Monday, January 18, 2010

19 Year Old With Very Irregular Periods May Have PCOD


Question:

I am a 19 year old female (obviously). I had my first period when I was approximately 11 years old and for the first three to four months I had a regular cycle. After that period of time my cycle became irregular (which is in no way odd for someone of that age), being that I would menstruate every other month rather than every single month. After approximately 4 to 5 months of this my menstruation stopped completely. Over the course of the next 3 years I would have a period perhaps once every 5 to 6 months, and there would never be any mood swings, cramping, bloating, or overly heavy flow. The intervals between menstruation began to increase from there, lengthening to 8 months between periods (give or take two months).

This month and last month, however, I have had my period. Two months in a row after almost 13 months without anything. This past month, however, I have experienced severe cramping and moodiness. I know that it is not uncommon for cramping to occur after a prolonged period of time without menstruation, but the fact that I was incapacitated and in bed for two days was unbelievable to me.

I have had no problem developing secondary sexual characteristics, which would probably be signals of a pituitary or other glandular disorder. I am not obese, nor am I incredibly tall or short, which, from what I have gathered, excludes most thyroid issues.

I have no health insurance at current. During the course of my teenage years I would occasionally see an MD for various checkups, and I would bring up the matter of my irregularity. Every doctor I has ever seen has sloughed off the issue as probably having to do with "stress". This answer does nothing to satisfy me, as it seems like a knee-jerk reaction because they were either at a loss or because I could not afford whatever tests might actually tell me.

My worry, for quite some time now, has been the question of fertility. I have no actual plans to have children at any point in the near future, and I am not (nor have I ever been) sexually active. However, I need to know if I even CAN have children, for my own piece of mind. I know that without an examination, there's only so much you can tell me, but any information on what you might think is amiss would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:

Thank you for your question. For a 19 year old, your writing is incredibly sophisticated and impressive. You seem to be well educated. Most women do not know about "secondary sexual characteristics" or how the "pituitary or other glands" affect their cycles. Bravo to you for this knowledge.

Your irregular period is far from normal. There is a very common disorder, which you seem to be alluding to, called polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS. This is an ovarian dysfunction disorder caused by the ovary not processing the pituitary hormones correctly, leading to the lack of ovulation. Without ovulation, there is no subsequent menses, assuming you are not pregnant. We know that this disorder begins in the teen years in many women. So the doctor's previous explanations of "this is normal for your age group", is incorrect. There are problems that occur from PCOD in the long term such as increased weight gain, diabetes, increased facial and body hair growth, excessive bleeding episodes, irregular bleeding, endometrial cancer and infertility. Because of this, we DO NOT recommend continuing with the irregular cycles.

In women that are not attempting pregnancy, we use the birth control pill protocol to over-ride the ovaries and keep a normal cycle. This gives the essential female hormones, estrogen and progesterone, that your ovaries are not producing, and that you are lacking, because of the lack of ovulatory cycles. When you decide to become pregnant, this has to be substituted with ovulation inducing fertility drugs. PCOD is a clinical diagnosis, and although we do hormone testing to check the thyroid, pituitary and other hormones, it is not a diagnosis made by these lab tests. From your description of your symptoms, you probably suffer from it. If you do further internet searching, you will come upon a description of patients that have this disorder, that you do not fit. However, keep in mind that there are variations on this theme and even normal appearing females can have a milder form of the disorder. Not all patients are hairy and obese :).

In terms of your future pregnancy, bravo for getting through your teen years without having had a sexual experience. When you do contemplate getting pregnant, I do not see any reason that you would be unable to become pregnant, except for your ovulatory disorder. Assuming that this is corrected with fertility drugs, you should have a pregnancy rate commensurate with your age group. I have had many PCOS patients that get pregnant with the proper protocol , though sometimes they need more than one try before they get their cycle exactly right.

I would advise you to seek another opinion with this information in hand, preferably a good OB/Gyn.

Sincerely,

Edward J. Ramirez, M.D.
Executive Medical Director
The Fertility and Gynecology Center
Monterey Bay IVF program
Monterey, California, U.S.A.

71 comments:

  1. I had my first period a week before my 15th birthday (2007) and then it was about 14 weeks before my second, I have heard that irregular periods early on are normal. For the first two years of having my period I said it "went on holidays" often, particularly Summer and Winter (even though we don't have very extreme temperatures here, South East Australia), as I could go for up to four months without a period. In either 2009 I once had a period three times in the space of five weeks, so one week of period, one off, a second week of period, one off, and the third week of having my period. In 2010 I was still having irregular periods, I have never been able to know when I will have the next one as they have any number of days between them, from a week to four months. Towards the end of last year I started going on the pill (as I was spending 3 out of 4 weeks on holidays in tropical locations and didn't want to risk having my period then). I finished the pill in December and my last period ended on Christmas day 2010. I am 5 foot and 4 inches tall and roughly 52kg, which is healthy for me. My sister (16 years old) has always had periods which are regular to the day, and she is much closer to being underweight than I am. I will be turning 19 this May and I have no idea when to expect my next period.

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  2. Hello,

    It is not normal for you to have irregular periods at this point. The fact that your cycles are irregular is an indication that something is not right with your ovarian-hormonal status. You need to have an evaluation done.

