Irregularities in the menstrual cycle are not uncommon among teenage girls. In most instances, there is no cause for concern. In others, there is a possibility that there is an underlying medical issue that should be addressed by an OB/GYN. If your teenage daughter has had irregular periods, here is what you need to know.
Is It Irregular?
Before worrying about your daughter's periods, it is important to understand what constitutes an irregularity. Some girls' periods will appear on time each cycle. Others might have theirs at various times. When your daughter's period does not seem to happen like clockwork, this does not necessarily mean that they are irregular.
An irregularity in periods occurs when there is an extended period of a few months in which your daughter does not have a period. Irregularities can also pertain to the actual length of time your daughter has her period. For instance, if she has a 10-day period one month, and then a one-day period the next month, it might be cause for concern.
What Causes Irregularities?
There are several possible causes of irregularities, and your daughter could be experiencing a combination of them. One possible reason is a change in your daughter's diet. If she has gained or lost weight quickly within the last few months, it could be disrupting her cycle.
Another possibility is that your daughter has uterine fibroids. Fibroids are usually non-cancerous, but they should be evaluated by your daughter's OB/GYN because they could potentially lead to other health issues.
Other factors that could lead to irregularities include the use of certain medications or over-exercising. If your daughter is sexually active, an irregularity could indicate pregnancy.
What Can You Do?
One of the most important steps you can take is to encourage your daughter to track her periods. By regularly tracking her periods, you can help her pinpoint irregularities. The information will be useful when your daughter is evaluated by an OB/GYN.
After assessment of your daughter's condition by the OB/GYN, he or she will recommend treatment for the irregularities if necessary. The treatment will be based on the cause. For instance, if your daughter's diet is the culprit, your doctor might refer you and your daughter to a dietitian to get help with making better food choices.
In the future, help your daughter with understanding how her menstrual cycle works so that she can be better prepared to identify issues and treat them when they occur. For more assistance, consider contacting a doctor like those at Women First OBGYN.