Is an irregular period bad: I’m 19. Is it Normal to Still Have Irregular Periods? (for Teens)
What Are Irregular Periods: Treatment, Pregnancy, and More
Why Do Some Menstrual Periods Become Irregular?
There are many variables that can affect the length and timing of your menstrual cycle. Some are correctable, but others can signal significant medical issues.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) This metabolic and hormonal disorder occurs when the ovaries or adrenal glands overproduce the “male” hormones (androgens) and the body has insulin resistance. (4) Studies have shown that 87 percent of women with irregular menstrual cycles have PCOS. (5)
- Thyroid or pituitary disorders Hypothyroidism (when your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone), hyperthyroidism (your gland produces too much), and hyperprolactinemia (you have too much prolactin, a hormone from your pituitary gland, in your blood) can all affect menstrual regularity, says Dr. Lynn. One study found that 44 percent of study participants with irregular periods also had thyroid problems. (6,7,8)
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) An inflammation of the female reproductive system, PID is usually caused by sexually transmitted infections. (9)
Irregular Periods Can Be Caused by Non-Disease-Related Issues
Lynn points out that irregular menstrual cycles can also be caused by:
- Perimenopause As you enter the transition to menopause, which can last as long as 10 years, your menstrual cycles will become erratic as part of the process. If you skip more than two periods, you are probably in late perimenopause. (10) It’s been estimated that 70 percent of women experience menstrual irregularities in the approach to menopause. (11)
- Stress and anxiety Chronic stress or even short-term anxiety about a specific problem can wreak havoc with your hormone balance, causing a missed period and irregular cycle.
- Extreme exercise Exercising too much can throw off the timing of menstrual bleeding and sometimes stop it.
- Eating disorders, extreme dieting, or weight loss Being underweight, whether from extreme exercise, dieting, an eating disorder, or illness, can have the same effect.
- Age As mentioned, perimenopause and menopause have a major effect. But being young can create irregularities as well. “Once menstruation begins in young women, it can take several years before it falls into a pattern,” says Lynn.
- Birth control And not just birth control pills; IUDs, implants, and rings can also cause irregular bleeding.
Irregular Periods May Occur While Breast-Feeding a Newborn
Nature’s birth control, exclusive breast-feeding may cause amenorrhea — no menstruation at all — because you are less likely to ovulate for up to about six months. (Learn more before you use this method; many experts recommend new moms pair this approach with an additional birth control method, such as condoms, to increase effectiveness. )
Irregular Periods May Occur After Miscarriage, Pregnancy Loss
Also referred to as a spontaneous abortion, a miscarriage happens when an embryo or fetus dies before the 20th week of pregnancy. After 20 weeks, pregnancy loss is considered a stillbirth. (12) “After these events, it can take a couple of months before you will start having regular periods again,” says Lynn.
Should You Be Concerned if Your Period Is Irregular?
A couple of irregular periods per year are usually nothing to worry about. Any more than that, and you should see a doctor to be sure an ovulation problem or health condition isn’t the cause. “If you are someone who’s not on contraceptives and not of age for perimenopause or menopause and your periods are irregular, you should alert your physician. For example, if you do have PCOS, an irregular cycle can increase your risk of uterine cancer,” says Lynn.
Can a Missed Period Be Considered Part of an Irregular Period?
Sometimes, a period is late for a very good reason. Before you schedule an appointment with your doctor, you might want to rule out pregnancy.
Treatment Options: Can You Fix Irregular Periods?
If stress is a possible culprit in your irregular cycle, try stress management techniques, such as meditation, yoga, tai chi, visualization, cognitive behavioral therapy, and biofeedback. Avoid over-exercising, and try not to diet excessively. If you need help figuring out what’s best for you, contact a registered dietitian. For all medical issues, consult your healthcare professional.
Can You Get Pregnant With an Irregular Period?
