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Irregular Menstrual cycle in Adolescents

Dr. Lakshmi Ammal, Consultant Gynaecologist, SUT Hospital, Pattom

A regular menstrual cycle of women indicates the health of her reproductive organs. Therefore, changes in the menstrual cycle indicate malfunction of female reproductive organ. That is why it is important to pay attention to many changes that the body shows. The changes that occur at each age have different meanings.

It is important to note that if menstruation starts before the age of 10 or doesn’t start even after the age of 15. It is advised to consult a Gynaecologist in such cases. Now it is common to be mature before the age of 10. Due to improved living conditions and lack of exercise, we see that girls and boys are overweight at a young age. It is one of the factors that affect menarche before the age of 10.

Menarche starts when hypothalamus and pituitary glands of brain work in accordance with the female reproductive organs such as the ovaries and uterus. Therefore, we see a few anomalies in menstrual cycle at teenage.

The menstruation should start from 28 days and end within 32 days. Scientifically speaking the menstrual period occurs exactly within 24 to 38 days in the normal menstrual cycle. Bleeding usually lasts from 5th to 8th day. Clots indicate excessive bleeding during menstruation. Abdominal, lower back and leg pains are common in the first few days.

During teenage, after a month of menstruation, sometimes menstruation does not come for several months. Menstruation may be late till 45-60 days. Bleeding may sometimes be profuse, or may be normal or relatively light in such cases. There is no need to be panic if the bleeding is not heavy during the irregular period. Bleeding may be uncontrollable in some female, leads to pallor. The symptoms of pallor varies from lack of concentration in studies, always wanting to sleep, short tempered, showing excessive liking for certain foods to wheezing while running or climbing stairs, shortness of breath. Even if these symptoms are visible many of them are not aware of this condition. They consider them as disorders that are part of physical growth.

It is important to consult a Gynaecologist in such situations. They can prescribe medications to prevent excessive bleeding and to reduce vaginal bleeding. Another problem seen in teenagers during menstruation is abdominal pain. If the abdominal pain is very severe during menstruation it is advisable to consult a gynaecologist and after making sure that there are no other health problems, the doctors provide treatment accordingly.

But even if the doctors prescribe such medicines, parents show disapproval to taking them. This is because there is a myth that such drugs will adversely affect the reproductive capacity of women. This misconception is being imposed not only on them but also on the new generation. If the bleeding is heavy during teenage, you should definitely see a gynaecologist and seek treatment for it.