Norton Children’s Gynecology, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, is the only practice in Louisville, Southern Indiana and Kentucky dedicated to pediatric gynecological care. Our board-certified physicians are trained to treat irregular periods and other menstruation problems with the sensitivity that children, teens and parents need.
No two periods are the same. However, there are some signs the child may have an irregular period that warrants a visit with a pediatric gynecologist.
Menstrual bleeding is considered abnormal if it occurs more frequently than every 21 days, less frequently than every 45 days or lasts more than eight days. Counting begins on the first day of bleeding and goes until the start of the next period.
Young women can experience a number of menstrual disorders. The most common are heavy periods and painful periods (known as dysmenorrhea).
Signs and Symptoms
- Periods that last longer than eight days
- Bleeding that occurs more often than every three weeks
- Bleeding that requires changing a pad or tampon every hour or less
- Fatigue, dizziness or other signs of anemia
In girls and young women, heavy or abnormal menstrual bleeding most often occurs because of a hormone imbalance.
In some cases, ovulation does not occur regularly in the first several years after a girl gets her first period. This causes irregular, frequent, heavy or prolonged periods.
A much less common cause of heavy periods is a bleeding disorder, which means the blood is not clotting as it should.
Heavy menstrual periods often can be managed with medicines or hormone treatments.
Dysmenorrhea, also known as painful periods, is relatively common in adolescent girls. The menstrual cramps associated with this condition can be debilitating at times.
Signs and Symptoms
- Severe cramping in the lower abdomen
- Pain that radiates to the lower back
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loose stools
Primary dysmenorrhea describes severe menstrual cramping that has always accompanied menstruation. This is due to abnormal uterine contractions.
Secondary dysmenorrhea describes menstrual cramping that develops because of some other condition, such as endometriosis, infection or pelvic tumors.
Depending on the cause, treatment recommendations may include:
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Oral contraceptives
- Dietary modifications
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