    The most common disorder causing this problem is called polycystic ovarian disease, where the dysfunction is coming from the ovary itself, but there are other things that can lead to an ovulatory dysfunction as well. Many doctors will jump to this diagnosis without doing any evaluation. That is wrong! You should go see a reproductive endocrinologist (also known as an infertility specialist) who specializes in hormonal disorders or your gynecologist.

    The easiest treatment if you are not contemplating pregnancy at this time is to go on a birth control pill. That is only to give you regulation of your cycles balance your hormones. It is NOT a cure of the problem, as it puts your ovaries at rest AND is an artificial cycle. Don't let your doctor just prescribe the BCP without doing an evaluation first!

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  3. Hi,

    I am also in a similar predicament as the questioner, I am 19, never been sexually active and have always, up until recently, considered that irregular periods wasn't anything to worry about for my age. I am also not obese but am short (5'3), although until now hadn't considered a thyroid condition at all but had dabbled in the possibility of having PCOS but I didn't really consider it.

    Dissimilarly though I have been on two different contraceptive pills (ava and ginet 84) both for acne problems but had really bad side effects, weight gain and mood swings particularly. I gained 6kg in a month on ava and slightly less on ginet 84 and I was also emotionally distort to put it bluntly, I was definitely not a nice person to be around. I would get frustrated over any little thing and then sad and depressed the next minute. So naturally I found it easiest to just stop taking them after a few months.

    Although I do plan to discuss this with my GP, ultimately I was wondering if there was another method to help regulate my cycle, possibly something that didn't give me pregnant lady side effects?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello,

      It is most likely that you have an ovarian dysfunction disorder (called PCOD), but without proper evaluation and testing, that cannot be said for sure. There are other reasons why women have irregular cycles besides PCOD such as thyroid problem, pituitary problems, hypothalamic problems etc.

      The problem with this type of dysfuncion is NOT that you don't have regular cycles. That is part of the problem and, yes, can be solved using just progesterone for 10 days each month. However, the main problem is a hormonal imbalance that leads to long term side effects such as acne, obesity, diabetes, facial hair, hair thinning, etc. Many of these are NOT reversible once you get them. To prevent these side effects, the ovaries need to be put at rest and adequate hormonal balance achieved, which is the purpose of birth control pills. I would strongly recommend that you find a birth control pill that does not give you the side effects you experiences with the previous two. There are lots and lots of different kinds of pills because of the different hormone formulations and dosages. The type of progesterone is very important too, because some progesterones have more side effects than others (PMS type symptoms). You also want a progesterone that has low male hormone effects.

      I would strongly recommend that you see a Gynecologist for this problem NOT your family doctor. Your problem is beyond the expertise of a Family doctor.

      Good Luck

      Delete
  4. Hi.. I'm 31 years old and I have irregular menstruation since I could remember. It was only 2 years ago that I was diagnosed with PCOS after a vaginal ultrasound and was given a pill for 10 days by my doctor (i forgot the name of the pill). I had my period right after the pill but I didnt go back to my doctor because of work and I really have no time to visit. I self-medicated and I'm currently taking 1 contraceptive pill every month (Ethinyl Estradiol+Levonorgestrel) and i never missed my period every month as long as I'm taking the pill.

    Now I am 31 and I want to get married and hopefully to have a baby. But I'm very much afraid that I wont be able to conceive and will disappoint my husband to be. I am pretty sure I am ovulating because I have periods that lasted 4-5 days every month (with the pill). If I missed taking the pill, I will for sure not have my period.

    I am also a little overweight and a little elevation on my blood sugar.

    Do you have any advice for me?

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  5. Hi,

    Much like the first two girls, I have irregular periods. I am about to turn 21 and my most recent period was 4-5 months ago. I've never been regular since I began around the age of 13. I'll go through spurts where I'll have it about a month and a half apart, but then I'll go several months without anything. Each fall semester at college (I just completed my third year) has led to a long spell. I thought maybe it was just the change of environment (living away from home and then moving into an apartment the second year) or stress. I'm also quite active, but nothing too excessive. I run about 3-5 miles 5-6 days a week when I'm not practicing.

    When I do have my period it generally lasts 7 days and is heaviest during the first 3. I don't usually have mood swings or bad cramping. Although one time a few years ago I had what felt like paralyzing pain in my lower stomach, to the point where I was literally lying on the ground unable to move or think. It was a fluke case of cramps and I haven't suffered anything since.

    I've hesitated to go to the doctor specifically for it mostly because I'm immature and just don't like getting poked or prodded by doctors haha. But after reading about others' cases and learning there could be long term side effects, I'm starting to worry. I have mild acne but haven't gained serious weight (I'm 5'7" and 135 lbs) or hair for that matter. I'm worried about starting birth control and it causing similar problems to the girl above.

    Does it sound like I have PCOS?

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    Replies
    1. Hello,

      Yes, it sounds like you have PCOD. The problem is not the lack of periods but the hormone imbalance caused by the ovarian dysfunction. The male hormone testosterone tends to elevate and there is inadequate estrogen, the female hormone. Because of this, there is long term side effects such as acne, facial hair growth, hair loss, osteoporosis, vaginal dryness, hypercholesterolemia, heart disease, etc. Some of these, if not most, are not reversible once you get them. So I would definitely go see a doctor. All you would need is to be placed on the birth control pill with a low potency progesterone, such as Yaz or Yasmin (they also block the male hormone receptors).

