Category Archives: Disability

DYK – Adolescents with Disabilities

Did you know adolescents with disabilities have more menstrual issues than most?

A recent review in The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist reminds us that what works for one does not necessarily work for all when it comes to managing menstruation (and the menstrual cycle) in disabled girls and young women.

If you prefer an easier read, RedOrbit has a great overview of the review. Here are some of the highlights.

Menstrual problems in girls with disabilities are often unique to the population and can cause significant disruption to their lives, states the review. Symptoms such as restlessness, aggression, hyperactivity, increased agitation and self-mutilation can be common. The review also highlights parental and carer concerns regarding menstrual management and hygiene, including vulnerability to sexual abuse and pregnancy, as well as inappropriate behaviour, especially if the adolescent is in residential care.

In addition, adolescents with disabilities are more likely to have menstrual problems than the general female population. Previous studies have shown that up to 18% of adult women with disabilities have premenstrual syndrome, compared with only 5% of the general female population. Women with epilepsy have a higher incidence of polycystic ovarian syndrome and hyperprolactinaemia and irregular bleeding is also more common in girls with Down’s syndrome as they have a higher incidence of thyroid disease.

Be period wise. Know the facts.