Girls, during adolescence, experience a lot of transformation, both physically and mentally. The hormonal changes inside the body and increased body fat lead to a growing preoccupation with body image among the girls.
While the pre-adolescence is majorly occupied with an assertion for independence, peer pressure and risky behaviors, the late-adolescence is more about uncertainties of sexuality.
During such a phase of major change, the teenage girls are also exposed to a number of health issues which should be addressed on time.
Mostly, these problems go undiscussed, so parents should be aware of them to help the growing girl child have the best of health condition during this phase.
Some common gynecological problems of adolescent girls are discussed below.
Menstrual Disorders: This is one of the most common problems among teenage girls. It mainly affects a girl with irregular to no menses or prolonged to profuse bleeding.
The normal age for a girl to start menstruating is from 11 years to 14 years and it is quite normal to observe a few irregularities during the first two years.
However, the matter of concern is when a girl below the age of 11 years starts getting vaginal or uterine bleeding. Also, if the menstruation does not start even by the age of 15, one should consider seeking medical help.
Talk to a gynecologist and understand what needs to be done.
Dysmenorrhea: Painful menstruation is called dysmenorrhea. It is also a very common condition among young girls and is one of the major causes of absenteeism in the school or college. Usually, these pains in the lower abdomen and lower back do not have any serious medical consequences and go on their own in a day or two.
However, you can consult a gynecologist online to know about a few safe painkillers in case of severe pain. Hot pads also help a lot in relieving the pain.
Secondary Amenorrhea: Absence of menses for 4 to 5 months is called secondary amenorrhea or oligomenorrhoea. Such cases should be reported to the doctor as it can lead to polycystic ovarian disease if remains undiagnosed for too long.
Timely treatment can prevent future risk for sexual dysfunction or infertility.
Vaginal Discharge: It is a very common condition found even in girls as young as 11 or 12 years of age. It is characterized with white, curdy or watery discharge from the vagina with itching and burning sensation.
Consultation with a doctor helps and the treatment might include some oral medicines to topical application.
However, with good diet changes and proper hygienic habits, it can be well managed.
HPV Infections: It is a sexually transmitted disease and mostly happens among girls having sexual activity at a young age. These infections are transient and asymptomatic and mostly do not recur. For severe symptoms like frequent urination, pain and burning in the vagina that is unbearable, one can consult a doctor.
Maintaining proper hygiene is of paramount importance to stay safe from such infections.
Ovarian Cysts: Ovarian cysts among teenage girls is quite common and is usually not a serious condition. Most of the time they resolve on their own. However, a regular follow-up with the doctor for the monitoring of the cysts are needed. A cyst which is growing in size or which has a solid mass inside might need proper treatment or even surgery.
Apart from these physical health problems associated with adolescent girls, there are many subtle underlying health concerns. These days many counseling sessions are organized in schools or healthcare facilities to educate girls about the ongoing physical, mental and hormonal changes. This helps them to withstand the mental instabilities and emotional highs experienced during this age.
However, internal physical wellbeing is quite important to shape their self-confidence and increase their mental strength. That is why it is suggested for adolescent girls to have their first gynecological consultation between 13 to 15 years of age.
Such follow-ups help in shaping the stage for optimal reproductive health in the years to come. This will also mark the beginning of a lifetime of care.