      Delete
  6. Hello, I am 20 years old and I still have irregular periods. I just recently started last month and it lasted for two weeks and now I am back at it again. I recently missed almost 10 months with out my period and it is driving me crazy. I have not had any sexual intercourse 'for Im a virgin. I am over weight but working to get back in shape. And I started my period when I was 14 . I dont have health insurance which is another reason why I have not visited a doctor. Would birth control help me? Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello,

      I just found your comment as I was reviewing the site. Sorry that you never received an answer from me. I know you have probably sought other advice by now but here are my thoughts.

      You certainly have some type of ovulatory dysfunction and the main problem with this is that it causes a hormonal dysfunction. This leads to a reduction in the essential female hormone and and increase in the male hormone. You can't allow this because long term it could lead to irreversible side effects (changes in your body such as facial hair). I would definitely put you on the birth control pill, only after an evaluation has been done, andmy preference would be a pill with testosterone blocking properties, such as Yaz or Yasmin (which blocks testosterone receptors). Make sure they don't use a pill that has an androgenic (male hormone type) effect.

      Delete
  7. i am 19 yaers old and i had my first three periods at the age o 14.eversince then my menstruation stoped. last year on june i had my periods. since then i waited and waited hoping to see my periods but nothing has happend.what is wrong with me?. please help

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    Replies
    1. Hello,

      You have some type of ovulatory dysfunction but I can't tell you the specific disorder without doing some testing. Certainly PCO is a possiblity but there are other problems that could be causing this as well. You need to undergo an evaluation which would include a cycle day #2 or 3 hormone panel to check the ovarian hormones, thyroid, pituitary and hypothalamus. It's not good to not have periods because this means that you have a hormonal imbalance as well and could have some irreversable side effects as well. You need to get things straightened out, even if that means going on the birth control pill to give you the female hormones you need and keep you regular.

      Delete
  8. hi i m a 19 years old girl not obese(50kg) but a bit short i m 5'2" (asian) i got my
    first period when i was 12 and since thn my periods were never normal like i get once in two months or in each three months sometimes ,my gp says its normal but as it caused facial hair so i m worried about
    if you could just tell me which kind of problem i have ,there s no other syptoms of any disease bt just facial hair and pain during the first days of period which s normal i think.
    thank u

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello,

      I can't tell you exactly what is going on without doing some testing but it sounds very much like you might have polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD). This is an ovarian dysfunction leading to a hormone imbalance and a preponderance of male hormone (thereby leading to facial hair). You need to see a reproductive specialist to have a proper evaluation and treatment.

      Delete
  9. Hi there!

    I'm sixteen (seventeen in a few months) and have had my period since I was ten. Since day one my periods have been very heavy and extremely irregular. They are very irregular around wintertime, when I get the "winter blues" pretty bad, plus the stress from school is pretty tremendous. During the summer I unfortunately seem to get more periods, but they are far from regular. I've kept a log of my periods for about a year - here's what they were:

    January ??? (2012)
    March 3???
    May 12
    August 22
    September 28 (quite light, which surprised me)
    November 29 (back to normal - very heavy)
    April 3(2013)
    May 10

    So as you can see, they are very irregular and tend to come in "bunches". Usually back-to-back about a month to a month and a half apart, then 3-5 months between periods.

    Do you think I have PCOS? I've wondered about it for about two or three years. My doctor told me when I was fourteen that if I wasn't regular by sixteen that she would want to get me checked out, however I have not been back to the doctor since then, since I don't really go unless I'm very ill.

    Thanks a bunch!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello,

      Yes, it looks like you have PCOD. The problem with this disorder is that it can cause other more serious problems over time. It needs to be controlled. The best method at your age is a low dose birth control pill so that you replace the female hormones your ovaries are not making, and keep you regular.

      Delete
  10. OH and I'm not allowed to be on BC since my mom is afraid of the breast cancer risk. Her mom died of breast cancer at 35, my mom had it at 40, and my aunt (father's biological sister) had it at the same time as my mother.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There have been no studies showing any association between birth control pills and breast cancer. However, you certainly have a family history that puts you at high risk for breast cancer, ovarian cancer and colon cancer. I would strongly recommend that your mother consider having you talk with a genetic counselor and consider testing for the BRCA gene that has been associated with familial breast cancer.

      In terms of the birth control pill, I would not hesitate prescribing it to you based on the studies that have been done, but certainly your mother has to make the final choice. Without regular cycles and the hormonal dysfunction caused by PCO, you are at risk for endometrial (uterine) cancer, very very heavy (possibly life threatening) bleeds, increased acne, irreversible facial hair, hair loss, diabetes, heart disease, vaginal dryness and irritation, vaginal shrinkage and psychological deficits (decreased concentration, memory, mood swings, insomnia).

      Delete
  11. I recently turned 21 I have never had regular periods. Lately the time between periods has begun to increase and over the last year with out changing any eating or exercise habits I have gained 40 to 50 pounds. Since I began going through puberty I have had excess facial hair but it too has gotten worse. Have never been sexually active and do not plan on having children any time soon. I just want to know if there is any thing I can do and if there is something wrong will it affect my ability to to have children in the future?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sounds like you have PCOD but you would need to have other hormones tested to make sure there is not something else going on. The treatment of choice is the birth control pill so that you will get the female hormones replaced, reduce the increased male hormones and keep you regular. You would stay on this until you decide to get pregnant. At that time, if your ovaries have not returned to normal function, you will have some difficulty getting pregnant and will probably require fertility medications to correct the ovarian/ovulation problem.

