Care For The Developmentally Disabled

Open Arms OB/GYN -  - Obstetrics & Gynecology

Open Arms OB/GYN

Obstetrics & Gynecology located in Toronto, ON

The developmentally disabled population is very diverse, and includes children, adolescents, and women with cognitive and/or physical disabilities. Individuals may have mild to severe impairment and vary in the amount of support they require. Developmentally disabled individuals are entitled to same reproductive health care as their abled bodied peers. Dr. Melanie Ornstein has had over 17 years of experience working as a pediatric and adolescent gynecologist. She was previously on staff at the Hospital for Sick Children, and now runs a Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology Clinic at Michael Garron Hospital. She has published extensively in this area and has lectured locally, nationally, and internationally on this topic. Dr. Ornstein has long been an advocate for care of this population.

Care for the Developmentally Disabled Q & A

What types of health care are available for the developmentally disabled?

Women with developmental disabilities may require extra time and care. We provide a patient-centered, individualized approach to meet the reproductive health care needs of this group.

At Open Arms OB/GYN Developmentally disabled girls and women have access to comprehensive obstetrical and gynecologic services including:

  • Concerns during puberty transition
  • Menstrual issues, including requests about menstrual suppression
  • General gynecology including contraception, sexually transmitted infections, Pap tests, Gardisil vaccine, and others
  • Preconceptual counseling and obstetrical care

What are the benefits of menstrual suppression for developmentally disabled women?

Many women may find it helpful not to have a period every month, including those experiencing severe pain with periods or mood-related symptoms associated with the hormonal fluctuations of monthly periods.

Women with developmental disabilities and their caregivers may additionally have concerns with personal hygiene needs, mood and behavior issues, seizure frequency, and other issues.

Women with developmental disabilities may be at higher risk for sexual abuse, and although medications that stop periods protect against unplanned pregnancies, women and caregivers may still require counseling on sexuality and sexually transmitted infection prevention.

How are periods suppressed?

Stopping periods may be beneficial for non-disabled or developmentally challenged women. Doctors may prescribe hormonal pills, patch, injection, or hormone-containing intrauterine devices (IUDs).

The doctors at Open Arms OB/GYN provide sensitive and caring reproductive health care services to all people, including girls, adolescents, and women with developmental disabilities.