Menstrual disorders in girls may be associated to factors including stress, excessive exercise, obesity, as well as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), Turner syndrome or thyroid disorders.

Menstrual Disorders: A regular cycle

Menstruation, the normal discharge of blood from the vagina every month, normally begins between the ages of 10 and 15.  Each cycle lasts approximately 28 days. Maintaining a regular cycle is dependent on the balance of progesterone and oestrogen hormones. When these hormone levels are disrupted, the cycle is irregular.

How are menstrual disorders classified?

Menstrual disorders are classified according to the duration of the cycle and amount of blood. Duration: frequent menstruation, absence of menstruation (amenorrhea), primary and secondary amenorrhea (in adult women). Blood: light or infrequent menstruation (oligomenorrhea), heavy bleeding (menorrhagia), cycles shorter than 21 days (polymenorrhea), abnormal bleeding from the uterus (metrorrhagia).

How are menstrual disorders diagnosed and treated?

An endocrinologist will order blood and hormone level tests and an ultrasound. The doctor will evaluate the results and recommend an appropriate treatment. In cases where the menstrual disorder is due to thyroid disorders, the treatment will be pharmaceutical.