Most women have menstrual irregularities, such as heavy bleeding and missed periods, at some point in their reproductive lives. However, you should contact your doctor if you experience the following symptoms:
Women tend to overestimate how much blood they lose during their periods. The following symptoms may indicate menorrhagia:
You may have primary amenorrhea if:
During early adolescence, it is common for menstrual periods to be irregular, at least for the first 18 months after the first period (menarche). It is also common for menstrual periods to be irregular as you approach menopause (usually between the ages of 40-58, sometimes slightly earlier or later). Menstrual periods also stop during pregnancy.
If you are not pregnant or entering menopause, you may have secondary amenorrhea. This may be the case if you had normal menstrual periods, but they have stopped for at least three consecutive months.
Abnormal uterine bleeding. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T361089/Abnormal-uterine-bleeding. Updated May 6, 2016. Accessed September 15, 2016.
Amenorrhea. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116009/Amenorrhea. Updated March 14, 2016. Accessed September 15, 2016.
Menstruation and the menstrual cycle fact sheet. Women's Health—US Department of Health and Human Services website. Available at: http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/menstruation.html. Updated December 23, 2014. Accessed September 15, 2016.
Last reviewed September 2016 by Michael Woods, MD, FAAP
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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