Periods and Problems - Help for Teens and Parents
Often preteen and teen girls have problems with their periods, and have to miss school a few days each month because of it. These days add up quickly and can lead to frustration, lower grades and family conflict about attendance and schoolwork.
This women’s health issue is often clouded in embarrassment and misinformation that can delay or prevent girls from seeking and receiving treatment for their problem periods.
It can be hard for girls to bring up this topic with their parents, teachers, coaches and pediatricians. When they do they may be dismissed as having a “female issue” that they just “need to deal with.”
We want to let girls and their parents know that there are safe and effective ways to treat their problem periods. If they are experiencing pain, heavy bleeding, irregular bleeding or other concerns there is a treatment that is right for each girl that will help her feel well enough to go to school, get her work done and enjoy her teen years.
The first step is looking at the big picture and seeing if changes are needed. A few simple changes can help:
- Eat nutritious foods, including fruits, veggies, protein and complex carbs
- Limit or avoid fast foods and sugary drinks such as soda, juices, energy drinks and sweet teas.
- Get regular exercise: 60 minutes each day
- For cramps and pain try a heating pad or over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen
- Keep track of bleeding days and days when cramps or pain are a problem. Notice what makes them better or worse
- Keep track of moods and emotions. Learn relaxation techniques and get help for depression and anxiety if needed
- Call your health provider right away if you have severe pain, heavy or prolonged bleeding.
The next step is working with your health provider to consider medical treatment, the most common of which is low-dose hormonal therapy.
These medications are very safe for preteen and teen girls to use, and they work very well. Many of these options are packaged as “birth control,” but the medications are being used for their non-contraceptive effects. This means they decrease or eliminate bleeding and pain, can be used to regulate periods, and can help with other concerns like acne, premenstrual mood changes or headaches.
Do you know girls, teens and young women who suffer during their periods, and are missing school, work or other activities? They don’t need to “just deal with it.” Safe and effective options are available.
We are pleased to see young women in our offices. To arrange an appointment, please call (520) 795-0771.