Monday, August 8, 2011

Ask Us Anything: What's Causing My Missed Periods?

"Ever since I was a teenager, my period has been irregular. My period will sometimes skip one month, two months or even three. It lasts on average for about four or five days. Is this something that I should be worried about or see a doctor for?

Will the irregularity impact my ability to get pregnant? My mom experienced the same irregularity when she was my age and was told that she could not have children...but she ended up having two.

Also, I've heard of women being prescribed birth control to regulate their cycles, but I've also heard that the pill causes weight gain. Is this true?"

Dr. Ali Ghomi Responds:

Dr. Ali GhomiMenstural cycle irregularity is a common condition. This is especially common in teenagers since it takes a few years for the physiologic mechanism responsible for the process to mature.

Hormonal conditions, such as thyroid abnormalities, could be the cause. Other common causes of menstrual irregularity include obesity, extreme exercising, low body fat, and stress.

Birth control pills and hormonal supplementation are often used to regulate the mestural cycle once medical causes are excluded. There is an anecdotal notion that birth control pills may cause weight gain; however, this has not been proven scientifically.

Menstural irregularity may be associated with infertility. As found in your mother's case, most often women with menstural irregularities conceive spontaneously.

I would recommend discussing your particular situation with a gynecologist.

— Dr. Ali Ghomi

Dr. Ghomi is the Director of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery and Chair of The Robotic Surgical Committee at Sisters of Charity Hospital. He is the only physician in Western New York who performs Sacrocolpopexy Prolapse surgery using the da Vinci® robot. Sacrocolpopexy is a proven “gold standard” procedure worldwide to repair severe pelvic prolapse. Click here to learn more about Catholic Health's OBGYN services.

If you have a question about your health, click here to ask our experts.

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