The teen hematology gynecology program at Children’s Minnesota has been renamed the Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) hematology gynecology program.
The program specializes in evaluating adolescent and young adult women who experience heavy bleeding with their periods. The program also works closely with patients, and their health care providers, who have known bleeding or clotting disorders, require menstrual management in the setting of a prior venous thromboembolism or are at risk for a clotting disorder due to family history, or heavy bleeding to anticipate and prepare these patients for the onset of menses.
Care model: bringing together unique resources
The program brings together specialists from the Children’s Minnesota hematology program and the pediatric and adolescent gynecology program. Children’s Minnesota houses the largest pediatric blood disorders program in Minnesota, providing care to more than 60% of children and teens with blood disorders. The pediatric and adolescent gynecology program at Children’s Minnesota is the only one in the Upper Midwest with three gynecologists. Bringing these two specialties together, the AYA hematology gynecology program is the only one of its kind in the region.
In this combined care model, patients see both a pediatric hematologist and a pediatric gynecologist at the same appointment allowing for coordinated and efficient care and better patient experience.
The goal of evaluation is to understand if there is an underlying bleeding or clotting disorder if one has not been previously diagnosed. For many young women with a bleeding disorder, heavy menstrual bleeding is a first sign. Therefore, it is important to get an evaluation that includes labs and a thorough history.
Management is key
Helping young women manage their periods is key to their quality of life and overall health. When periods are heavy or painful, young women may miss school, be reluctant to participate in sports and avoid activities with friends and family. Additionally, they may be prone to iron deficiency, with or without anemia, without proper management.
Treatment can include iron, medications, hormones, and/or combination therapies. As a pediatric facility, we can offer mild to moderate sedation for any indicated procedures. Sometimes hospitalization is required.
What is “heavy menstrual bleeding?”
Heavy menstrual bleeding can include:
- More than 80 ml blood loss per period.
- Period lasting longer than seven days.
- Impact on quality of life.
- Frequent changing of sanitary protection (‹1- 2 hours).
- Poor iron status (low ferritin).
- Size of clots (› a quarter).
- Need to change protection during the night.
How to refer
The AYA hematology gynecology program accepts referrals from primary care clinicians, reproductive health providers (obstetrician-gynecologists, women’s health NPs, CNMs), emergency providers, and other specialists for evaluation and treatment of adolescents and young adult women with concerns for heavy menstrual bleeding and/or bleeding and clotting disorders. The clinic is located at the Children’s Minnesota Minneapolis hospital and specialty center. To consult with providers in the AYA hematology gynecology program or refer a patient, call Children’s Physician Access.