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Part 4: Keeping Your Child Healthy  >  The A-Z of Childhood Illnesses  >  Menstrual Problems

MENSTRUAL PROBLEMS

The first menstruation or period begins somewhere between 10 and 16 years. If you notice signs of enlargement of the breasts, your daughter would probably have her first period 2 years after that. When you find that she is having a sudden increase in her weight and height, she can be expected to get her first period about a year later.

It is important to discuss the normal phase of growing up with your daughter. If you do not feel comfortable, let another responsible person — a doctor, a counsellor or a relative — discuss it with her. 

A few months before the beginning of menstruation, girls may normally get a white discharge from the vagina. This is called ‘physiological leucorrhoea’ and does not need any treatment.


Absence Of Menstruation (Amenorrhea)

You should meet your doctor if your daughter has not started menstruating at 16 years of age or has missed her period after having started menstruating. It is possible that it may be a normal variation, but merits consultation. 

In some families, periods are normally delayed to begin with. They are also delayed in thin girls who are otherwise normal, e.g. athletes or those who practise regular dancing. In athletes who run extensively, low hormone levels related to onset of menstruation are reported. The same is true of thin girls having a chronic disease, anorexia nervosa or malnutrition.

Delayed menstruation could also be due to certain drugs. 

Take your daughter to see your doctor anyway as the cause may be different, requiring investigations and treatment.

Even pregnancy should be kept in mind.


Normal Irregularity Of Periods In The First Year Or So

The first couple of periods in a girl are usually not associated with the release of ova, the female egg. These periods can be normally irregular, scanty, prolonged or heavy. See your doctor in case of any doubt.


Discomfort During Menstruation

When your daughter starts menstruating, ask her how it is going. Remember that the periods that take place without ovulation (release of the female egg) are not painful. Do not tell her of the pain you might have had during menstruation; she may start complaining of pain due to psychological factors.

Even cycles with ovulation are not necessarily associated with pain. However, if pain occurs, you should see the doctor. If no disease is detected, the doctor may reassure your daughter and, if required, may give her a relatively safe drug called ibuprofen (400 mg. 3 times a day). Drugs containing analgin and aspirin should be avoided. The drug is started as soon as the periods begin and is discontinued when the pain stops. Girls who have regular exercise or those who take part in sports are less likely to have cramps before or during menstruation.


Mood Disturbances In Between Two Periods

Quite a few girls get a feeling of depression, headaches and cramps a week or two before the periods. If required, your doctor may prescribe ibuprofen. Most cases improve merely with reassurance, healthy diet and exercise. Tea, coffee, cola drinks, sugar and salt may be restricted.


Unexpected Bleeding From The Vagina 
While bleeding from the vagina in a newborn and in an adolescent who is otherwise well is normal, bleeding in other children could be due to some disease, or a generalised bleeding disorder, hormonal disturbance, precocious puberty occurring before the expected age, injury, a foreign body in the vagina, sexual abuse or even a tumour. Consult a doctor immediately.




7 March, 2016

 
Part 4
The A-Z of Childhood Illnesses

Abdominal Pain
Abrasions or Scratches
Acute Glomerulonephritis
Acute Nephritis
Acute Watery Diarrhoea
Addictions
Adenoids
AIDS
Allergies
Anaemia
Anorexia (Poor Appetite)
Asthma
ADHD
Autism
Backache
Bed-Wetting (Enuresis)
Birth Deformities
Bites and Stings
Bleeding
Bone, Joint and Muscle Injuries
Bowlegs and Knock-Knees
Breathlessness
Bronchiolitis
Burns
Calcium Deficiency
Cancer
Cardiac Pulmonary Resuscitation
Cerebral Palsy (CP)
Chickenpox
Choking
Circumcision
Cleft Lip and Palate
Common Cold
Congenital Heart Disease
Constipation
Convulsions or Fits or Seizures
Cough
Croup
Crying
Cuts
Dengue Fever
Diabetes Mellitus
Diarrhoea, Dysentery ...
Diphtheria
Down's Syndrome
Earache, Ear Infections ...
Electric Shock
Encephalitis
Eye Problems
Fears
Foot Problems
German Measles (Rubella)
Glands in the Neck ...
Headache
Head Injury
Hepatitis
Hydrocephalus
Hypertension
Hypospadias
Influenza (Flu)
Jaundice
Joint Disorders
Kala-Azar
Leptospirosis
Limp and Pain in the Legs
Malaria
Malnutrition (Undernutrition)
Measles
Meningitis
Meningomyelocele
Menstrual Problems
Mental Retardation (MR)
Mouth To Mouth Breathing
Mumps
Nephrotic Syndrome
Nose-Related Problems
Obesity
Pneumonia
Poisoning
Poliomyelitis
Premature Baby
Prolapse of the Rectum
Rabies
Rheumatic Fever
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rickets
Short Child
Skin Conditions
Sleep and Sleep Problems
Sore Throat (Pharyngitis)
Splinters
Stammering
Stridor (Noisy Breathing)
Teething and Care of Teeth
Tetanus (Lock Jaw)
Thrush
Thumb-Sucking
Tics
Torticollis
Tracheoesophageal Fistula
Tropical Eosinophilia
Tuberculosis (TB)
Typhoid
Umbilical Problems
Undescended Testis
Urinary Infection
Vaginal Discharge
Vomiting
Wheezing
Whooping Cough (Pertusis)



Part 4
Keeping Your Child Healthy
Choosing A Paediatrician
Proper Use of Medicines
Home Remedies
A First Aid Kit
The A-Z of Childhood Illnesses
Psychological Concerns
Managing A Hospital Stay
Emergencies
Prayer And Your Child's Health
The Role of Nature Cure
Homoeopathy
Ayurveda and Child Care
Congenital Heart Disease FAQ
 
Guide to Child Care
Home
Introduction
1 Pregnancy, Childbirth ...
2 The Growing Years
3 Feeding Infants, ...
4 Keeping Your Child Healthy
5 Keeping Your Child Happy
About Dr. R. K. Anand
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