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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, you can discuss these with your child's GP in the first instance. Your GP may then suggest talking about this with your child's rehabilitation doctor or paediatrician.  

    What can be done to help?

    Medical intervention may need to be considered if, for example, periods are irregular, very heavy, difficult to manage or if they impact on your child's quality of life.  

    Another professional who may become involved is an occupational therapist. 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. 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 Royal Children's Hospital Paediatric Rehabilitation Service, based on the Period management fact sheet produced by the Brain Injury Service, The Children's Hospital Westmead. We acknowledge the input of RCH consumers and carers.

    Reviewed August 2020.

    Kids Health Info is supported by The Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation. To donate, visit www.rchfoundation.org.au.

Disclaimer  

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.