Absolutely yes, says Lynn. “Sometimes you can ovulate with irregular cycles, sometimes you don’t ovulate with irregular cycles. If you’re not ovulating, you’re not going to get pregnant, but if you are ovulating with irregular cycles, you can. You can have bleeding without ovulating but it’s a real period only if you ovulate. You should use contraception if not desiring pregnancy and to protect against STDs. ”
RELATED: Some Period Tracker Apps Are Useful, Help Women Find Fertile Window
There’s No Simple Formula to Show That You Are Ovulating (but You Can Try)
If you are interested in ovulation timing for family planning or any reason, but you have irregular menstrual periods, see your doctor first. If you do have PCOS or another condition, you can get treated as soon as possible.
Can You Calculate Ovulation With an Irregular Period?
Ovulation calculators are not very helpful for women with irregular menstrual cycles. Just as you can’t assume you are not ovulating if you have PCOS, you also can’t assume that you are. That’s another reason to get checked out by your doctor soon, so you can begin treatment before your fertility window closes.
Although none of these fertility awareness methods (FAM) are foolproof, women with regular or mildly irregular periods may be able to help predict ovulation by monitoring themselves for ovulation symptoms such as changes in cervical mucus or changes in basal body temperature and by tracking their cycles.
Learn more about interpreting your body’s ovulation symptoms from a reputable resource, such as Taking Charge of Your Fertility or Planned Parenthood. Products such as apps, testing kits, and ovulation monitors may help some women figure out when they are ovulating; talk to your doctor before investing time and money in these products.
Pregnancy, birth control, and more
Having irregular periods is common. However, frequent or large changes to a person’s menstrual cycle may indicate an underlying health condition, such as fibroids or stress.
Doctors consider a person to have irregular periods if their cycles are longer than 38 days, or if the length of each cycle varies by more than 7–9 days.
Below are some potential causes of irregular periods, their symptoms, and their treatments.
Pregnancy stops a person from having periods. A missed period or spotting instead of a period can be the earliest sign. Other signs of early pregnancy may include:
- morning sickness
- sensitivity to smells
- breast tingling or tenderness
If a person’s period is late, they might take an over-the-counter pregnancy test or request testing from a doctor. If the result of a store-bought test is positive, consult a healthcare professional about the next steps.
Speak with a doctor as soon as possible if bleeding occurs after a positive pregnancy test, as this can be a sign of pregnancy loss or ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancies are life threatening without treatment.
Some signs of an ectopic pregnancy include:
- pain in the pelvis or abdomen
Hormonal birth control works by suppressing ovulation. This means that a person does not have a true period. However, people who use hormonal birth control pills, patches, implants, and intrauterine devices, called IUDs, can still experience vaginal bleeding.
This bleeding may occur roughly once a month, like a regular period. Some people have spotting, irregular bleeding, lighter bleeding, or heavier bleeding after they start this form of birth control. For others, the bleeding stops entirely.
Irregular bleeding due to contraception is usually not harmful, but if a person finds it undesirable or wants to try something else, they can speak with a doctor.
Prolactin is a hormone that plays a role in breastmilk production. It can also suppress ovulation, especially in people who exclusively and frequently breastfeed during the first months of a baby’s life. This means that a person may not get periods during this time.
Doctors call this lactational amenorrhea. It is not harmful. Periods usually return shortly after a person starts breastfeeding less frequently or when they stop breastfeeding.
Perimenopause is the first stage of menopause, and it begins 4–8 years before menopause starts, usually when a person is in their 40s.
During perimenopause, the menstrual cycle may get longer or shorter at various points. Eventually, periods happen less often, and they stop altogether when menopause begins.
Other possible signs of perimenopause include:
- hot flashes
- night sweats
- mood changes
- difficulty sleeping
- vaginal dryness
Doctors can identify perimenopause by performing blood tests. They may also perform tests to rule out other factors that can have the same effects, such as thyroid disease.
