Kids Health Info

Brain injury - Period management

  • The ability to manage menstrual periods after a brain injury will depend on a young woman's pre-injury experience with periods, and the degree of their physical and learning difficulties after the injury.

    When a girl/young woman with a brain injury starts menstruating, it can be a challenging time for her and her family.

    Sometimes after a brain injury, the following may happen:

    • A girl may start getting her period earlier than expected.
    • A girl who already has her period may take some time to start having regular periods.

    Who can provide information and support?

    If there are any concerns about period management, it is advisable to discuss these with your daughter's local doctor in the first instance. He/she may then suggest talking about this with your daughter's rehabilitation doctor.  Medical intervention may need to be considered if, for example, periods are irregular, very heavy, difficult to manage or if they impact on your daughter's quality of life.  Another professional who may become involved is an occupational therapist.

    What is the treatment?

    It is important to help a young woman prepare for menstruation by giving her an opportunity to practise the skills she will need when she gets her period.

    Preparation is important so the young woman has an opportunity to practise the skills she will need to use when she has her period. The strategies used will vary depending on the specific skills and difficulties of each individual.

    For example, repeating the steps and using prompt sheets may be helpful for a young woman with significant memory, planning and organisational difficulties. Difficulties with upper limb coordination may mean trying out a variety of sanitary pad options to see which one is the easiest to use or most suitable.

    More information

    Developed by the RCH Paediatric Rehabilitation Service, based on the Period management factsheet produced by the Brain Injury Service, The Children's Hospital at Westmead. First published Feb 2007. Updated November 2010.

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This information is intended to support, not replace, discussion with your doctor or healthcare professionals. The authors of these consumer health information handouts have made a considerable effort to ensure the information is accurate, up to date and easy to understand. The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies, information perceived as misleading, or the success of any treatment regimen detailed in these handouts. Information contained in the handouts is updated regularly and therefore you should always check you are referring to the most recent version of the handout. The onus is on you, the user, to ensure that you have downloaded the most up-to-date version of a consumer health information handout.