Peafessional gynaecologist Sonia talks about periods, pain and managing them both a lot better

Kate and Mandy talk to peafessional Professor Sonia Grover, Director of the Department of Paediatric and Adolescent Gynaecology at the Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, and former President of the International Federation of Paediatric and Adolescent Gynaecology - but you can just call her Sonia. 

 

Sonia has seen plenty of change in the 30 years she’s worked at the RCH. Periods, sex, genitals and tampons weren’t topics that the male gynaecologists of the past were comfortable with, so as a woman, Sonia is now able to bring a different level of care and insight to her patients.   

 

Sonia has two rules in life – one, be sensible and two, periods are not allowed to mess up any young person’s life, and if they are, then something has to be done. 

 

Sonia recommends that parents keep a diary of any of their child’s symptoms occurring in 4-6 week cycles, such as skin changes, vomiting or even seizures. If a cluster of symptoms is happening cyclically, it’s time to say, “I want to see a paediatric adolescent gynaecologist.”

 

She also recommends a range of treatments to manage varying levels of bleeding and pain, from the simple to the more complex. Sonia also discusses options to give peashoots more choice and dignity in managing periods (Mandy found the book Special Girls’ Business helpful – although it needs an update to include period underwear) and highlights the challenges and traumas transgender peashoots can experience in managing periods and future fertility options.

 

In the future, Sonia wants a world in which young women’s period pain is managed a lot better. We agree! 

 

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