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4 Most Common Types of Menstrual Problems for Women

Amenorrhea, oligomenorrhea, menorrhagia, and dysmenorrhea are the four most common types of menstrual problems. Here’s an easy-to-understand description of each, plus a few things that can make your period irregular.

Are your periods a pain in the patootie? Welcome to the club. But you don’t have to be a lifelong member of the “menstrual problems” club for women! Why? Because if you can identify the type of menstrual problem you have, you’re closer to finding the best remedy. Menstrual cramps, unpredictable periods, and heavy bleeding are common types of menstrual problems – and they don’t just affect your daily life. Menstrual problems can even affect your fertility levels.

If you see menstruation as gross or unfeminine, it’s time to change your perspective. Here’s what you need to know about getting your period…

“In man, the shedding of blood is always associated with injury, disease, or death,” said Estelle Ramey, who was an endocrinologist at Georgetown University. “Only the female half of humanity was seen to have the magical ability to bleed profusely and still rise phoenix-like each month from the gore.” We women are amazing, aren’t we?

If you’re not rising phoenix-like each month – magic! – then you’re not alone. Most women cope with some type of menstruation problem or PMS.

4 Most Common Types of Menstrual Problems

The average age for a girl to get her first period is age 12 in the United States (I was 11 years old when I got mine. How old were you?). Even though age 12 is the most common age to start menstruating, it doesn’t mean all girls get their periods at the same age. A girl can start her period anytime between the ages of 8 and 15. Most of the time, a girl’s first period starts about two years after her breasts first start to develop.

Getting your period is a cause for celebration! That’s why I wrote 9 Gift Ideas for Girls Getting Their First Period 🙂

Here are the symptoms and solutions of the four most common menstrual problems for women.

1. Painful periods or dysmenorrhea

“Primary dysmenorrhea is linked to a rise of natural chemicals in the body at ovulation, which can cause pain,” writes Mary Jane Minkin, MD, in Women’s Health For Life. “Secondary dysmenorrhea is a sign of an underlying disorder.” Secondary dysmenorrhea affects women who’ve never menstruated before.

4 Most Common Types of Menstrual Problems for Women

4 Most Common Types of Menstrual Problems for Women

Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for painful periods – including severe menstrual cramps. Period cramps in teens are caused by too much of a chemical called prostaglandin. Most teens who have painful periods and crams don’t have a serious disease, even though the cramps can really hurt! In older women, the pain is sometimes caused by a disease or condition such as uterine fibroids or endometriosis.

Symptoms of dysmenorrhea include aching in your lower back or legs, cramps in your abdomen, or a dragging sensation in your pelvis. For some women, using a heating pad or taking a warm bath helps ease their cramps. Some over-the-counter pain medicines can also help with these symptoms.

Over-the-counter pain relief medications for painful periods:

In both teens and women nearing menopause, hormonal changes can cause long and sometimes painful periods – as well as irregular menstrual cycles. Even if the cause is hormonal changes, you may be able to get treatment. However, keep in mind that hormonal changes can occur with other serious health problems such as uterine fibroids, polyps, or even cancer. See your doctor if you have any abnormal, heavy, or unusually painful bleeding.

Endometriosis is a reproductive disorder that commonly causes painful menstrual periods. Fibroids are another health issue that doesn’t necessarily affect fertility, but is definitely a common type of menstrual problem (I know, because I have fibroids!). The only way to know for sure if you have endometriosis or fibroids – and if they’re causing dysmenorrhea or painful periods – is to get checked by a doctor, gynecologist, or other health care provider for women. This menstrual problem could lead to infertility or problems conceiving; the sooner you know what you’re coping with, the better.

2. Heavy periods or menorrhagia

Hormonal imbalances or uterus disorders could cause heavy periods, but Dr Minkin says the cause isn’t always obvious. If you’re bleeding for seven or more days and it’s not controlled by sanitary napkins or tampons, then you may have menorrhagia. Some blood clots are normal – but large blood clots are a sign of heavy periods.

Heavy periods – menorrhagia – is a common menstrual problem that could lead to anemia, so make sure you get plenty of iron in your diet. Lean meat, leafy green veggies, some cereals, oatmeal, boiled soybeans, molasses, and various beans are good sources of iron. You may need prescription medication to treat heavy periods or anemia – but make sure to tell the doctor you’re trying to get pregnant.

Most Common Types of Menstrual Problems for WomenThe LENA Menstrual Cup for Heavy Flow is a great option for women with heavy periods who are tired of using tampons and pads. It’s a reusable menstrual cup that collects your monthly blood flow. It’s inserted just like a tampon – and doesn’t have the possibly toxic side effects. LENA offers a leak, odor and sensation-free period. Thousands of women who use menstrual cups for the first time say they will never go back to pads and tampons.

3. Irregular periods or oligomenorrhea

Unpredictable periods are normal the first year of menstruation, and during perimenpause (the years leading up to menopause). Hormone imbalances or disorders can also cause irregular periods, which can affect fertility levels and your chances of conceiving a baby.

Dr Minkin recommends keeping track of your periods, to see if the irregularity is normal for you (because what’s normal for one woman can be abnormal for another). She also says, “Fortunately, most menstrual problems are minor and easily treatable.”

Abnormal bleeding is a common menstrual problem, and can have many causes. Your gynecologist or doctor may start by checking for problems that are most common in your age group – because a woman my age (47) will have different menstrual problems than a woman your age (unless you’re also 47!). Some of the most common causes of menstrual problems aren’t serious and are easy to treat. Others can be more serious…which is why you need to see your doctor if you have problems with your menstrual cycle.

Want regular periods? Read 9 Easy Ways to Make Your Menstrual Cycle Regular.

