Pills for Teens and Handling Bleeding

A listener wrote: (Paraphrasing) That her 12 yr old daughter started her period with a very heavy first bleeding episode. Eventually the heavy periods lead her family physician decided to put her on birth control pill to control the period. However, the young girl has now been has been getting bleeding while on the pills and requires extra treatments with pills to make her stop. Her physician wants her to take the active pills non-stop so she will not have to deal with the bleeding. Skipping the pill free week is known as continuous birth control pill use, and the reader's question is question is regarding the safety of continuous birth control use for someone that young. Continuous use of the contraceptive pills does increase overall hormone use, and it is an important question as to whether someone, who is going to use pills for many years should already be increasing total hormone exposure. Since risks are so low for this group, we say yes, is likely safe for all adolescents, although it has not been studied in them as much. A personal consultation would determine if the breakthrough bleeding is from just the pill or another gynecologic cause, before making a decision on changing the pills, or how you take them, or using some other treatment for the heavy bleeding.. For instance some people have irregular menses due to bleeding disorders (that would be rare!), others have ovarian cysts, and yet others are taking medicines or foods which interfere with their pills! We worry that continuous pill use may lower estrogen levels rather than raise them so that it is always important for young girls on birth control to get plenty of calcium in their diet. And above all get them to meet a gyno and establish communication so that when your teen has a question, they have a medical person they could ask as well as mom!


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