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Women's Health

What is going on with my period???

08/23/2010

Question:

Ever since I got my period (about 5 years ago), it has been very regular. I`ve never missed one month and it has never been more than a day or two early/late. But this May, I was due on the 12th...and it came, but it wasn`t normal. I was spotting on and off for about 10 days. I normally have heavy, heavy periods and I didn`t even need to wear a pantyliner! And then on June 2nd, I got a period and it lasted about 5 days. It is now July 14th and I`ve been having PMS symptoms for about 2 and a half weeks, but NO period. It`s very strange to me that this is happening since I have always been regular. I`ve also been very tired. I mean, sleeping like 13+ hours a day and STILL being exhausted. Please help?? Thank you!

Answer:

One main cause of irregular periods in a young woman who has had previous regular periods and also has associated symptoms of tiredness is pregnancy..You should take a home pregnancy test or have one done at the doctors office. Othewise many women do not have clock-work-like menstrual periods. This can be due to a variety of reasons, including hyperplasia (where the lining of the uterus gets a little thicker then normal), uterine fibroids (benign tumors of the uterus that can cause irregular bleeding), uterine polyps (also a type of begin tumor-like structure), miscarriages, thyroid problems, excessive weight gain or weight loss, withdrawal of hormonal contraception, and uterine cancer. Additionally, the menstrual cycle can change a bit with increasing age, stress levels, and if you are around other females.

You should talk with you doctor to see what may be causing your irregular bleeding and to develop a better understanding of your particular concerns.

Further information can be found at Abnormal Uterine Bleeding (American Academy of Family Physicians).

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Response by:

Esa M Davis, MD, MPH Esa M Davis, MD, MPH
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Family Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University