Gynecological health care for adolescents with developmental disabilities

Adolesc Med. 1999 Jun;10(2):221-9, vi.


The gynecological health care of adolescents with developmental disabilities presents a unique challenge to care providers. Adolescence is a time of turmoil for many girls and for adolescents with special needs it may seem overwhelming. Patients, their parents and their caregivers need special attention during these changes in their lives. This chapter focuses on how to perform a reproductive health evaluation focusing on the history and physical exam, especially the pelvic exam. Menstrual hygiene and menstrual abnormalities are discussed in detail. Other topics include abuse and abuse prevention, contraception, and cyclical behavior changes. Patience, persistence, and adaptation of the usual examination techniques can lead to a thorough and balanced assessment of the patient and help her, her parents, and her caregivers with the challenges of adolescence.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Medicine / methods*
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female
  • Developmental Disabilities*
  • Female
  • Gynecology / methods*
  • Humans
  • Menstruation Disturbances / diagnosis
  • Menstruation Disturbances / therapy
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / prevention & control
  • Sex Education
  • Sex Offenses / prevention & control


  • Contraceptive Agents, Female