      Delete
  12. I believe I have pcos I haven't been back to the Dr although a few years back (I'm about to be 19) I had my thyroid check and everything came back normal. I had my first period when I was 12, and they were pretty regular, I could tell when it was coming. When I was 17 they became irregular, I had 2 periods back to back went 8 months with nothing. Had light bleeding for 2 or more weeks and this continued, nor having a period for a while, then having light bleeding for weeks, which I am having now. I was sexually active late march, for the first time and after there was bleeding which I expected ...it stopped after the next day. Then started spotting for about 2 weeks stopped for a week and started again. Its not heavy and it will stop and start. I'm figuring I have pcos.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hello Evee,

      PCOD is defined by having certains specific symptoms or signs. The main one is an ovarian dysfunction as manifest by irregular or absent periods. You certainly have that. The second is that hormonal testing shows that you don't have a thyroid, pituitary or hypothalamic problem. These would make it NOT of ovarian origin and PCOD is based in the ovary. After that, you need to have one other finding from the following: inverted FSH/LH ratio (LH is 2X higher than LH), elevated insulin, overweight, facial hair, ovaries with an abundance of follicles (characteristic look which gives the name polycystic) on ultrasound.

      As mentioned in this post and other similar posts, PCO needs to be managed so that you don't suffer the long term permanent sequelae such s facial hair, male pattern baldness, and others. If you are not trying for pregnancy, you should therefore be on the birth control pill to put the ovaries at rest and replace the female hormones the ovaries are not producing.

      Delete
  13. Im 18 i started my cycle at 11 id have my period every month for a week and a half for the first couple years.. after that it would be every other month. My cycle became extremely difficult to track. I remember when i was 14 it lasted 3months without stopping. Even now i dont know when to expect it. Ill spot and see nothing afterwards. I just started experiencing pms the last 3 cycles my last one just ended a couple days ago it was the worst pains ive felt. Also i noticed on the first and last days of my cycle i have strange food cravings and diarrhea. Through out the cycle i always crave sugar. If i dont have some type of sugar i become extremely irrigable, tired, upset, crabby and sad. When i do have sugar i experience no moodiness. Also i get very sick and constantly feel as if im going to vomit (though i dont actually puke) What should i do?

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    1. Hello Christina,

      Based on your description, you absolutely have ome type of hormonal imbalance going on. I can't tell you exactly what it is without doing an evaluation, however. The most common cause is polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD), which is an ovarian dysfunction but there are other hormonal structures besides the ovaries that can cause these symptoms. I would recommend that you see a competent gynecologist or endocrinologist to have an evaluation done. You can't continue with a hormonal disorder because it can cause long term and irreversible side effects like obesity, facial hair growth, male pattern balding, diabetes, osteoporosis, deepening of the voice, etc. I can't quite see your picture but you look pretty slim so, if you want to stay that way, you need to get your hormones balanced.

      Delete
  14. hi. im a 19 year old female. im experiencing irregular periods. bumt every month, i have a discharge and its color is black. do you think it is normal? im not obese and living healthily.

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    Replies
    1. Irregular periods are never normal. It shows that the ovaries are not functioning correctly. You need to undergo an evaluation to determine where the problem lies so that an appropriate treatment can be prescribed. Leaving an ovarian dysfunction can lead to more signficant long term issues such as facial hair growth or endometrial cancer.

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  15. Hey I had my first period when I was 13. My periods were irregular from the start. When I had my periods they usually last from 1-2 days. And are very less. I am 18 now and I am worried that is there something wrong. I usually have periods after 6-7 months?

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  16. I am 19 years old i started my period when i was 11 years old i had one period then my mom put me on birth control i was on birth control till i was 18 years old during that time i had a period every month. after i got off the birth control i had a period every 3 weeks then every two months and now i hardly get it at all why is that and should i go to the doctor about it

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    Replies
    1. It is abnormal for you to not have a period every month unless you are taking a birth control pill. Therefore, you should see a doctor for an evauation. It is likely you have some type of hormonal (endocrine) disorder and this should be treated before you develop some long term irreversible side effects like excessive facial hair, etc.

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  17. I am 23 I can only remember having a normal period when I first started my cycle in the bottom 5th grade. It would last seven days with cramping the first few days. Then it went down to five days then three. After awhile I would only have one maybe every six months. Last year I started taking the depo shot I bleed for 4 weeks then it stopped six months passed I finally thought I was starting but it only lasted a couple hours and was very light. Now it's October and I seem to be having a period but it is very light with very little cramping. I also started growing her around my areloas, navel, and chin. I am very concerned because I do want to have kids and have had no luck. I recently discovered turning a cheek up that my thyroid level is low and so is my calcium levels. I am confused on what I should do and if I will be able to conceive

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    Replies
    1. If you are still on Depo provera, the bleeding is probably "dysfunctional uterine bleeding" and is a regular side effect of this medication. If you are no longer on the depo and not having periods, you have some type of ovulatory dysfunction going on and need to undergo a proper evaluation. This can be done by a competent gynecologist or a reproductive endocrinologist. With the increased hair growth, it sounds like there is a definite hormonal imbalance going on. Hair growth is NOT reversible so I would not wait to see the specialist about this problem. New growth can be halted and prevented from occurring.

