Treating Irregular Periods
How Are Irregular Periods Treated?
Usually, no treatment is needed for irregular periods caused by puberty and menopause unless they are excessive or bothersome. It is also normal for your period to stop when you are pregnant.
Treatments for irregular periods due to other causes may include:
- Correcting or treating underlying disease
- Changing your type of birth control
- Lifestyle changes, including weight loss
- Hormone therapy
Here are some treatment options:
Treating underlying disease. It is important to treat any underlying diseases that cause irregular periods. If you have irregular periods, your doctor will run blood tests to check hormone levels and thyroid function.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and hypothyroidism are two common causes of irregular periods in women. In general, the goal of treatment is to restore the balance of hormones in the body. Women with PCOS may be given birth control pills or other hormones to trigger a period. If they wish to get pregnant, infertility medications may be prescribed. Hypothyroidism is treated with supplementation of thyroid hormones.
Changing birth control. If you have irregular periods after three months of hormonal birth control, your doctor may recommend another type of birth control. Some women develop irregular periods when using Nexplanon, DepoProvera, or an IUD. Read the literature that accompanies your IUD to learn more about side effects.
Lifestyle changes. Some women have changes in their period because they exercise too much. Reducing the frequency and intensity of your workouts may help your period return to normal. Stress leads to many body changes, including irregular periods. Relaxation techniques and counseling may be helpful.
Extreme changes in your weight can affect your periods. Weight gain can interfere with the body's ability to ovulate, which controls your menstrual cycle. Losing weight may help resolve irregular periods. Extreme sudden weight loss can also lead to infrequent or irregular periods.
Hormone therapy (HT). An irregular menstrual cycle is often due to a lack or imbalance of certain hormones in the body. Birth control pills (oral contraceptives) often containing the hormones estrogen and progesterone are commonly prescribed to help control irregular periods. A hormone medication called progestin can also help trigger periods in women who do not get them.
Other hormone treatments may be prescribed to women with irregular periods who are having difficulty getting pregnant.
Surgery. Sometimes, scarring or structural problems in the uterus (womb) or fallopian tubes may lead to irregular periods. Surgery may be done to correct any structural problems or birth defects, particularly in women who want to have children. It may also be done to remove severe scar tissue (adhesions) in the reproductive tract.