Menstruation in Girls and Adolescence: Using the Menstrual Cycle as a Vital Sign

Different types of white underwear with red blood stains in them on a white background

Should menstruation be viewed as a vital sign like someone’s pulse or blood pressure? The menstrual cycle can be an important indicator of health, particularly in young people, but is often ignored by healthcare providers.

“It is important for clinicians to have an understanding of the menstrual patterns of adolescent girls, the ability to differentiate between normal and abnormal menstruation, and the skill to know how to evaluate the adolescent girl patient. By including an evaluation of the menstrual cycle as an additional vital sign, clinicians reinforce its importance in assessing overall health status for patients and caretakers.”