Menopause and perimenopause are natural stages of life, not health problems that require treatment. Some of the changes that they bring can be uncomfortable or distressing, however, and doctors can recommend ways to minimize the impact.
The right approach depends on the changes. For example, if a person experiences vaginal dryness, lubricants and vaginal moisturizers may help, while estrogen therapy may help with hot flashes.
High stress levels are associated with irregular periods. Scientists confirmed this in 2021 by conducting a retrospective study on cycle regularity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Out of 210 participants, 54% reported changes in their menstrual cycles in the early months of the pandemic. Those with higher self-reported stress were more likely to have longer, heavier periods.
When a person is stressed, the body releases stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. These can interact with the sex hormones that regulate menstruation.
Diagnosis and treatment
In the short-term, stress can help people respond to threatening situations. However, chronic stress is harmful to mental and physical health.
A person who frequently feels stressed, for any reason, may find it helpful to speak with a mental health professional, who can talk feelings through and teach ways of reducing stress. There are many stress reduction techniques that people can try.
Learn more about why stress happens and how to manage it.
Irregular periods are the most common sign of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which occurs when cysts grow in the ovaries. People with this condition often have high levels of androgens, which are male sex hormones. This can stop ovulation, resulting in irregular periods.
People with PCOS may miss periods and have heavy bleeding when periods do arrive. Other symptoms include:
- excess facial or body hair
- acne and oily skin
- weight gain
- hair loss
- difficulty getting pregnant
- insulin resistance
Diagnosis and treatment
There is no single test for PCOS, so a doctor bases the diagnosis on symptoms, blood test results, and an ultrasound scan to look for cysts on the ovaries.
The treatment depends on whether the person is trying to get pregnant. If they are, medication to induce ovulation may help.
Otherwise, hormonal birth control may help regulate the person’s cycle. Some people also find that their symptoms improve after they lose any excess weight, start avoiding high sugar foods, or both.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the neck that produces thyroid hormones. These have an influence on the menstrual cycle.
Having an underactive thyroid — a condition called hypothyroidism — means that the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones. This can cause longer, heavier periods. Other symptoms include tiredness, sensitivity to cold, and weight gain.
An overactive thyroid, or hyperthyroidism, can cause shorter, lighter periods. A person with this condition may also experience unexplained weight loss, anxiety, and heart palpitations.
Diagnosis and treatment
To diagnose thyroid disease, a doctor requests a blood test that checks levels of thyroid hormones. They also ask about symptoms and take a medical history.
If a person has hypothyroidism, the doctor prescribes medication that replaces the missing thyroid hormones.
If someone has hyperthyroidism, the doctor may recommend medication to reduce thyroid function, radiotherapy targeting the thyroid, or the surgical removal of part or all of the thyroid.
Fibroids are growths that can develop in the wall of the uterus. Most fibroids are noncancerous. They can range from the size of an apple seed to the size of a grapefruit.
A person with fibroids may have periods that are painful and heavy enough to cause anemia. They may also experience:
- pelvic pain or pressure
- lower back pain
- leg pain
- pain during sex
However, some people have no symptoms aside from irregular periods.
Diagnosis and treatment
Most fibroids that do not cause symptoms do not require treatment.
Otherwise, a person may be able to manage the pain with over-the-counter medications. If someone has heavy periods, they may need an iron supplement to prevent anemia.
A doctor may recommend surgically removing larger fibroids that cause pain or other symptoms.
Endometriosis affects 1 in 10 females of reproductive age. It causes the tissue that usually lines the uterus to grow outside the uterus. This can cause significant pain, especially around menstruation.
Other symptoms include:
- heavy bleeding
- long periods
- bleeding between periods
- painful bowel movements
- pain during or after sexual intercourse
Diagnosis and treatment
Exploratory surgery is the only way to diagnose endometriosis. There is currently no cure, but medication and hormone therapy can manage the symptoms.
