Irregular Menstrual Cycle

Also known as: menstrual irregularities, irregular periods, infrequent periods, excessive menstrual bleeding.

What are menstrual irregularities?

Menstrual irregularities are abnormalities associated with a girl’s normal monthly menstruation period. These may be irregular, infrequent or be totally missed, or, the periods may be accompanied by heavier-than-normal bleeding.

What causes irregular menstrual cycles?

Menstrual irregularities often occur during puberty when hormone changes start as a girl’s period is beginning.

Other frequent causes include

  • pregnancy
  • weight loss and malnutrition
  • eating disorders
  • stress
  • over exercising
  • abnormalities of the ovaries, thyroid or uterus
  • inflammation/infection involving the pelvis and reproductive organs
  • some medications

What are the symptoms of menstrual irregularities?

All girls are different, some will have their periods exactly every 28-30 days (and lasting usually 2-8 days), others have them irregularly with different times between each period, or the period lasts for a shorter or longer time, or, they lose more or less blood than usual during the period.

What are menstrual irregularity care options?

Treatment may only be necessary to treat an underlying cause or if the irregularity/bleeding is bothersome.  Birth control pills, other hormonal treatments or lifestyle changes may be beneficial.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: February 11, 2021 04:19 PM

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