Sexuality and U
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Pain, pimples and mood swings

 

Along with her period, your daughter’s body will also go through other changes during the different phases of her cycle. Some of these changes will be invisible; others show up as emotional or physical symptoms [link to SOGC section on emotional and physical symptoms – in adult and teen sections]. Yes, young girls do have pre-menstrual symptoms and they may be confusing and worrying to her. Talk about these symptoms and what she might expect and how to deal with them.

  • Remember, staying healthy, eating a healthy diet, reducing stress and getting enough exercise makes it easier for women, both young and old, to handle the changes that go along with the menstrual cycle.
  • Help her track her symptoms and keep a menstrual calendar. She may notice that she gets slightly moody or depressed or develops acne just before her period starts. Let her know that this is normal and show her how to plan around or for those times.
  • If she has menstrual cramps [links to SOGC sections on cramps in teen and adult sections], she may not want to tell you. Be aware of when she has her period and show her how to deal with any cramps or other symptoms. Keep some ibuprofen or other over-the-counter pain relief on hand. But do not offer aspirin to anyone less than 20 years of age because of the risk of Reye’s syndrome (a rare but serious illness that can affect the blood, liver and brain of a child or a teenager suffering from an infection).  Suffering through cramps does not have to be part of the rite of passage!
  • If you notice that the pain or the changes interfere with her daily life, consult your doctor or health-care professional. Help your daughter explain what she is feeling and experiencing and let her speak for herself.
Hormonal birth control

Some young women do continue to experience very irregular and or painful periods, even after they have been menstruating for a year or so. While only a doctor can determine the cause, some young women do benefit from using some form of hormonal birth control to make their periods more regular, less heavy and less painful. Talk to your daughter’s doctor or health-care provider to find out if this is an option for your daughter.