Irregular Periods

Hollister Women's Health -  - OB-GYN

Ralph B. Armstrong, DO

OB-GYN located in Hollister, CA

Irregular Periods Specialist
Irregular periods are extremely common, but in some cases can indicate an underlying health issue, such as uterine fibroids or endometriosis, that requires medical intervention. Leading board certified OB/GYN Dr. Ralph Armstrong, of Hollister Women's Health in Hollister, California, area, has extensive experience in diagnosing and treating irregular periods and other gynecological conditions.

Irregular Periods Q & A

by Ralph B. Armstrong, DO

What is considered a regular menstrual cycle?

Everyone’s normal is a little different. However, in general, a menstrual cycle is considered regular if it occurs every 21 to 35 days and lasts between 4 to 7 days. That said an irregular menstrual cycle is one that varies every month. For example, sometimes it comes every 28 days, and on other occasions every 20 or 30 days.

What can cause periods to be irregular?

Period irregularities are extremely common. In fact, just about every woman will experience menstrual irregularities at some point during her reproductive years. There are numerous reasons for an irregular cycle, ranging from temporary issues, like stress, fatigue or diet, to health problems that require treatment.

What are the most common health conditions or illness that can cause irregular periods?

The list is extensive. Here is a sampling:

  • Perimenopause
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Uterine fibroids, cysts or polyps
  • Endometriosis
  • Eating disorders
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Diabetes
  • Liver disease
  • Cancer

How does Dr. Armstrong diagnose and treat irregular periods?

The first step is determining the reason for your irregular menstrual cycle. Dr. Armstrong will begin by taking a complete medical history, conducting a thorough physical examination and taking appropriate blood tests. If needed, an ultrasound, hysteroscopy or endometrial biopsy will be conducted. Once the underlying treatment is determined, treatment may consist of one or more of these approaches:

  • Birth control pills, to even out estrogen levels.
  • Insertion of an Intrauterine device (IUD), to remedy heavy or prolonged bleeding.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications.
  • Surgical removal of polyps or uterine fibroids
  • Uterine artery embolization, a procedure in which a catheter is to deliver small particles that block the blood supply to the uterine polyp or fibroid.
  • Endometrial ablation, a procedure that surgically ablates the endometrial lining of the uterus.
  • Hysterectomy, which is the removal of the uterus and ends a woman ability to become pregnant.
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