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  18. Im 19 year old, sexually active, and started having irregular periods 11 months ago. My period started coming every other week, a few times it was every two weeks, and once it was just once a month. Ive had brown discharge before and after every period. At first it was just for a few days but now its almost a week before my period. The last two weeks I've been having the brown discharge and my period has yet to start. I don't have insurance so I haven't been able to get anything checked out. Ive asked a nurse and was told that it was completely normal. Me and my husband are trying to have a baby and we're afraid that we wont be able to because of my irregular period. what should I do?

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    1. The symptoms you are having are NOT normal. The fact that you have irregular periods is a sign that something is not working right and an evaluation needs to be done to find out what that is. Because there are many possibilities, I can't tell you exactly what is the problem, but the most common cause is an ovarian or ovulation dysfunction. An ovarian dysfunction can prevent pregnancy because, not only are you not ovulating properly, but this causes the hormones and subsequent reproductive steps to be abnormal. In this type of case, fertility medication is used to induce the ovary to ovulate normal and restore the reproductive cycle. I would recommend that you see a doctor NOT a nurse.

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  19. hello,
    before I begin I want to apologise for my bad English (I normally speak Dutch so my English isn't good at all)
    I'm an 18 year old girl that has her period since I was 12. They were always very irregular. Sometimes it takes 3 or 5 months before I get my period, but sometimes it only takes 1. I always get them very hard and there is a lot of pain. Now I'm really scared that there is somthing wrong with me and that I'm never gonna be able to get children. So please help me.

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    Replies
    1. Hello. I think it would be wise for you to see a competent gynecologist to evaluation your situation. I am not able to "help you" via the internet. Some testing needs to be done. Certainly this situation could be normal, but in most cases, by your age, your cycles should be regular and predictable. In addition, if you are having severe cramping, that could be an early sign of endometriosis. So, please see a gynecologist and be checked.

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  20. Hi I recently was tested for PCOS in which they checked my hormones through blood work(which came back normal) and did an ultrasound of my ovaries ( which the radiologist said was at a normal level) my doctor gave me progest pills...10 of them... and I was suppose to have a period because of it. It hasnt happened. I first started my period at age 14 and am now 30. I have never had a normal cycle... it is extremely infrequent. For example: light spotting for a day or so then 5 months later having a period that feels like im hemoraging. .. then having periods that last for 2 weeks and stop just to come back again 2 weeks later. I feel like I have all the symptoms of PCOS such as irregular periods, weight gain, facial hair (minimal), skin tags, sleep apnea, and at one point during my teen years an unexplained break out of boils in the underarm region... to name a few. Although my hormones are apparently normal and the cyst in my ovaries are considered a normal level... is it possible to still have PCOS or am I describing something else? I feel hopeless as I have seen so many doctors and none that seem to care enough to figure out what is going on.... thank you

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    1. Hi. To make the diagnosis of PCOD, you have to have two of the criteria for the disease, one of which HAS TO BE an ovarian dysfunction, which you have as manifest by irregular menstrual cycles and another: inverted FSH/LH ratio (levels can be normal but LH is 2X higher than FSH), ovaries that look like PCO ovaries with lots of follicles (radiologists don't usually look for or comment on that unless specifically asked), obesity, insulin resistance, hirsuitism, male dominance type findings such as acne, male pattern baldness, male pattern pubic hair growth; diabetes.

      I think you meet the criteria. Go see someone who is knowledgeable and expert in PCO.

      Delete
  21. Hi I'm 20 years and I have Irregular periods since I was 16. I only see my period maybe 5 months out of the year this occurs only when I'm on holiday away from school (winter break and summer vacation). I am somewhat sextually active. The last time I had sex was at the begging of this month now for my period i'm having a light spotting flow that consists of red drops that started 5 days ago and my nipples are tender like my period is about to start. Is it possible to become pregnant with an irregular period or could it just be spotting before my period?..thank you

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    1. Yes. Despite having irregular periods, which is an indication of an ovulation or hormonal problem, there is the possibility of ovulation occurring every once in a while and that could lead to a pregnancy. There is no way for me to determine what this spotting represents. . . too many possibilities.

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  22. Hi, I am 17 and have irregular periods since I started them at age 14. I only have a period about every 6 to 7 months, I have asked many doctors at my family practice what the they think about my issue, however, most of them say that irregular periods is very common and I should't worry about it just yet. I do believe this is very unhealthy and I also fear that I will be unable to become pregnant in the future due to an infertility problem that I do not know about. I have made plans to see an OB/GYN next month, my situation is very much alike the story at the top of the page, which maybe POCD. Can anyone tell me what this maybe?

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    1. Hi. It is very likely that you have PCOD since it is the most common cause for irregular periods and needs proper treatment. If not trying for pregnancy, a birth control pill with low androgenicity is used, whereas if you are trying for pregnancy, fertility medications are used to induce the ovaries to ovulate. It needs to be treated so that you don't suffer the long term consequences of the hormonal disorder such as obesity, facial hair, abnormal bleeding, male pattern baldness, diabetes, hemorrhagic bleeding or endometrial cancer. Please see a competent Physician to do a thorough evaluation (because there are other disorders that could cause this as well) and render proper treatment.