People trying to become pregnant may need surgery to remove the tissue that is growing outside the uterus.
Excessive or rapid weight loss can cause periods to become less regular or stop. This happens when parts of the brain stop releasing hormones that impact the menstrual cycle. The medical term for it is hypothalamic amenorrhea, and it leads to an estrogen deficiency.
A person with underweight may develop:
- dry skin or hair
- thinning hair
- difficulty concentrating
- difficulty getting warm
- a low mood
Diagnosis and treatment
Using the body mass index (BMI), a person has underweight if their BMI is lower than 18.5. A doctor may calculate a person’s BMI to see if this could be the cause of irregular periods.
How doctors approach underweight depends on the cause. A person may have unintentionally lost weight, in which case, nutritional counseling may help. However, if the cause could be an eating disorder, the doctor may refer the person to a therapist for an assessment.
If a person finds it difficult to stop thinking about food or weight loss, or if they fixate on eating only “clean” or healthy foods, they need to speak with a medical professional. Seeking help can be hard, but it is important.
Eating disorders can severely affect the quality of life of people living with these conditions and those close to them. Early intervention and treatment greatly improve the likelihood of recovery.
Anyone who suspects they or a loved one may have an eating disorder can contact the National Alliance for Eating Disorders, which offers a daytime helpline staffed by licensed therapists and an online search tool for treatment options.
For general mental health support at any time, people can call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 24 hours a day at 1-800-662-4357 (or 1-800-487-4889 for TTY).
Many other resources are also available, including:
- The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders
- F.E.A.S.T., which provides support and educational resources to friends and family who want to help someone living with an eating disorder
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Excessive exercise can also interfere with the hormones responsible for menstruation. This can occur in female athletes, dancers, and others who train intensively. If intense exercise is combined with a restrictive diet, a person might develop the “female athlete triad,” which includes:
- disordered eating
- menstrual changes
- low bone mineral density, or osteoporosis
This can result from pressure to be thin for people who participate in certain sports, such as ballet or gymnastics. In some cases, there may be a competitive advantage of having a lower body weight. Some people find it hard to stop exercising, and the medical term for this is compulsive exercise.
Diagnosis and treatment
A doctor may determine that exercise is causing irregular periods after asking about the person’s routine and diet. For some people, making changes to the exercise routine can help.
If disordered eating or compulsive exercise is the cause, the person may benefit from working with a mental health professional.
Certain medications can affect the menstrual cycle, including:
- blood thinning medications, such as aspirin
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
- thyroid medications
- epilepsy drugs
- chemotherapy drugs
Diagnosis and treatment
Medication-related changes to menstruation are not always harmful. However, if a person believes that their irregular periods are related to a medication, they may want to speak with a doctor about alternatives. A person should not adjust their dosage of any medication without consulting a doctor.
Cervical and endometrial cancers can cause unusual bleeding from the uterus that may resemble a period. A person may also notice bleeding between periods or after sex.
These types of cancer cause few symptoms in the early stages, so it is vital to speak with a doctor about any unexplained vaginal bleeding.
Diagnosis and treatment
To diagnose cervical or endometrial cancer, a doctor may take a tissue sample to send for analysis. They may also perform medical imaging tests, such as an ultrasound. Treatment for cancer may include surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy.
People should speak with a doctor if they:
- stop having periods for several months and are not pregnant
- suddenly develop irregular periods, when these are usually regular
- have a cycle that is shorter than 24 days or longer than 38 days
- have a cycle that varies dramatically in length
- experience bleeding between periods or after sex
- experience bleeding after menopause
- experience other symptoms, such as unusual vaginal discharge or fever
Keeping track of when periods occur can help people recognize any irregularity and spot patterns. For example, if someone starts birth control or experiences a stressful event, they may notice that this affects their period.