4. No periods or amenorrhea

If you’ve missed three periods, then you may be dealing with amenorrhea (or a pregnancy! Or perimenopause or menopause). “The most common cause of absent periods is pregnancy,” writes Dr Minkin. “Amenorrhea can also be a side effect of illness, stress, overexercising, or extreme weight loss.”

Amenorrhea simply means “no periods”, and it’s the medical term used to describe the absence of a period in young women who haven’t started menstruating by age 15, and women and girls who haven’t had a period for 90 days or three months.

Causes of amenorrhea can include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Eating disorders
  • Excessive exercising
  • Stress
  • Serious medical conditions in need of treatment

Missing your menstrual cycle is a problem – even though it can feel liberating not to get your period!

common menstruation problems period

Common Menstrual Problems for Women

Not getting your period can mean that your ovaries have stopped producing normal amounts of estrogen. Estrogen is a hormone that has an important positive effect on your overall health (though too much estrogen can lead to depression, which is why women struggle with depression more than men). Hormonal problems, such as those caused by polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or serious problems with the reproductive organs, may be involved.

It’s important to talk to a doctor if you have this menstrual problem. If you’re not getting your period, then you’re not ovulating or releasing an egg each month…and if you’re not ovulating, then you’ll have problems getting pregnant! See your doctor for help diagnosing and treating amenorrhea – and avoid excessive dieting or exercise.

When Should You See a Doctor About Menstrual Problems?

If you’re struggling with one of the four most common types of period problems on this list, you should see a gynecologist or family doctor.

You should see a doctor about menstrual problems if…

  • Your period suddenly stops for more than 90 days.
  • Your periods become very irregular after having had regular, monthly cycles.
  • Your period occurs more often than every 21 days or less often than every 35 days.
  • You get your period for more than 7 days.
  • Your period is more heavy than usual, or you’re using more than 1 pad or tampon every 1 to 2 hours.
  • You bleed between periods (a common type of menstrual problem).
  • You have severe pain or cramps during your period.

Do you suffer from one of these types of menstruation problems – and what are your symptoms and solutions? I welcome your comments below. I can’t give medical advice; you really need to see a gynecologist in person to get the help you need! But, it might help to share what you’re experiencing.

Help With the Most Common Types of Menstrual Problems

4 Most Common Types of Menstrual ProblemsThe ThermaCare Menstrual Cramp Relief Heat Wraps is one of the best ways to cope with menstrual cramps. The heat on your abdomen helps with blood flow, which eases painful menstrual cramps (a common problem for women!). If you can get the blood flowing smoothly, your cramps may be less problematic.

“These really are great for painful periods,” says Amy. “My two teenagers suffer from pretty bad menstrual cramps and these heating pads have been a wonderful find. Both of my kids have said that when they use these they don’t feel like they have to use ibuprofen or any other pain reliever – and this wrap is so much better for their stomachs. Plus it makes it so they can actually get to school and make it through their day with almost no pain. The heat wraps are nice and discreet. They can wear them under their clothes at school and no one even knows that they are using the heating patches. They provide hours of relief from painful menstrual cramps.”

Most Common Types of Menstrual Problems

Yogi Teas Woman’s Moon Cycle Organic Tea is a uniquely crafted herbal formula that helps relieve the minor tensions and discomfort of your monthly menstrual cycle.

The tea makers combine Dong Quai (the most respected restorative herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine) with Chaste Tree Berry and Organic Raspberry Leaf (used for centuries in Europe) to address common PMS symptoms.

Juniper Berry is also included – it’s a traditional herb can help ease the mind and soothe the body. Infuse harmony and comfort into the days of your monthly cycle with a calming cup of Woman’s Moon Cycle – it’s a natural, delicious way to balance your hormones and help you feel strong.  Balancing your hormones can help with all types of menstrual problems.

Are you trying to get pregnant? Fairhaven Health's Hormone Balance Bundle improves egg quality, encourages cycle regularity, and helps your body ovulate regularly.

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73 thoughts on “4 Most Common Types of Menstrual Problems for Women”

  1. Yes, if you’re having menstrual problems and you feel uneasy, you should go to your family doctor or gynecologist. Get checked out!

    You might also find this article helpful:

    Help for for Irregular Periods – Herbs and Natural Remedies

    Natural herbal remedies can help with the most common types of menstrual problems for women — but they should not be taken instead of going to a doctor. It’s more important to see a gynecologist than to experiment with different herbs. Herbal remedies can be helpful, but you really should see a doctor in person first.


  2. I haven’t heard of this fifth type of menstrual problem. Have you found more information about it? I don’t know of any other treatments for menstruation problems, and haven’t heard of anything other than I wrote about here.

    Do you know of any alternative solutions for menstrual problems?


    I’ve read the Article on 4 common types of menstrual problems. I’ve to read it again for my clear understanding; but, right now I am more concerned about what could be considered as the 5th type of menstrual problem.
    In this 5th type, the young lady concerned says she gets periods every second month. Could this be possible if one of her ovaries do not ovulate at all for one reason or another? I would like to know more about her problem. She is thirty years old.
    She says she is having this problem for being fat/overweight, as told by her friends.
    I have been looking for detailed information about this type of period problem and also the treatment. If you are aware of any way to treat this menstrual problem, kindly let me know. Thanks!

  4. I went to the doctor over this issues once before, but this time I havnt. They told me everything was normal and my birth control would solve it, but it never did. I have PCOS and one tube after a ectopic. This is the 3rd time this year it has happened and it has me concerned, but like I said previously my doctor said in fine. Confused?? I started my period the Last week of April and it’s now mine 8th and I still have a consistent flow. I don’t remember my exact start date, but I know it was the last week of April. It is between light and medium flow I would call it. Panty liner or thin pa light. I have tried sex, vitiiman c intake, when it happened before I switched birth control twice. I even went to a different doctor. I feel there is more. I also have zero cramping out of the normal PCOS cramps on my ovary.

