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Gynecology

My periods are not normal!

06/25/2008

Question:

I am 14 and my periods are not normal. I get my period, but at different times. The longest span of time I have gone without having my period is 4 months. Also I have never had sex so I know I am not pregnant. I am very worried about this and it is stressing me out. What is wrong with me?

Answer:

There are many things that can cause periods to be irregularly spaced. The common denominator is that the ovary doesn't ovulate. When ovulation occurs, predictably 2 weeks later all the hormone levels fall (unless pregnancy occurs) and the lining of the uterus is signaled to shed. This causes a very predicable and limited episode of bleeding every month. For the woman who is not ovulating, the lining of the uterus just keeps building up until it becomes too thick. Then it bleeds and this can be prolonged. It can happen at varying intervals depending on how much growth there is. Common causes for anovulation (the failure to ovulate) is thyroid disease, abnormal pituitary hormones, pregnancy, obesity, stress, etc. You need to see a gynecologist who can determine the cause, treat it, and make sure you have regular cycles to completely shed the lining of the uterus every month.

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Response by:

Thomas  A deHoop, MD Thomas A deHoop, MD
Formerly Associate Professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology
Director, Medical Student Education
No longer associated