Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Managing menstruation for medically complex paediatric patients
  1. Susan H Gray1,2
  1. 1Pediatrics, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, USA
  2. 2Teen and Young Adult Health Center, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Susan H Gray, Pediatrics, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, USA; smh5g{at}


Physicians who care for children and adolescents need evidence-based information about how to manage menses for medically complicated patients. The use of many hormonal medications for menstrual management is considered ‘off-label’ because many of these medications have indications only for contraception. A growing body of evidence supports the use of particular medications or strategies for a wide variety of medical conditions, but this information has been slow to reach all paediatric patients, perhaps in part because of the off-label nature of prescribing. Specialists skilled in hormone management are in short supply and often not immediately available for consultation, and they may also be inexperienced prescribing for medically complex paediatric patients. Misconceptions about the necessity of menstruation or concerns regarding use of contraceptives in young patients may also limit the use of medically indicated off-label hormonal regimens. This review will outline current patient-centred strategies to inform physicians’ choices about when and how to intervene medically to improve quality of life for medically complex girls with problematic periods—whether by making periods more predictable, preventing ovulation, reducing pain or eliminating menses altogether.

  • Adolescent Health
  • Paediatrics
  • Child Health

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.