  5. I m suffering very much pain from menstrual problems. Lower abdomen during period. Also vomitting and lose motion. What to do? Pls tell me

  6. i’m so curious what’s happening now on my menstrual cycle. I got my last period since 2nd week of january and it’s a heavy one with a cramps and it last for about 6 days compare to my other last periods, although i’m aware that my cycle is irregular and my period usually last 2weeks and sometimes experiencing heavy flow with cramps but i don’t know why until now(march) i didn’t got my period yet . Although it happen same situation before but this is the longest one. i don’t know what to do. and i’m kinda thinking maybe i’m so stress now? and please maybe you can advice me what to do or what to take. thank you so much in advance. ?

  7. i’m so curious what’s happening now on my menstrual cycle. I got my last period since 2nd week of january and it’s a heavy one with a cramps and it last for about 6 days compare to my other last periods, although i’m aware that my cycle is irregular and my period usually last 2weeks and sometimes experiencing heavy flow with cramps but i don’t know why until now(march) i didn’t got my period yet . Although it happen same situation before but this is the longest one. i don’t know what to do. and i’m kinda thinking maybe i’m so stress now? and please maybe you can advice me what to do or what to take. thank you so much in advance. 🙂

  8. Why is it that I have had a sudden change in my period? I release very little blood on the second day yet the first day I menstruate normally…is there a disorder in my periods?

    1. I have been bleeding for long periods just before xmas still going i may stop for one day i have bled for 5 months straight before this has been happening for the last 4 yr now i have seen gyno had scans tests everything has come back normal i take 3 types of medication from doctor n still does not make it stop i can not cope anymore is there anythingore i can do

  9. Good day sir, my wife has a problem with her menstrual period, she only sees white discharge instead of blood which she has never experienced before. we need your advice to know the cause of it.

  10. i have dark brown discharge / periods im not sure what it is but its very light ith lasted for 7 days as my normal period and came with clots

  11. Dear pallavi,

    The reason you’re having problems with your menstrual period depends on too many factors, it’s not possible to give you a diagnosis over the internet! Maybe it’s stress, or the environment, or prescription medications, or hormone changes, or the foods you’re eating.

    My best advice is for you to see a doctor in person, and find out why you’re having problems. Get a pap smear or other gynecological tests, so you can determine why your periods are irregular.

    I wish you all the best! May you solve your periods problems quickly and easily.


  12. My periods for two months was normal but 3rd month is more then 10 days now. Can you tell me possible reason for this delay? what food will help me to regularize my periods.

  13. If you’re dealing with these or any type of menstrual problems, you need to see a gynecologist in person. Don’t take advice on how to ovulate or get regular periods on the internet — see a doctor in person! The internet is a great source of basic information about menstrual period and other “female” problems, but you need specific advice for your own body. The only way to get that advice is to see a doctor in person.


  14. Tara,

    It sounds like you’ve had such a difficult time with your health! But you’re coping like a true survivor – you’re doing all you can to get your health back. I believe your body will regulate itself, and your hormones will be in balance again. It’ll just take time — and I hope you’re under the care of a good gynecologist!

    Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers,

  15. Yes, for the longest time I had amenorrhea, probably due to poor health… I am now getting healthier and have the opposite problem of Heavy periods or menorrhagia. I have been told that the lining has built up for so long, that it now has to shed it all. The biggest problem is having to literally wear a diaper all the time and not being able to go to work when this occurs ( I have a very active job.) I’m beginning to fear for my job because it is now happening once per month. Ironically, I’ve never have any pain or cramping.

  16. hello doctor I have not period in 3 month. all most not time in period miss my period in all month i am merried in 8 year but not kids ………please help …….

  17. I had a miscarriage August 23rd and haven’t had a period. About 4 days ago I started noticing some pinkish discharge but no bleeding in my urine and now every time I wipe there’s some blood but again no blood in my urine, can this be my period?

  18. hai

    i am suffering from pco and fibroids and i havent got my menses for almost a year. i tried homeopathic medicine but no result. m worried can u help?

  19. i haven’t had a period in 2 months now last one was feb4th.. i’ve take home pregnancy ever other week now and they say i’m not. but what should I do now.. i don’t have medical insurance.

  20. I’m 30 years old n started mensurating at the age of 13.i’ve had regular periods since then. Married for last 2 years with no child now planning one.last sep my periods were late for 12 days.i tested for pregenancy with -ve results.from then on my periods are like late for a week once in a while. Like last month expected to start on 8 but started on 13. Don’t know whats wrong.have gone to doc n she’s take my blood sample to be tested for PCOS.i’m 5’3″ weighing 141 pounds with bmi of 25. I do have painful periods diagonsed for primary dysemnohhrrea. My doc said she didn’t heared of this term. I’m really confused n stressed.any advice or word .

  21. Hi. I think I need a help. Last year, I had amenhrea, I missed 4 months of menstruation due to weight loss. Then my doctor gave me birth controll pills(diane 35) she said that it’ll help me to add some hormones. Then after taking 21 tablets, after 5 days, I had my menstruation again. Then after 2 months of having a regular menstruation, I lost weight again. but not that much of weight. Then I still hadn’t gotten my mentstruation again for a month. What should I do? I’m afraid of going to my doctor because first of all my family don’t have that money. And by the way, I’m anemic.and I’m only 14 years old.

