A young girl could commence her periods at 13 and this is known as menarche. A young girl should be accompanied by her mother or guardian should the need arise for them to see a gynaecologist. Problems in this age group are few and not very common. When problems occur in these early years, people become very anxious and they are not sure where to go and how to obtain help. Initial periods are usually very light, but in cases of dysfunctional uterine bleeding, bleeding could be extremely heavy and difficult to control, even in teenagers. Sometimes periods start and stop for a few months.
This should also raise a query. It is a frequent condition that along with the start of periods, they also develop acne on their face and some notice coarse hair on their face called hirsutism. These things could all be within normal limits, but sometimes it raises concern and certain tests like hormonal tests and ultrasound scans of the pelvis to exclude polycystic ovarian disease should be performed. Young girls should consider taking the cervical cancer vaccine, with counseling. (LINK to HPV VACCINE) Some teenage girls are sexually active and they should be made aware of their sexual health and how to protect themselves against sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy. They should also be informed of the best methods of contraception so that they can avoid unwanted pregnancy in early life which could have a devastating affect. Ideally girls who have never been sexually active should be given the HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer.