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Infertility

Menstruation FRUSTRATION!

11/10/2009

Question:

At the beginning of my cycle I was 11. I had my cycle every month for 5-7 days like clock work. I started birth control when I was 15. Had sex a couple of times that year. (with the same guy). I stopped taking pills because I absolute hate taking pills. When I was 16 I had sex with my now husband. We had protected sex. Two times I went to get "the shot". After 6 months I never got one again. After about a year my periods were very irregular. At first I thought I was pregnant. In turn I was not. I am 25 now, that was about 9 years ago. Every year since then I got my periods very irregular, about 3-4 a year and they lasted for about 2 weeks. I got a job that required me to get paps and physicals. I told the Dr. and he said that I was "over weight". I know I`m on the heavy side but I am sure there are a lot of fat people that have their periods regularly. I weighed about 150 at the time. Over the next few years I continued to go and he finally gave me Metformin to see if he could regulate my periods... I don`t know how that would work due to that med being a diabetic med and I am not diabetic. While I was taking that my next period lasted for 42 days. I stopped immediately and it stopped that next week. Coincidence, I don`t know. That was back in February of 2009. I had my period in June for about 23 days. Next one was in August and it has lasted until now. What do i do? I`m sick and tired of bleeding. Also, I try and donate blood on a regular basis but beings that I travel outside of the country, I am required to wait 1 year until I can donate again. Anyway, they always check my iron and it is almost always low. 11-12.5. My husband and I have been trying to have a baby for 5 years now. No success.

Answer:

Your irregular periods are probably due to the fact that you are not ovulating. This is the most likely reason you have not gotten pregnant in 5 years. The most likely reason you are not ovulating is "polycystic ovary syndrome," and metformin is often used to treat this. You should see a reproductive endocrinologist to evaluate you, both for your irregular periods and your infertility.

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Response by:

William W Hurd, MD William W Hurd, MD
Professor of Reproductive Biology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University