  22. Hello, my problem is that i have been having normal mensturation circle of 26-28 days, which my period last only 3-4 days. But lately it started lasting only 3 days and will be little heavy and painful. I’m 33yrs now expecting pregnant. 2months ago i thought i’m pregnant i had symptoms but later saw my period with d kind of pains i’ve never had before on my abdomen and waist. Though i’ve not see any doctor, could it be fibroid?

  23. Good day!
    I hesitate writing you but I think I need to find an answer to my problem. I have a heavy menstrual period and I already done a research which tells me that I’m having a symptoms of menorrhagia. I haven’t visited a doctor for the past 4years now but the last time I consult a doctor and done an ultrasound, she said that I’m having a severe dysmenorrhoea and hormonal imbalance. I also discovered that I have a retroverted uterus. I would like to ask if my condition can still conceive a baby and what should I ask my doctor about my condition because I’m planning to have a check-up after my menstruation.. By the way I’m 33 and still a virgin Please help me. Thank you.

  24. hi i have the same problem which jabeen facing nowadays actually doc i m from pakistan and when i was 16 i had a best friend named jabeen and now i didnt know anything about her now i m 42 plz help me if she is the same jabeen plz send me her email address i will be thankful to you

  25. hello and how u doing my name is mayra and the reason for this message is cause when i was younger i had a regular period and then when i grow up its become inregular and before i used to get it know i havent got it for the past years and i’m really consern what can i do to get my mestrual period regular.i being trying to get pregnact for the past 10 years and i havent got it.when i went to the doctors they said i needed to do an ivf.is there any chance that i could get some other help or tips i never seek no more doctors.

  26. Dear Ashley,

    Have you gone to the doctor or gynecologist to figure out why you haven’t gotten your period? The best way to find the source of any type of menstrual period problems is to visit a doctor in person.

    There may be some other health issue that is affecting your menstrual cycle, and you need to talk to a doctor in person to find out what’s going on.


  27. I have missed a span over almost 6periods. My last period stopped atApril13. In may i spotted a light pink blood that only left me wiping with toiketpaper. I havent bled anytime after that,didnt even need a tampon.mid-june, a mnthth late i tooj a hpt test which was neg. 2weeks later, neg again….ive had all the pegnancy sign,symptoms except for sor/tenderrbreasts. Ive gaind weight,obviously look like im almost 6mnths.it feels like something is literally moving inside me like a baby..ive read about ilknnesses

  28. Dear April,

    I can’t say if your heavy menstrual flow is a cause for concern…but I do think it’s a good idea for all woman to have regular pap smears and pelvic exams. Our bodies can change very quickly, and it’s always best to be on top of the changes that are happening.

    When was the last time you had a pap smear or pelvic exam? I really think that’s the best way to find out what’s happening with your cycle….


  29. Hello, for the last two months i have been receiving chiropractic adjustments and i have noticed that my periods have become quite heavier and more painful, with many clots. I was diagnosed with PCOS in August 2007 and later got pregnant with twins. After my twins were born I started on the pill to keep my periods regular. I stopped taking the bc pill i July this year. Do you think i have cause for concern regarding my periods being so heavy that i need to wear a pad as well as a tampon just in case?

  30. Dear Mirjam,

    That’s great! Not that you have PCOS, of course, but that you know the cause of your menstrual problems. There’s nothing worse than not knowing, because then you can’t deal with the problem.

    I’m so glad for you, and so proud of you! You took charge of your health – you’re a strong, healthy, smart woman.

    I love your advice about writing down your symptoms, period problems, days, etc — because it is SO easy to forget. Especially at the doctor’s office, when we feel sort of pressured and stressed.

    I hope your treatment makes everything flow smoothly for you, and thank you for coming back and letting me know how things went.

    If you have other life problems, let me know. I love helping women find solutions! 🙂


  31. Dear Laurie!
    Wauw, so I guess now I got an answer to all my questions: I went to the gynecologist, and she did an exam, with ultrasound. She could see clearly that I had PCO. All that waiting for a 15 minutes consultation… But after all, now I understand why my body works the way it does. And they can offer some treatment as well. What I had written down about my story, was very helpful, and I can only recommend women who experience changes in their menstrual cycle, to start writing down. Because it is so easy to forget…

    I guess I have to get used to the thought that I have PCO, and I don’t think that it is clear to me yet. And what are my thoughts on all this?: Of course I am not excited that I have PCO, but to be honest, I knew that there was something wrong, and it is good to be told that everything looks like it should “down there”, and that it was “only” PCO, which a lot of women have. She told me that there are a lot of wrong informations about PCO on the internet, and told me to be critical about all the stuff, that you can read about it. PCO needs to be researched more, but now in 2011 there are options and ways to treat it…

    The good thing is that I don’t seem to have any of the “bad” side effects, like male hair growth and so on. My future looks bright though. I just need to watch my lifestyle, watch what I eat, and remember to exercise. All those things I already do, so that will not be a problem to me.

    Now I can always go back to her if there is anything, and the plan is to reevaluate the medicine, and have a new examination at the end of this year. It is good to know that I am now in the “system”, and don’t have to walk around wondering what it is, feeling weird, imagening all sorts of stupid things and so on. I can finally put a word to what I experience with my body!

    I have PCO!

    Best wishes from Mirjam

  32. Dear Enee,

    The best way to cope with your menstrual problems and see if there is a problem with your cycle is to see a gynecologist. It’s not possible for me to give personal medical advice over the internet! You need to get examined in person to see if there is something going on with your ovaries, uterus, etc.

    I wish you all the best.


