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 website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated August 15, 2012. Accessed August 20, 2012.
Amenorrhea. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated July 15, 2012. Accessed August 20, 2012.
Menstruation and the menstrual cycle fact sheet. Office on Women's Health website. Available at: http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/menstruation.html. Updated October 21, 2009. Accessed August 20, 2012.
Last reviewed September 2015 by Andrea Chisholm, MD
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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