Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology
Evidence-Based Clinical PracticeEditor(s): Sultan C. (Montpellier)
The Adolescent Girl
Menstrual DisordersDeligeoroglou E. · Creatsas G.
Division of Pediatric-Adolescent Gynecology and Reconstructive Surgery, 2nd Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Athens, Medical School, ‘Aretaieion’ Hospital, Athens, Greece
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Menstrual disorders are very common in adolescence, and can be the cause of a significant amount of stress to both the patients and their parents. Variations of the menstrual cycle in this age are very broad and are mainly caused by the immaturity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian (HPO) axis. Amenorrhea (either primary or secondary), abnormal uterine bleeding and dysmenorrhea are conditions that require careful evaluation through a stepwise and logical manner. The term primary amenorrhea refers to the condition when menarche fails to occur, while secondary amenorrhea refers to the cessation of menses once they have begun. The occurrence of irregular, prolonged or heavy abnormal uterine bleeding is one of the most urgent gynecological problems in adolescence and the diagnosis of dysfunctional uterine bleeding should be used only when all other organic and structural causes of abnormal vaginal bleeding have been ruled out. Dysmenorrhea refers to painful menstruation and is the most common reason for which a young girl may refer to a gynecologist. It is characterized as primary in the absence of an underlying organic disease, and as secondary when there is evidence of pelvic pathology. Appropriate and early management of the patient is necessary in order to minimize the possibility of future complications regarding woman’s reproductive ability.
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