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  23. I am 19 years old.I did an ultra sound scan and found that i have PCOD.My docter gave me a medicine called ovagrace(which consists of myo insitol,folic acid and vitamin D3 granules).i have excess hairfall,acne and i have prolonged periods.I am also taking medication for acne.I want to know whether this condition is curable.Plz do reply.

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    1. The answer is YES and NO. There are some cases of PCOD that are curable by decreasing the weight toward a normal BMI, or by reducing the insulin levels. However, the majority of PCOD patients will have this disorder for the rest of their life and it needs to be managed. Some of the findings you stated are side effects of PCOD and will continue to worsen with time. PCOD is basically and ovarian dysfunction, meaning the ovaries are not working correctly, and so the ovaries needs to be put to rest. The most common method is using a sequential birth control pill. This suppresses the ovaries, so that they can't produce higher testosterone levels and gives you the female hormones and regulation that the ovaries are not. The medication your doctor has put you on is voodoo meds (my name for treatments that are unproven or not effective). For women that want to become pregnant, ovulation is not occurring in this disorder so fertility meds have to be used to force the ovaries to ovulate. Other treatments include using metformin to reduce insulin levels if the patient has insulin resistance, weight loss through dieting or gastric bypass surgery if overweight and ovarian drilling (an old but controversial treatment because it can cause scar tissue around the ovary leading to infertility and does not always help).

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  24. Hi im 22 and I always have white, sometime yellowish or greenish discharge since I am 15 and I do not know it is normal a not. My menses period is quite irregular when I was 13 to 15 but after that it went pretty regular. I start my menses when I was 13. Am I normal or I having problem?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The fact that you mention it is yellowish or greenish are key terms that might indicate a vaginal infection. Normal mucous is usually white or clear. I can't tell you what is going on without doing an examination so I would recommend that you go see your doctor for this. He/she can take cultures or examine it under a microscope to make the diagnosis.

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  25. Hi. I'm 19 years old. I attained puberty at the age of 11. Since then I have had regular periods every month without fail. My periods last for 4 to 5 days with normal bleeding. I don't even experience severe menstural cramps. I have never had a late or missed period till last month. But this month my period is late by 10 days. I'm not sexually active. And for the past two months my periods lasted for only 3 days with a bleeding lesser than usual. This is little different from my usual periods. What should I do? Should I visit a gynaecologist? Is this normal or is there any problem? When will I get my period? Should I wait? What is the reason of this? And also my mom is a thyroid patient. So I'm suspecting that I'm having thyroid. And I've gained a lot of weight within the past few months with increasing fat around my abdomen. Are these issues related with my period problem? Pls give suggestions and help me

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your symptoms can be completely normal at your age. Women's hormones are very volatile and can be affected by many things. Travel, stress, illness, being in close proximity to another female are just some of the things that can change cycles. So unless this irregularity continues, there is nothing that needs to be done just yet. If your cycles return to their usual regular state, then it was just a passing phase. If it continues to be irregular, then you would worry about some type of hormonal dysfunction such as thyroid and you should be evaluated.

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  26. Hi. I'm 18 and have been having irregular periods ever since it started. My latest cycle has been 47 days and it lasts for max 5 days with heaviest bleeding on the 1st and 2nd day. I get the usual cramping and period symptoms, nothing intense. I feel like I experience a normal period just that my cycle is too long. I do get my period "monthly" you could say. I've never missed one yet. I'm worried about problems of fertility. I've been reading a lot about PCOD and wondering if that is what I have.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is a high possibility that you have PCOD based on your menstrual history. It is NOT normal to have 47 day cycles. That would show a hormonal imbalance that could prevent pregnancy. However, you are still young and things can change with time. Hopefully, by the time you are seriously ready to get pregnant, things will be better. If not, then you might need to see a specialist to get pregnant, but you should cross that bridge when you get to it. No need to worry about the future when you can't foretell the future.

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  27. Hey there! I am about to be 19 and I have never ever had a period. I am not sexually active so it hasn't really bothered me until the other day when I was thinking about the future and how I would like to have children some day. I have been to my local OBGYN but all they said was that I was overweight and should be put on birth control. Now I will admit that I am overweight but I just wanted a second opinon before I do anything. Should I be worried? Could it be a bigger problem? Please help!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello. Yes, this could be a problem. I am not sure why you are not having periods but the lack of periods is a sign of a hormonal problem of some sort. The most common is an ovarian-ovulation dysfunction, but other hormonal disorders can cause this as well. The problem in terms of the future depends directly on the cause of the problem. Hormonal imbalance cause cause things like increased facial hair growth, male pattern hair loss, infertility, obesity, diabetes, endometrial overgrowth, endometrial cancer, etc. If your Ob/Gyn has neglected you, I would request that you go see a Reproductive Endocrinologist (not to get pregnant but to diagnose the endocrine problem) and get the answers and evaluation that you need. At the very least, find a better Ob/Gyn.

