Adolescent Menstrual Issues

Adolescent Menstrual Issues

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Summary

Menstrual periods are part of a monthly cycle your daughter will experience that enables her to reproduce. On average, girls experience their first menstrual period between the ages of 12 and 13, but every girl’s body changes at a different rate. Some girls start menstruating as early as age 10, others not until 15. Most girls start their menstrual periods by age 16.

Expanded Overview

Menstrual cycles last an average of 28 days, but may range anywhere from 21 to 37 days, and periods can last from two days to a week. There are many normal variations in the cycle. You should make an appointment with your daughter’s doctor if:

  • Her period has not started by age 15 (primary amenorrhea)
  • Her periods consistently last longer than a week
  • She experiences excessive bleeding or periods lasting more than seven days, using more than eight pads or tampons per day
  • She has not had a period for three months (secondary amenorrhea)
  • She experiences bleeding between periods
  • She experiences severe cramps/pain before or during her period

Symptoms

Girls and young women typically experience physical and emotional symptoms right before – or during – their periods. These symptoms – caused by changes in a girls’ hormone levels – are normal. They include:

  • Acne
  • Bloating
  • Cramps
  • Fatigue
  • Food cravings
  • Headache
  • Mood swings

It’s important for your daughter to see her doctor if she is experiencing significant menstrual irregularities, heavy bleeding, or very painful periods known as dysmenorrhea.

 

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