Irregular periods

By Dr. Shehrebanu Merchant

What is considered as an irregular period?

• The time between each period begins to change; periods occur frequently, infrequently, or are unpredictable
• Blood loss during menstrual period varies
• The length of menstrual period varies


A common time for irregular periods is when young girls are going through puberty or when women are going through menopause. This is because changes in the body’s hormone level of estrogen and progesterone affect the normal pattern of menstruation. Women can also have irregular periods from many other causes:

• Having an intrauterine device (IUD)
• Change in certain medications or birth controls
• Change in exercise
• Insufficient nutrition
• Pregnancy or breastfeeding
• Stress
• Irregular sleep cycles
• Medical conditions that can cause irregular cycles
        o Certain cancers and benign tumors
        o Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) or underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
        o Thickening of or polyps on the uterine lining
        o Uterine fibroids
        o Primary ovarian insufficiency (early menopause)


Your healthcare provider will probably ask questions detailing changes in your physical and mental health, as well as your menstrual history. This will help identify the root causes of the irregularity. They will also preform a physical exam and preform blood tests to determine hormone regularity.

Hormone tests include the following

• testosterone, thyroid hormone, prolactin, and tests of sugar metabolism.

Dr. Merchant is a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist who has been practicing in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago for the last 27 years.

© Shehrebanu Merchant, MD | 2024 All Rights Reserved.

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