  33. i am 34 yr i remove my IUD from 3 month & i want to be pregnant but i’ve short menstrual period for 3 days only every 26 days instead of 6 days every 26 days i am trying to be pregnant throughout 3 month but i cannot & i want to know if there i any problem with my cycle

  34. Mirjim,

    Thanks for your explanation of the connection between osteoporosis and periods – I appreciate it. The funny thing about estrogen is that while we need it to be healthy and strong women, we also can have too much of it — and that’s connected to breast cancer!

    I take vitamin D, and probably should take calcium because I rarely drink milk or eat cheese or yoghurt.

    Thanks again!


  35. Hi again!
    The connection between osteo and periods, is the estrogen. It is nessesary for both the period and a healthy bone density. (English is my third language, but I hope that you understand what I am trying to explain.) There are studies made of female athletes that had amenorrhea, and it showed that they had a low bone density, and therefore a high risk in developing osteo later in their life. A change in their lifestyle did not make up for the damage that had been made in the bone health, although the bone density did increase a given amount… Since my periods never have been regular, or near what is considered normal, I just started to take calcium and vitamin D (which is combined). At least I wouldnt think that it would make any harm…

    Best wishes from Mirjam

  36. Dear Mirjam,

    Thank you for letting me know how you’re doing – it’s great to hear from you!

    I totally understand how an appointment can lift your spirits…I have an appointment with a gastro guy (I have ulcerative colitis) in September, and it makes me feel great. I think it’s about empowerment and taking control of our health and our lives.

    I’m not sure about the relationship between no menstruation and osteoporosis. I wrote an article for BC Women’s Hospital about osteo, and interviewed 4 doctors about it….and not one said anything about lack of menstruation causing osteoporosis! Maybe it’s a new connection, I don’t know.

    Yes, I bet your gynecologist will do an ultrasound, and definitely an exam. She might also order bloodwork. But sometimes the first visit is information gathering only….nothing too difficult. It depends on her and how she operates.

    Good for you for keeping records of your menstruation — that’s perfect! Makes me want to write an article about the importance of keeping detailed health records 🙂

    Take care…and keep me updated 🙂

    Enjoy your summer,

  37. Hi Laurie!
    Just had to give you an update from me. I promised to write you when I had my period again, but now I got a letter from the gynecologist, that she wanted to see me in september(my doctor asked for an appointment in november 2010). I am so happy about that it finally was my turn, and I am looking forward to hear what she says, and if she wants to do any tests or exams… As I said, the tests of my hormones were perfectly normal. So I wonder which tests she wants to do on me? Maybe a gynecological examination, and some sort of ultrasound maybe? I want to be prepared, and I have tried to write down what I remember I have gone through, how I experienced the change in my periods, for how long I took the pill, ibuprofen and so on. I have never been at a gynocologist before, and so I don’t really know what to expect. I finished all my exams and my education in June, without having a single period, only spotting twice since september 2010. So now it is 10 months (and counting) since I stopped taking the pill, and I have had no period since then. I started taking calcium tablets since I read that the absence of periods in women can cause osteoporosis.
    By the way, who would think that an appointment with a gynocologist would ever lift my spirits??? LOL 🙂
    Have a nice day!

  38. Jabeen ~ I’m sorry I missed your comment! If you’re still having menstrual period problems, you need to talk to a doctor. It’s not possible to get a medical diagnosis from someone on the internet.

    Missy ~ If you’ve had medical tests and your doctors say all is well, I suggest talking to a naturopathic physician. He or she may be able to help you regulate your hormones, which will lead to a more predictable cycle — which will help you get pregnant.

    Remember that period problems are often caused by hormone flucuations. And, hormone flucuations can be caused by stress, lack of sleep, food, weight gain or loss, or other medical issues. If your life is unpredictable or stressful, you may have problems with your period. And, if you have undiagnosed medical conditions, you may have period problems.

    I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful…but the only person qualified to give medical advice is your doctor, when he or she sees you in person.


  39. Hi,

    I am 28 and been TTC baby number 2 for over a year. My cycles are normally around 31-34 days but then last month I was over a week late (42 Days long) and then this month I started bleeding on day 17…what is going on? I have had all tests done and my doctors say I am healthy. Any advise?

  40. respected sir i have a problem that my menstrual cycle is disturb due to family planning injunction. now from last 2 months my menstrual starts every 5 days break. i have a child as well. before this child my menstrual cycle well complete on 10 days but after a child its take many days.now from last 17 days i m ill from menstrual. my menstrual cycle not stop. kindly guide me what can i do

  41. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Hello Nicole,

    I’m so sorry to hear that you’re depressed — that makes life harder! And, depression makes dealing with menstrual period problems hard, too.

    I think the first thing you need to do is talk to an adult you trust, and get help with your feelings of depression. Can you talk to a guidance counselor, teacher, family member, parent, or adult friend? I know it’s not the funnest thing to do, but in order to get healthy both emotionally and physically, you need to cope with your depressed feelings.

    If there’s nobody in person you can talk to, please call a teens help line or distress line. You CAN feel better and have a happy life! But, you have to reach out and get help…and that involves being honest and vulnerable about what you’re going through.

    What do you think? Can you talk to someone, or call a teen help line?


  42. hi, im nicole. I am 15 years old and havent had my period for 4 months now. i started my period when i was 12 and it has never been abnormal until now. I have never had sex so i really do not know whats wrong with me. In the last four months, i have been eating a lot, which probably isnt helping since i am already overweight. I think i am depressed because of the fact that i am overweight and there are a lot of my friends that have cute boyfriends and i can tend to keep one. i also think i am stressed but i dont know what about because i dont really seem to care about my grades in school. Since i have been down, i have been starting to do some drugs, but i have decided that i am done. I am TERRIFIED of going to the gyno because i think its abnormal down there on me. and i would be completely embarassed. please give me an answer, im so scared =( help me.

