Menstruation and developmental disability

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Suggestions for parents and caregivers of a young person with a developmental disability who has just started or is about to start menstruating. Menstrual suppression of periods is also discussed.

Key points

  • Most people who menstruate get their first menstrual period when they are about 12 or 13 years old. This includes young people with developmental disabilities.
  • Some young people with developmental disabilities may find it hard to cope with their periods.
  • Some parents/caregivers decide to give their child medicine to help them manage periods more easily.
  • These medicines may include pain medications or hormonal therapy. Wait until your child has their first period before you decide to give them medicine.
  • Wait until your daughter has her first period before you decide to give her medicine.
  • Medicines can make periods lighter and more regular or make them stop.
  • These medicines can also have some side effects.
Last updated: May 1st 2023