The menstrual cycle can be an important vital sign providing pediatricians with valuable information about health and disease among girls and young women. That question, she suggests, is the basis on which pediatricians can begin the necessary conversation with their patients to both educate them and their caregivers about what a normal menses is as well as to detect any abnormalities that may need addressing. Hertweck touched on key points of this clinical report. She first described what normal menses is and what pediatricians should look for when asking patients about their periods Table 1. She noted that what is considered normal menarche has not changed substantially in the United States for 25 to 30 years.
Irregular Menstruation in Teenagers May be a Warning Sign
Preparing your child for menstruation - Mayo Clinic
Even though girls get their periods on a cycle, that cycle can take different amounts of time each month. For example, a girl might get her period after 24 days one month and after 42 days the next. These are called irregular periods. Irregular periods are very common, especially in a girl's first few years of getting her period. Most girls get their first period between the ages of 10 and 15, but some get it earlier and some later.
All About Periods
She tells the nurse practitioner NP that she had her first period when she was 14 and that her cycles have never been regular, ranging from 1 to 3 months. Her last menstrual period was about 2 months ago and she thinks that she has had only four or five periods over the past year. In addition, NM is interested in discussing contraception. Because NM has come to the clinic for the first time, the NP takes a comprehensive health history. The NP also takes a family history to discern any relevant endocrine disorders.
Irregular periods in teenage girls may be linked to obesity, diabetes, reproductive issues, and heart disease. A recent study indicates that irregular periods in teenage girls are linked to obesity, and girls suffering from irregular periods may also present early warning symptoms of diabetes, reproductive issues, and heart disease. The research performed by Glueck and his colleagues was a part of a larger study initiated by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, and is published in Fertility and Sterility. The researchers studied teenage females, starting at age fourteen, who all had begun menstruating prior to the commencement of the study. Once per year, the girls were interviewed and asked how long it had been since their last period.