Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine: Menstrual Problems (Video Transcript)

Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine

Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine: Menstrual Problems (Video Transcript)

Pediatrician Paula Cody, MD, of American Family Children's Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin, says menstrual problems are the number one reasons young women miss school in the United States.

Video Transcript

Watch Dr. Cody's video, or read the transcript below:

Did you know that the number one cause of school absenteeism in adolescent females is menstrual problems? That a lot of girls miss school, even one or two days a month, because of periods that are too heavy or too long.

And there's all these other symptoms that can accompany periods. Like nausea. Headaches. Backaches. Pain other than just their menstrual cramps. And it's really unfortunate that these girls are suffering through these symptoms that really can impact their daily lives, when we have so many different options to treat their -- these period problems.

We have everything from non-hormonal options -- we also have hormonal options like birth control pills. The patch. The ring. Injectable devices that last three years, and intrauterine devices that last five years. We have so many different options, it's really a tragedy that this continues to be a problem.

So if your child is having painful periods or periods that are too long and impacting their school attendance or their sports activities, it's time to see a physician.

Other things you should see a physician for, in regards to periods, including periods that last greater than seven days. Periods that are so heavy that they soak up a pad every one to two hours. Periods that were irregular after a period of being regular. If your daughter has missed more than three periods consecutively. If you think your daughter may be pregnant. If she -- you feel that she has had an eating disorder and the periods have stopped.

Or if she is 15 years of age and has not yet had a period or she is -- she had breast development three years ago and still has not had her first period. Those are things that you should go to see a doctor.