People can track periods in a diary, on a calendar, or with a period tracking app. Begin by marking the first day of a period, and continue marking the days when bleeding occurs. Within a few months, a person can tell if their periods are regular.
Some people also note down any symptoms, how light or heavy the bleeding was, and any factors that might have affected it. It can be useful to show this record to a doctor when speaking with them about irregular periods.
Irregular periods can result from a range of factors, including some medical conditions. Most causes of irregular periods are not serious, but some are. A doctor can determine the cause and suggest treatments or other approaches, if necessary.
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Menstrual disorders – symptoms, causes, features, diagnosis and treatment in medical centers “К+31
What is a menstrual disorder?”
Menstrual disorders (MC) are a common problem that occurs in modern women.
This happens at different ages. To understand if you have a violation of the menstrual cycle, you must have
idea of when a cycle is normal. The normal cycle of menstruation is the period when the female body
there are cyclical changes “programmed” by nature to prepare a woman for pregnancy. Usually,
it can be 21-38 days. In the absence of conception, “menstruation” begins, which lasts up to seven days. First
two or three days there are abundant bleeding, after which they become insignificant in volume and completely stop.
Symptoms of irregular menstruation
Abundant “menses” or bleeding
Irregularity and scarcity of menstruation or their complete absence
900 02 4
Menstruation lasts more than seven days
Menstruation come earlier than usual
The cause of the violation of the MC can be:
- Hormonal disorder, which often occurs before menopause;
- Uterine fibroids – a tumor-like formation under the mucosa of this organ;
- Adenomyosis, when the endometrium grows in the muscle tissue of the uterus;
- Thickening of the endometrium.
Blood discharge that is not related to the normal course of menstruation may be the result of an abortion, as well as childbirth, when the remnants of placental tissue are not completely removed.
You need to know that with the appearance of bleeding that is not associated with menstruation, you need to urgently consult a doctor. Not only excessive blood loss is dangerous for the body, but also the fact that blood is an environment in which various bacteria multiply, which can lead to additional problems.
Often, women complain of bloody discharge that appears during or after sexual intercourse. The reason for this can be various pathologies and diseases of the internal genital organs up to cancer. In this case, it is necessary to urgently consult a doctor in order to determine exactly why this happens and start treatment on time.
Disorders of the cycle of menstruation are manifested in the form of:
Abundant blood loss during “menses”
Bleeding between periods
90 002 3
Blood discharge during sex or after intercourse
Oligomenorrhea (scanty and irregular periods)
Complete absence of periods
Make an appointment at a convenient time for the next date
When is the best time to do an ultrasound of the mammary glands, on what day of the cycle?
March 26, 2018
Where, how and when to do breast ultrasound?
- Features of breast ultrasound
- When to do breast ultrasound
- Making an appointment
- Examination of pregnant women
- Hardware diagnostics for irregular cycles or menopause e
- Ultrasound of the mammary glands during menstruation
- Reasons why appoint study
- Features of preparation and procedure
Where, how and when to do breast ultrasound
Did a mammologist or gynecologist order an ultrasound examination of the breast? Or did you decide to get yourself checked out? In any case, it will only be for the good. Ultrasound of the mammary glands is a diagnostic method that allows you to identify pathological processes in the early stages of their development or to confirm that there is no danger to health. But in order for the results of the study to be true and informative, it is desirable to do it during a certain period of the menstrual cycle.
On what day of the cycle is ultrasound of the mammary glands done? That is, the procedure should be carried out immediately, as soon as the abundant bleeding ends. The reason for this severity is a decrease in the level of hormones in the body in a given period of time. When ovulation occurs, their number reaches its climax, this negatively affects the ultrasound picture and, accordingly, the final results.
To make it clearer, let’s describe the processes in the female body during each phase of the menstrual cycle.
As you can see, it is better for women to have breast ultrasound during the first phase of the menstrual cycle. During this period of time, the chest is the least susceptible to swelling, less dense, the ducts are clearly visible. The probability of detecting pathology in this case is 2-3 times higher.
