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Take it seriously if your daughter misses even a single period: Mumbai doctors

Doctors also says the average age of puberty in boys and girls is reducing

mumbai Updated: Aug 13, 2017 21:12 IST
Aayushi Pratap
Aayushi Pratap
Hindustan Times
Doctors also said the average age of puberty in boys and girls is reducing. (Representational photo )

Citing the latest case of pre-teen pregnancy, in which the mother of a 12-year-old rape survivor would be moving the Apex Court to seek its nod to let her daughter abort a 27-week-old foetus, doctors have asked parents not to take it lightly if their daughters miss a period.

In the last two months, three cases of pre-teen pregnancies in the third trimester were reported from across India. In all the cases, the rape survivors have crossed the 20-week legal abortion limit, as parents missed the early signs of pregnancy.

Dr Arun Nayak, professor at department of gynaecology at Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital, Sion, said “Though cases of teen and pre-teen pregnancies have reduced in the past decade owing to better awareness, parents need to communicate with their children on issues related to puberty. These days, we observe that a lot of teens are sexually active by the age of 15. If a girl is sexually active and has missed her period, it is a matter of immediate concern,” he said.

Nayak added the hospital sees at least two to three cases a month of uterine bleeding caused by consumption of abortion pills at advanced stages of pregnancy.

“The selling of abortion pills has once again become unregulated. In all the cases, the pills are prescribed by general physician or quacks,” he said.

Doctors also said the average age of puberty in boys and girls is reducing. Dr Nandita Palshetkar, gynaecologist at Lilavati Hospital, Bandra, said the onset of puberty in girls on an average is earlier than boys.

“Research seems to suggest that weight gain significantly affects the onset of puberty in girls. Increase in exposure to pollutants and endocrine disrupting chemicals, could be causing the changes at a younger age. Parents must check with their daughters about their monthly menstrual cycle,” she said.

Similar cases

Last month, two cases of pre-teen pregnancies were reported from Chandigarh and Kerala. The pregnancies of both the 10-year-old rape survivors were detected in the third trimester. “The team of medical experts appointed by the Supreme Court found that the abortions were risky. The girls are admitted in the hospital for a full-term delivery,” said the lawyer who had helped parents file petition seeking permission to abort foetuses in both the cases.

First Published: Aug 13, 2017 21:12 IST