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  28. hi there, i am a 19 year old and i have been having some issues with my period lately. i started my period on july 10 and it didn't end until july 28 ! my periods usually last 4 - 6 days. then four days later my period started again, then ended on the 6th of august. it is now the 19th of august and i am spotting again! i have been trying to get into a doctor in my town but it is impossible everyone is booked solid. i am sexually active but have only ever been with one male, my boyfriend of three years. he was tested before we got together and the results were negative, we are also extremely cautious. we use protection everytime and i am also on birth control that i take at the same time everyday. i am not pregnant i have done every test out there. i have also been experiencing bloating and also extreme head aches, losing sleep as well. my mom also had water filled cysts on her ovaries when she was younger (i don't know if that says anything). i am getting extremely worried and stressed out, i don't know what to do. or what this could be. please help!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Although this bleeding pattern is not normal, it is not necessarily a major problem. In fact, women do have hormonal fluctuations and dysfunctions off and on through out their life. I think you can wait and get in to see a gynecologist whenever you can and not worry about the bleeding too much. Since you are on the birth control pill, it will probably resolve on its own, but could also be a side effect of the birth control pill.

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  29. Hi there,
    I will be 19 this December. I've never had sex before. I started my period when I was almost 12. It ceased for almost a year, then came back to normal but with an irregular cycle. When I was 17, my period became very irregular. I couldn't know when I'll have my next period. Last year it skipped for five months (from August till Janruary). I finally had my period this year Janruary but was still not stable, it would skip a month or two. Suddenly I began to have it 19th of every month (started May this year) but still not every month. Now, I haven't seen my period for this month but I'm having menstrual cramps though this is the first time I'm experiencing cramps without period. I forgot to mention that I once missed my period for 3 months and in the next month I had it for approximately 15 days or more. Please I need your help as I'm very worried about what could be wrong with me. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello.

      Irregular menstrual cycles is not normal. It indicates that there is some type of dysfunction in your menstrual cycles. I cannot tell you where, as there are several possible places, but that can be found out with some blood testing. The most common source is an ovarian dysfunction. I would recommend that you see a competent gynecologist and have an evaluation done. This problem could lead to other more serious problems down the road so don't neglect it.

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  30. I'm 18. I got my first period at 13, and was very irregular. I get my period about once every five months. I am VERY overweight (5 ft 5, 280lbs) I don't eat as well as I should or excercise as much as I should, but I'm working on it. I like my dr, but I would be soo embarrassed to talk to him about this. Should I seek a local gynecologist?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. There is a likely possibility that you have polycystic ovarian disease (a misnomer) which is an ovarian dysfunction. These needs to be treated correctly to protect you from and prevent long term permanent changes such as diabetes, infertility, facial hair growth, heart disease. Please go see a competent gynecologist or reproductive endocrinologist to take care of this problem.

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  31. Im 18. I have always had regular periods. I began to miss periods after i had sex once around august2015. Didnt get my period until december2015.sometimes i have very very light bleeding and clots and cramps but no blood. After that i havent gotten my period its been 2months again with no period and right now im experiencing cramps but no blood.What can Be wrong with me?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are several possibilities, the most common of which is an ovarian dysfunction. You should see a competent gynecologist to help you with this problem, mainly because neglecting it can lead to some bad long term changes or outcomes.

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  32. Hi im 18. I have always had regular periods since i got it at the age of 11. I had sex during 15-17 years old and i only missed 1 period during those years. After having sex again at the age of 18 (different guy#2) around august2015 i began to miss my period. I missed 3months then got it on december and then missed it again 2months and right now march2016 im experiencing cramping and very light light bleeding but no period. The months i have missed my periods i get cramps and some clots but no period. Is something not functioning correctly in my body? Or is this totally normal?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. missing periods is not normal. You should see a gynecologist for a proper evaluation and treatment.

      Delete
  33. Hello, I am 20 years old (Asian). I always had periods in around like 1 month & 1 month 6-7 days... sometimes once in a year skipping periods, i don't have much facial hair, though. not overweight, i guess? 48 kg, 5 feet 2". but i am much more worried, since i saw many posts related to missed periods and irregularity. its been 2 months that i have not had my periods. i first menstruated at the age of 13. I am a virgin.
    Please help.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi. You have some type of dysfunction going on in your cycle. I would recommend that you see a gynecologist for further evaluation and proper treatment.

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  34. Hi,

    I am 19 years old and I have been menstruating since I was 13. I am not sexually active, but my cycle has never been regular. My longest cycle was 39 days, with my shortest being only 20. The periods themselves are within normal boundaries, however. I even had two periods in the same month (in June 2014). Should I consult a doctor? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hello
    I am 17 years old. I first got my period when I was 10 years old. At first it was normal but later on, it was about 1-3 weeks late each time. There's never a way for me to predict when I get my period. Right now I am a full month late, which happens occasionally. I am a virgin. Am I fertile ? I'm scared that I'm not.
    I'm not overweight I am 5'2, and I don't have much facial hair.
    Please help

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hello,
    I am 18 years old and I'm dealing too with an irregular menstrual cycle. I had my first period when I was 13 years old and for the first year my cycle was perfectly normal. However from the second year, until today my cycle became very irregular. There are times when I would have a normal cycle for 3-4 months but then my period would not come until after several months (usually 5-6 months). Also there was a whole year that I did not have a period at all, but I guess that this was due to extreme sadness and anxiety because I lost my grandfather. I have never been sexually active and I have visited 2 different gynecologists and have also done the blood tests they recomended to check my hormones and I have been tested for polycystic ovarian disease. All these tests showed that there was nothing wrong and the gynecologist told me not to be worried. However I still do not have a regular menstrual cycle and my last period was 4 months ago. I am 5'3" and 58 kg (I guess I'm not overweight, although the first gynecologist I consulted told me I was). I would really be grateful if you could give me your opinion as professional :)