  43. Hi Laurie!
    Thank you for being so sweet!
    I have thought about fibroids and endometriosis and have read some things about it. I recognice some of the symptoms, but not all of them. It can be scary to think that I might have something like that, but really it would be better to know for sure (I just know that everything is not right). Because then I could take it from there, and get some treatment. At least it would make me feel better about my self, and understand what is going on.

    I will keep you updated on “Aunt Flo’s” arrival 😉


  44. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Mirjam,

    I totally don’t think you’re crazy, my friend! You’re just curious and perplexed — and rightfully so. I’d feel the same way if I haven’t gotten my period in four months…

    Do you think it would be helpful to see a woman gynecologist or female doctor? I have no problem with male doctors for fertility and other health issues, but when I go to the doctor for menstrual period stuff, I really prefer a female. I find women doctors easier to talk to. Like you said, it can be more difficult to speak your mind with a male doctor.

    Yes, I agree it’s good to get alot of information about periods and possible menstrual issues…but sometimes too much information is harmful! When I was trying to get pregnant, I’d read those fertility forums and feel overwhelmed and sad about all the possible outcomes. Well, the one outcome of not getting pregnant…but there were so many stories of unsuccessful treatments, it just upset and confused me! So I guess that’s why I caution against leaning on the internet for advice and solutions. There’s alot of misinformation, and information that just doesn’t apply to your situation.

    When writing this, I remembered that being overweight or underweight can irregular periods. So can taking prescription medications, stress, and even herbal supplements. Fibroids and cysts are also a possibility…but, see how hard it is to know what’s going on without an in-person doctors’ exam?! It’s just impossible.

    But I’m honored that you found me, and are pouring your heart out here! I really am. Thank you.

    Stay in touch — let me know when your period does arrive. Good old “Aunt Flo”, bringing all her baggage and crampy style.

    I wonder if you do have fibroids, or endometriosis? I hate to put thoughts like that in your head, though. I have a fibroid, and my doctor said it could cause heavy, crampy periods. It doesn’t for me, but I only have one small one.


  45. I might sound desperate, well I am. But I am not crazy. I am just trying to understand. So if you don’t know what it could be, then that is just fine.

    By the way, it is really good to have someone that I can pour my heart out to, although maybe it should be my doctor and not you 🙂

    Thank you for the opportunity!

  46. Hi again!
    Thank you for your feedback.
    Well I must admit that I search a lot for different articles and information about periods and things like that on the internet. I think that it started because I wanted to get a more broad knowledge about what I should prepare myself for, but also because I wanted to see if any of the things that I experienced could be dangerous for my health. As many women I waited a long time before I called my doctor, because I didn’t want to sound stupid… But it just became too much to handle for me, and I finally had no other choice but to make an appointment.

    I didn’t speak up my mind, when I was at the doctor, I thought that he knew best what was right for me, and he started to treat my symptoms in stead of finding out what was wrong. And really the treatment didn’t work for me.

    So as I said in my other message, I called again. And now I am waiting for an appointment from a gynecologist. The waiting list is long, and since my case isn’t considered dangerous, I can expect to wait a long time. I have heard from people that have waited for up to 1 year…

    So my hopes arent that high, and I guess that I needed to pour my heart out to someone… It is just building up inside of me, and the more I think about it, the more stressed I become. As I said, I haven’t had my period since september ’10, because I stopped taking the pill. Now I dread my next period, which could come anytime. And my exams are coming up, so it could disturb a lot for me, because I feel completely handicapped when I bleed so much.

    I wonder, could it be bad for my body to not have any period for such a long time? And what could the reason be, since it is not an hormonal imbalance (I have been tested for that)?


  47. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Hello Mirjam,

    Thanks for sharing your story here — what a history you’ve had!

    I must caution you to be careful about trying to diagnose your problems with your menstrual periods by searching on the internet. There is a lot of great information about menstruation — and lots of ways to solve period problems — but not everything may apply to you.

    So, I encourage you to talk to your doctor and get a referral to a gynecologist. To determine why your periods have changed and aren’t regular, you need to get an in-person physical check up.

    Let me know how it goes! The tests aren’t that bad, and they’ll probably help you regulate your periods.


  48. Hello Laurie!
    I am so happy that I found this article. Actually I spend a lot of time on the internet searching for symptoms that sound like mine. I am now 23 years old, and I would really like to share my story, and get your opinion on it all…

    I got my period at the age of 18 (which is pretty late), had very very mild periods without a lot of pain, and they were very irregular. They lasted for about 3-4 days, and they came a few times (about 4) a year for about 3 years (it is hard to remember exactly how it was, but I didn’t have any problems with them, no heavy bleeding, and almost no discomfort).

    Then suddently they shifted! At the age of 21 I experienced extreme bleeding, compared to before. They were still irregular, but this time I had no control. I felt very sick, had pain all around the lower back, and had no control of my daily life. I stayed at home, did not move outside when I had my period, because before I knew it I had to go change my pad. I got almost no sleep at night, had to go up several times to change my pad, and the periods lasted for about 8 days. The days when I have my period I do nothing but stay at home, and I cancel all my appointments. I feel completely alone… And because they are so irregular, it is hard to plan my daily life. But then, i stopped having my period for 6 months, and I decided to go to the doctor to find out what was actually going on inside of me…

    The doctor prescribed me the pill, and checked my hormonal balance. I started on the pill, and yes it regulated my period so I had it once a month, but the periods were still very heavy, and I still had a lot of pain. So the only thing that changed was that I knew that I had my period once a month, but really it was better when I had them more irregular because then it was always possible that they skipped a month or two. The docotor said that my hormonal balance was perfect for a girl my age.

