Doctors can prescribe oral contraceptives to regularize periods without looking for bleeding disorders or other problems, Dr. Jaffray said. "I would love to tell parents, patients, that they really defend themselves if they really think they are bleeding more than their peers." A full evaluation is important, especially if there is any family history to consider.
[[[[Dr. Borzutzky recommends resources of the Center for the Health of Young Women.]
The main treatments for heavy menstrual periods are hormones, that is, the medications we consider contraceptives. "Contraceptive pills for hormonal benefits, a patch, a ring, an injection, an implant or an IUD are all of the options we give these girls," said Dr. Rosen. "Our cycles are regulated by hormones, that is, , estrogen and progesterone, and to decrease the amount of menstrual bleeding someone has, you can use hormones, even if they are synthetic hormones, to regulate the hormones your own body produces. "
Some parents have strong objections to their daughters taking hormones, Dr. Borzutzky said, for a wide range of reasons, many related to historical experiences with hormone therapy. Some have had bad experiences, others worry about possible future effects on their daughters' fertility or other complications, and some may be worried that giving contraceptive medications to young women will increase the chances of early sexual activity, although there is no evidence That this is true.
"There are very few patients in which we cannot find a safe hormonal medication," said Dr. Borzutzky. "We have to take each method one by one and talk about the safety, benefits, risks of each one and really analyze the science we have: it is not perfect, but we have enough evidence of safety." In addition, girls with bleeding disorders may need hematologic medications, and any anemic person will need iron.
So parents should discuss this with teenage girls, said Dr. Borzutzky, "when they start their menstrual life," and make sure their periods don't cause them much discomfort. He asked if there is anything they have stopped doing because of their periods, he suggested. "We say this all the time, we try to normalize the discussion, give context, use humor, for example, I know it is fun to talk about this sometimes," but emphasizes that it is a completely normal part of life and keeps checking.
"Let's say the pediatrician has asked me to verify two or three times a year about the periods," Dr. Rosen suggested. "Let's say, since this is your health, I need to ask you some questions about what is going on with your period."