Menstrual Delay or Skipping
by Frederick R. Jelovsek MD
29 years old and irregular periods
I am 29 years old, haven't had a period in a year, before that time had irregular periods. I did get pregnant almost three years ago although my periods were irregular. I was sent to an endocrinologist, who prescribed Provera, well, it didn't help me, still no periods! What could be my problem? Help me!
Lack of menses is usually due to anovulation. Assuming pregnancy isn't the cause of the anovulation, the two most common causes are polycystic ovarian disease and conditions that produce "hypothalamic amenorrhea."
The fact that you did not have a withdrawal bleed from Provera makes the category of hypothalamic amenorrhea more likely. Often this turns out to be stress or medication induced. Might any of these apply?
Your doctor probably drew or will draw some hormone tests to see if there are any patterns that can help classify what's going on with you.
Weight change and skipping menses
I'm 21 and overweight. When I was 17 and just starting college (and a huge weight gain), my periods stopped. My gynecologist gave me progesterone and I was supposed to take one a day for the first twelve days of the month. Well, I ended up taking only one a month for about three months and my periods continued normally for several months and then stopped again.
I went back to the doctor and got more pills. (and a shot) Anyway, my weight stabilized somewhat and I haven't gained or lost any for a while. Also, I've been working with kids for several years. Last semester, I thought my periods were coming back ok, like I would spot once a day for 12-20 days, not even enough to wear protection. It would stop and come back the next month.
Sometimes the flow lasts normally, light discharge for two days or so. But it comes at such irregular intervals, like three days after I think it has stopped or three weeks after, I don't know. Are my hormones just really messed up and trying to stabilize themselves or should I ask my Dr. for more extensive tests? p.s.: I'm a virgin, if that makes any difference.
I think it's best to get diagnosed properly as to whether this is something like polycystic ovarian disease, hypothalamic amenorrhea (like stress-induced), thyroid problem or any of the other causes of no menses or infrequent menses.
Your doctor will probably order some hormonal tests and possibly an ultrasound of the pelvis to look for multiple cysts in the ovaries. The blood tests may include TSH, prolactin, FSH, LH, and possibly DHEA and testosterone.