    I took the pill for about 14 months. In june 2010 I went to the doctor because of my heavy bleeding and got ibuprofen to treat my bleeding. I should take them 3 times a day when I had my periods. In july, august and september 2010 i experienced dissiness about three days after my periods started, and every day until about three days after my bleeding stopped. And I felt very weak and tired. I spent a lot of time in my bed, also during the mornings and days… I don’t feel able to do any work, and my studies suffer from my weakness. I have no energy to study…

    In september I decided to stop taking the pill, and the ibuprofen. I didn’t feel like it made any difference. It only made my misery come every month in stead of maybe every 3 months or every 4 months. Also I could not see the benefits of the pill, if it was to cause all the blood loss, and the dissiness.

    In november I had an appointment at the doctor, and I told him about that I had stopped on the pill (it was the fourth time I was at the doctor, and it has never been the same doctor). He checked if I suffered from blood loss, but he said that this was not the case. And he said that I didn’t have diabetes…
    I called him the day after, and he said that what he could do was to arrange an appointment at a gynocologist. But since my condition is not considered dangerous it would take a lot of time to get an appointment (I live in europe). It has been about a month now, and I still haven’t heard anything from them. And I haven’t had any period since september 2010.

    I use a lot of time to wonder about my condition. It is hard to find anyone like me on the internet. And I wonder what the actual problem is, because it doesn’t seem like it is anything with my hormones… I feel very abnormal, and when other girls talk about their periods, I can not relate in any way. I would really like to see a gynocologist, but I wonder if he/she would find out what is going on with me. Will I ever find out???
    So far I have found out that it is not my hormones, and I am a virgin so it has nothing to do with that. I have never been at the gynocologist before, and the doctors that I have been at haven’t checked me “down there”. Probably because I am a virgin?
    I have tried tampons, but i feel discomfort and they only last for about an hour, so it is not worth the pain. One doctor wanted me to try the “p-ring” (not sure how you call it) but it is a ring with hormones that you put inside of your vagina, and it releases hormones straight to the area. But since I don’t use tampons, she didin’t think that I could use them.

    I would love every feedback that I get. And thank you so much for reading my story.


  49. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Hello Gill,

    I’m sorry to hear about your irregular periods and pain! That’s difficult to live with.

    Solving your menstrual problems depends on the cause of your menstrual pain and irregularity. So, you need to go to a doctor to find out why you have irregular and painful periods. Then, you’re in a better position to find the solutions.

    Talk to your doctor, and let me know how it goes! Also, you might consider talking to a naturopathic doctor and getting ways to balance your hormones. Unbalanced hormones can cause irregular periods.


  50. actually i have manstrual periods after my marriage like there is gap for 2 months or more even i check for pregnancy but its negative but i got normal pain daily like i got periods but there is nothing please give me advise what can i do.

  51. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Wow, Jane — thanks for sharing this! I never would’ve dreamed that the vertebrae in a woman’s back could affect her periods!! Who knew that getting your spine aligned could help your menstrual cycle…

    Thanks again, I really appreciate this information.

  52. I thought I might add my 2 cents and share my experience. When I was sixteen a doctor told me my debilitating periods was dysmennorhea, and prescribed me the pill. I’m 25 and just quit the pill; hubs and I want a baby. After nine years, I was so scared to quit! Luckily, at the same time we started with a new chiropractor, who made a wonderful discovery–2 of my vertebrae were rotated to the right, which he suspected might be the root of all my menstrual symptoms. It has been three months since I’ve been receiving chiropractic adjustments, and my period is regular for the first time in my life, and the pain is even more mild than it ever was on the pill! So I absolutely agree with going the “natural” treatment route, I would just encourage you all to start with getting your spine aligned!

  53. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Hi Bailey,

    Have you talked to your doctor? I think you should get an internal exam by a gynecologist. That’s the best way to solve your menstrual period problems — or at least start solving them!

    You might also consider talking to a naturopathic doctor. Sometimes irregular periods are due to wonky hormones, and some natural herbs and supplements can regulate hormones, which regulates periods.

    I hope you find your regular cycle somewhere…but do talk to a doctor in person.


  54. Hello,

    I read over this and none of these seem to really be my problem. You see, I started having my period when I was just about nine. I was early with it. And then, now, I’m 18 1/2, and I’m lucky to see my period once every three months. I believe the longest I’ve gone with no period was just over nine months. If there is anyone out there that could tell me whtas wrong with me I would be very thankful. I was told when you first start your period it was normal to miss a month or to be late, but really, its been nine years, its not normal anymore.


  55. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Hi Monique,

    I don’t know how I missed your comment and question, but I did! Are you still around? If so, let me know and I’d be happy to answer your question….


  56. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Hi Tiffany,

    You need to talk to your doctor to get help for your periods! You need an in-person medical examination; you may need to get bloodwork done and get tested for fibroids, endometriosis, polycystic ovaries, etc.

    Make an appointment with your doctor — and let me know how it goes. Finding a solution to your unpredictable, painful periods will open up a whole new life for you!


  57. Hi.

    I have not had regular periods since I first started. I used to be able to tell when I was getting ready to start because I would have an uncomfortable feeling to the left of my navel area. Years later my period would come, never on a set time and not always each month.

    There was a time when I didn’t get my period for almost a year and I frequently had lower back pain. When my period finally did come it would last for over a month. Now it seems that I get my period every week. It will stop for a few days then come back again. I very rarely have cramps and I just attributed my lower back pain to a very uncomfortable bed since every morning I have back pain. I’m not on any medications and I take natural herbs and vitamins but mostly to help with my female health. I am 29 and not sexually active because of this. I never know what is happening down there and its definitely not predictable. I also have frequent discharge.
    I am overweight and I started growing unusual amounts of hair on my face which makes me think that I don’t have enough estrogen in my body.