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hi. I recently turned 18 at August, and Ive been having irregular periods for as long as I can remember. I got them at 11. It was regular till I think I was 13 years old and from then on it would usually not come a month or 2. Then come back but won't stop for like a whole month. Its hard to tell when it's coming. Sometimes it leaves marks but there are days it won't even flow, then it will after a few days. I don't recall experiencing any kind of cramping, or extreme pain when I'm on my period. I've had it maybe twice or three times but other than that I don't get cramps while I'm at my long period days. I do get moody, angry at times, my cravings heightened. There are also times when I do get my period they are very heavy and I do bleed a lot. This would last for atleast a week then continue on to normal flow.

    Ive had a check up before and they gave me some medicines to take to regulate my periods however I couldn't continue the daily check up because I moved countries. I have my period right now and it has been 2 weeks but I didn't have it for a month. It usually lasts the exact time I didn't have it, eg. I didn't have it for a month, it would stay for a month.

    I honestly don't know what to do and I am afraid and embarrassed to do anything about it. What do you recommend?

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hi, I am 17 years old. I had my first menstruation when I was approximately 12 years old. And as far as I remember, I had a irregular cycle for the first 2 years (until I was 14). After that, I always have my period in the right cycle. However, when I was 15 years old, I began to experiencing an unusual cycle. First, I didn't have my period every month. But when I was searching about it, it seems like everyone says its normal for a girl in that age? so I have no worry that time. Even though sometimes I can get my period twice in a month. (Which is still happening until now, sometimes.) And then I reached 16 years of age, and I didn't have my period for 6 months! And I never had sex with any guy. So, I decided to go to see a doctor and I took a blood test to check my hormone levels, but it turned out that everything was normal. And not long after that, I finally have my period again. And then I began to have my normal cycle again just for a few months. Then I start to have my irregular cycle again, and I haven't had my periods from 2 months ago. And 2 months ago, I think I was having my longest period of menstruation because I was having it approximately for 2 weeks! But its not directly 2 weeks, because I had the first one for maybe one week or so, and then the bleeding stopped for a few days and then it started to bleed again. However, that month, I took a birth control pills when I was having my period. I only have sex with one guy and the first time we had sex is 3 months ago.

    Also, I always have a vaginal discharge whenever I'm about to have my period. And now, I've been having a vaginal discharge for maybe 2 weeks, but I haven't had my period coming. Also, I think now I have more vaginal discharge than before, and its thicker and it has more smell.

    Please help. I really worry about my vaginal health. Should I see a doctor?

    ReplyDelete
  39. I'm actually 18. I had my first period in the seventh grade. I was about 12 going into 13. My period were very irregular. Sometimes I would get them every other month it would skip 2-3 months. I hadn't been sexually active until December the 4 two days before my period. And it was protected yes. September through November my periods were on line.. Then it stopped. I feel the cramps that are very light but noticeable I've experienced back pain and mood swings. I was advised to take a test which I did and it was negative so I'm shocked that it just disappeared.. So what I'm trying to understand since my period is irregular and is only three days and each day is very heavy.What could be the diagnosis for my issue?

    ReplyDelete
  40. I'm 18. My period have always been irregular. I'll miss about two to three months and it use to be five days but it shortened down to three days. And each day is very heavy. I hadn't been sexually active til the fourth. It was protected and exactly two days before my expected period. And it did not show up. The reason why I'm writing is because since september my period were regular. Ive gained about ten pounds since August and I'm 5'2. I was advised to take a test to be safe even though it was protected and when I did it came back negative.So my question is there a way for me to have my periods regulated again? And if that's not the case because I've been feeling light cramps then what could bey diagnosis for this problem. It was suppose to have it the 6th but its the 12th and there's nothing happening but the minor cramps.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I have irregular periods I gotten no sign of a period for two to three months. My periods last three days and are heavy. Now that I'm sexually active my period trips on me it might not show for a day or two. My periods have been normal since September of last year. This year is not so great... They don't show sometimes for a month or two then they reappeared. Now September of this year they were on track til this month. I had protected sex two days before my expected period. And it didnt show. I asked my partner did the condom break or did it have holes and he answered no to both. I took 2 HPT's and they came back negative. I've been waiting exactly six days for my period. And I get cramps here and there they are as bad as my usual ones but they cause a little discomfort. So I was wondering since I have short and heavy irregular periods could this be simply reverting back to this irregular state or is it something not good.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hello, I am almost 18 years old and am concerned about my menstrual cycle.From the age of 12, when I first got my period, to 14 I had a very irregular cycle with a period occuring every 2 months to 6 months. Then my period became even more vacant. From the age of 14.5 until present I have only had my period approximately once a year, sometimes twice if I'm lucky. I still have discharge regularly. I am concerned about my future fertility as it would be nice to have the option to conceive. I don't have any conditions that point to POD. I am on the lower end of normal on the weight chart but am very healthy and have had no other health troubles. I have visited the doctors, who do not seem too concerned, and even had a blood test conducted. My estrogen levels are only slightly lower and everything else is normal. What do you recommend?

    ReplyDelete

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