If you have an irregular cycle, you are pregnant or have already entered the postmenopausal period, there is also a way out. About what day to do breast ultrasound in such cases, we will tell further.
Please note that if a mass is suspected in the mammary gland, ultrasound is performed regardless of which day of menstruation has come. Pathology can be detected by a mammologist during an examination. How long have you been at the doctor? If a year ago or more, schedule a visit now by filling out the form below. The fact is that in 98% of cases, breast disease is asymptomatic, and you yourself will not be able to detect a seal of 10 mm in size in the gland.
Appointment for a visit to the center
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, when it is best to be examined by pregnant women
Practice shows that due to severe hormonal surgery during pregnancy, it is more difficult to detect a disease or negative changes in the mammary glands
if the study is carried out in the presence of complaints or if there are complaints. as quickly as possible, regardless of gestational age or other factors. But even in this case, the doctor may prescribe other diagnostic methods that will be more revealing.
How an ultrasound scan is done a woman’s breasts with an irregular cycle or after menopause
Irregular menstruation is not normal. But this is not an exception either. This happens regularly in medical practice. In this case, the principle of inspection on the 5th or 12th day of the cycle disappears. The procedure can be carried out on a day convenient for you. The same applies to women who have gone through menopause, and menstruation is absent in principle. For women taking hormonal drugs (contraceptives, replacement therapy, the day of the cycle is also not important.
Is it allowed to do ultrasound during menstruation
As we said above, the optimal period for the study is 5-12 days after the start of the cycle. But sometimes a mammologist prescribes a procedure on critical days in order to observe different parts of the tissue in dynamics. This allows you to more accurately diagnose and prescribe treatment.
The doctor performs hardware diagnostics during menstruation, if:
- swelling or discoloration of the skin of the mammary glands;
- pathological discharge appeared from the nipples;
- it is necessary to check the organ for the presence of intraductal formations;
- there were signs of postpartum mastitis;
- it is necessary to observe the dynamics of growth (decrease) of cysts;
- you have severely injured your breast;
- an urgent need to prescribe contraceptives.
Questions like “Can I have an ultrasound on the 3rd day of the cycle?” should not occur if there is an urgent need and indications for the procedure. Be mindful of your health, do a breast self-examination once a month and visit a doctor at least once a year. If there are the slightest changes, it is immediately better to go to a mammologist.
The 12 most common reasons for having a procedure
Ultrasound is a safe diagnostic method that can provide complete information about the state of health. There are several reasons that will help you understand when to do a breast ultrasound.
|Need to confirm or deny the presence of a cyst||Pain in the mammary glands|
|You choose combined oral contraceptives||There are redness, bumps or other abnormalities on the chest|
|You are planning an IVF procedure||There is an asymmetry of the organ|
|There is a benign tumors and malignancies in the uterus or ovaries||Additional examination required in gynecological pathologies|
|In rehabilitation after plastic surgery||It is necessary to confirm or refute the presence of mastopathy|
|You injured breasts||You are undergoing a planned annual inspection|
The list is not exhaustive. Yes, and you should not wait for the appearance of alarming symptoms to sign up for the procedure. Ultrasound is safe, so it can be done as often as needed. Moreover, regular examination allows you to identify the pathology at an early stage and eliminate it, or make sure that nothing threatens your health. Sign up for the procedure by filling out the form above. It will be necessary to spend only 1 hour of time, and then six months or a year does not worry about the condition of the breast.
How an ultrasound is done : preparation and steps
There is no need to prepare for the procedure, even if it is your first time. It is only required to correctly calculate the favorable day for the inspection. There is no need to stick to a diet or stop taking medications.
The process takes 15-20 minutes on average. Consists of 3 stages.
Our Specialized Breast Center has doctors who specialize in breast diseases in men and women. They know what is normal and what is not.