Menstrual Irregularities

What are menstrual irregularities?

One of the most common complaints of adolescent girls is irregular, profuse menstruation, called dysfunction uterine bleeding (DUB). The most common cause for DUB is when a woman's ovaries don't release an egg. Not ovulating causes her period to come later or earlier, and heavier than usual. Young girls commonly experience DUB because their menstrual cycles have not yet settled into a pattern and ovulation isn't occurring. Older adolescents may not ovulate with stress or illness.

The most common menstrual irregularities include:

  • Amenorrhea
  • Oligomenorrhea: Infrequent menstrual periods that occur more than 35 days apart
  • Menorrhagia: Heavy menstrual periods
  • Prolonged menstrual bleeding: Bleeding that exceeds 8 days
  • Dysmenorrhea

How we care for menstrual irregularities

The Division of Gynecology provides extensive and easy to access information for girls with questions about her menstrual cycle. The following guide may be helpful to her: Puberty and Your Menstrual Cycle: A Guide for Teens.