Primary Care Perspectives: Menstruation and Period Poverty - Episode 104

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At what age should pediatricians worry if a patient hasn’t had their first period? How can they help patients manage chronic period pain? What is “period poverty” and how can doctors help? Shelby Davies, MD, a fellow in the Division of Adolescent Medicine, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, discusses a variety of period-related topics, including: a review of the normal sequence of puberty and menarche and a normal menstrual cycle; etiologies of amenorrhea and how to evaluate for different causes; laboratory tests to consider in cases of primary and secondary amenorrhea; a review of causes and management suggestions for irregular cycles and heavy flow; a review of management options for dysmenorrhea, including effectiveness of different OTC painkillers; an explanation of menstrual cups and reusable period underwear, alternatives to tampons and pads that are increasingly popular; a discussion of “period poverty” and the barriers some teenagers face in managing their periods, and how doctors can screen for this and help; and more.

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