What is considered late for the onset of menses?

Diane Tanaka, MD Adolescent Medicine Physician, shares advice for parents on what is considered late for your teenage daughter to have her first period, and should have a medical evaluation
When Is Considered Late for Onset of Menses?
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What is considered late for the onset of menses?

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When a parent should worry that their daughter may be is late, because she's never had a period before would be at age 16. If she's already shown signs of breast development. If she has no breast development whatsoever and she's 14, that's too late. So at that point either 16 with signs of breast development or 14 with no signs of breast development she should then bring her daughter in for a medical evaluation to get a hormonal work up and may be some other tests on to find out why she has not started having her period. So she is late in starting her period. There are several different medical conditions that could be responsible for that. Of which the most common would be the Thyroid condition, but there are some other not as common conditions that could exist. Such as an anatomic defect of the genitals, it could be a hormonal imbalance or hormone defect, hormone Instamatic defect. So it really would take a medical professional to sort through the different possibilities and run the appropriate medical tests to determine what is the cause of your daughter's late menses. Another condition that could also be responsible is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, which is not common but we are seeing more often among young women. Other conditions that need to be considered as well would be Anorexia or Neuroses or if she's a high performance athlete, or what we call the female athlete triad, because she's a long distance runner, marathon runner, competitive gymnast where she has really low body fats.

Diane Tanaka, MD Adolescent Medicine Physician, shares advice for parents on what is considered late for your teenage daughter to have her first period, and should have a medical evaluation

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Diane Tanaka, MD

Adolescent Medicine Physician

Dr. Tanaka is an assistant professor of clinical pediatrics and the medical director of the Homeless Adolescent and Young Adult Wellness Center and the MyVOICE Adolescent Transition Program, both at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Dr. Tanaka went to University of California, Davis for medical school and did her residency at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Tanaka's primary speciality is Adolescent Medicine, and her clinical interests include: menstrual disorders, substance use and abuse, and the treatment of sexually transmitted infections. She currently serves at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, and was awarded the Barbara Korsch Medical Education Award at CHLA in 2008 and listed in Castle Connely’s directory of top physicians in 2009.

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