A patient brought her daughter to see me because of painful periods. The 14 year old was missing school and activities because of the unbearable cramps. She tried pain meds but they didn’t work so her pediatrician suggested birth control pills. Her father did not approve. He felt it “looked bad.” What if the rest of the extended family found out that his baby girl was on the pill? That would make her appear promiscuous and him appear permissive. Mom is puzzled because her own periods were never this bad.
Well, if the daughter’s periods are 7 days of pain, she is literally skipping out on 25% of her life! Dysmenorrhea, or painful period cramps, are a big deal especially for younger girls. In addition to pain, some girls start to feel anxious and sad as they anticipate the monthly torture. Heavy flow, fibroids, endometriosis are some of the causes of painful periods. In mild cases, over-the-counter pain meds may help. But if your child is missing school and important activities, please bring her to a kid-friendly gynecologist. Seriously consider all options. She deserves 100% of her life back!