    What is going on with my body?

  58. So my sophmore year, I got on Debo. It almost immediately took away my period and I had no spotting. I ended up gainin 40lbs on it but didn’t notice it at first. The entire point of me getting on birthcontrol was to regulate my period and help with cramps, which didn’t happen. before debo i was on the patch which just made me completely horrible to be around because it made everything so much worse. but anyways, i got off of debo after i noticed the weight gain (which came on in about 2 months) and then it took me about a year and half to my period back. i would always have cramps but no bleeding. when my period finally returned my senior year, it was way worse than before. it was heavy enough to have to change my pad every hour and i use the next to heaviest from always. i got into an accident december 08. it wasn’t bad but i did have some anxiety but a little before that and since, my period has been every two-three months and lasts for a month being heavy like i said. i have horrific cramps for about two weeks and vomit a few times over the month.

    i’m afraid to go to the clinic (because i dont have the money for a doctor or insurance so thats my only option) because 1. im a virgin and they use tools that will hurt 2. im afraid of getting on any other birth control that will just mess me up more.

    i dont know what to do but i cannot live with this anymore. it makes me depressed and super irritable. my family doesnt understand and i’m so fatigued with even caring about it.

    what do i do?

  59. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Hi Andrea,

    Yes, I’d definitely talk to my OBGYN if I were you. I’m sure your family doctor has ordered the right tests, but it never hurts to get a second opinion — especially from someone who specializes in things like PCOS and irregular periods!

    Good luck with treating your PCOS — it’s highly treatable, by the way, but you need to talk to your doc about treatment possibilities because each woman is different. I hope your periods become light and regular before you know it!


  60. I am 29 and was diagnosed with PCOS back in 2005. This past year my period did not come for 6 months and I believe that was due to my PCOS and a large amount of work related stress. Once the stress resolved itself (I got a new job) my period resturned and was with me for 16 days, and was pretty heavy at the time. The next period arrived 42 days later and was also 16 days and heavy. My period arrived 42 days later again and I have now had it for 32 days and counting. This time it is very heavy, with lots of clots and has actually caused me to be anemic. I have seen my family doctor who has sent me for blood work and an ultrasound. I guess I am just wondering if I should consult my OBGYN?

    Thanks for listening!

  61. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen


    Thanks for sharing this bit of your life with us — it can be such a pain ot have period problems (literally!). I hope you’re able to regulate them naturally, without spending alot of money.

    Good luck — and if you find anything that works, please let me know!


  62. Thanks for the article. I am merely 20, and i am on birth control because of irregular periods. I was a late starter- almost 14. When i started, i was quite regular, until about 6months to a year. My freshman year of high school, i went 8 months without a period. my doc at the time put me on b.c. for a while, until i asked to try again from scratch; they were still irregular. I am now in college, and can’t really afford herbs and natural alternatives, but hate being on the pill, right during the time of budding sexuality- college life. I hate meds, and i hate the embarrassment.
    Now, i just have to discuss oligomenorhea and/or amenorhea.

  63. Kristen Burris, L.Ac., M.S.T.O.M.

    Vitamin D deficiency is becoming more well known and recognized as something to be concerned about. Vitamin D is safe to take daily especially at lower doses of 1,000-5,000 iu. Start with 1,000 i.u. and slowly increase up to 5,000 i.u. until your menstrual cycles returns to normal. It is difficult to get adequate vitamin D in your diet so if you have moodiness, depression, cancer or osteoporosis in your family history you should consider this supplement for your lifetime. Of course, if this doesn’t help you I suggest you go back to the doctor that put you on a high dose to check your levels once again.

  64. Hi,last May I noticed that I didn’t get my period for April or may,in June I went to the doctor for my yearly checkup,and it turned out I had a vitamin d deficiency,so they put me on a big dose of it every day for a few months, then I got my period the day after I started taking it,and it lasted for three weeks and was extremely bad,then I didn’t get my period for one month,so I started taking a normal vitamin d supplement and now after about a week my period is back and normal,so my question is ,do I have to take a daily supplement forever?

  65. I know what it is like to suffer heavy painful periods, I had problems when I was younger I am now 62 years old and do not have to put up with this misery anymore, I have had some menopausal symptoms but I must say I prefer that to periods and the horrible symptoms that brought. I used to feel so ill sometimes and had to go to bed and take pain killers, I sometimes passed out with the heavy blood loss. I used to dread every month, I did try to keep active with walking and swimming before my period it did help somewhat, As Joan said in a previous comment you can’t keep taking time of work. Laurie also mentioned her friends daughter has had trouble since she was 12 years old. For someone so young it must be terrible at least she has found other treatments which can help her. I don’t think women have a very good time of it mother nature seemed to have given us the lot regarding periods, and the menopause and raging hormones. I once saw a quote in a magazine can’t remember who said it, I think it was a famous woman, She said (if God is a woman she is a two-faced b***ch) regarding what women have to put up with and I quite agree.

  66. Hi Joan,

    I’m sorry you’re dealing with menstrual problems like that — it must be really bad for you to have to take pain killers!

    Have you tried acupuncture or other types of naturopathic medicine for painful periods?

    My friend’s daughter has had painful and irregular periods since she was 12 years old. They’re worried about her fertility, but are trying not to stress her out about it. They tried acupuncture, but it didn’t help with the cramps and period pain. It did make her feel happy and peaceful, though!


  67. This is the complication every women face. I have serious problem of heavy bleeding plus my stomach pains a lot and i have to take pain killer because i am working and can’t bunk my office.