There just isn’t that much information out there on this topic, but it is one that strikes terror in many parent’s heart. LuLu started her period last December. The first one was a momentous occasion that she handled better than I expected, given her trauma background.
After that, her hormonally challenged body decided to have cycles that occurred every 14-16 days. This was just TOO MUCH for poor LuLu, both physically and emotionally. So for the last 6+ months we have struggled mightily trying to recognize what is a hormonal mood swing, what is a trauma reaction, and what the heck to do with a child whose body is so betraying her.
Well, the obvious solution was to head to a pediatric gynecologist as soon as possible. (Like I even knew the profession existed.) The “as soon as possible” part required an appointment made over two months in advance. The bottom line was that we made the decision to put her on birth control pills to stop her periods for now. In weighing the pros and cons of this decision, her past trauma, and her obvious emotion turmoil (how much is PMS is anyone’s guess) over the whole issue were the main factors in the decision.
LuLu herself is ecstatic. She was totally surprised that the doctor would suggest such a thing. I hadn’t discussed it with her prior to the appointment, only telling her that we were going to see this doctor to talk about her periods. But she is thrilled at the thought that she won’t have to deal with the whole issue that scares and dysregulates her so.
While I have some obvious concerns about how controlling her hormones in this way will impact the rest of her already chaotic neurochemistry, there is enough evidence that it may actually help her overall chemistry rather than hurt it. Which is what makes it worth a try.
Girls like LuLu have a double whammy when it comes to early puberty. Studies show both that children with developmental delays, like autism, are more likely to reach puberty early AND girls adopted internationally are also more likely to as well. In fact, this study shows that 45% of girls adopted from Asia have early onset puberty. So in some ways this was inevitable. But it hasn’t been easy.
Precocious Puberty: How it Could Affect Your Child
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