docs finally diagnosed her with Addison’s disease.

Currently five years old, Emily is alredy in the 99th percentile for an eight year old.

‘Little did we, or her physicians, know Emily had underlying conditions that are rarely seen,’ Tam wrote on the family’s GoFundMe page, set up to raise money to cover the ‘astronomical’ costs of her daughter’s treatments and medical care.

‘We are at a loss financially. We simply don’t have the funds to provide everything that Emily needs treatment wise,’ she continued.

‘It is hard to ask for the for the charity of strangers for your child, but, here we are, hoping that you can help make a difference in our little girls life, so she can just feel like a normal 5 year old. Not the 5 year old that is battling puberty amongst other conditions.’