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What may increase your risk for problems from missed or irregular periods?

Many conditions, lifestyle choices, medications, and diseases interfere with your ability to heal or fight infection. You may be at risk for a more serious problem from your symptoms if you have any of the following. Be sure to tell your health professional.

Conditions

  • Eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia
  • Ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage
  • Menopause or perimenopause
  • Pregnancy
  • Recent gynecologic treatments or procedures:
    • Abortion
    • Dilation and curettage (D&C)

Lifestyle choices

  • Alcohol abuse or withdrawal
  • Drug abuse or withdrawal
  • Endurance athletics
  • Smoking or other tobacco use
  • Unprotected sex

Medications

  • Anticoagulant medicines such as aspirin, Coumadin, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Antiseizure medicines, such as Dilantin or Depakote
  • Corticosteroids, such as prednisone
  • Hormonal medicines, including:
    • Birth control pills, Depo-Provera injections, and Implanon implants
    • Contraceptive implants, such as levonorgestrel intrauterine device (IUD) Mirena
    • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
  • Medicines to prevent organ transplant rejection
  • Medicines used to treat cancer (chemotherapy), such as Cytoxan or tamoxifen
  • Radiation therapy
  • Steroids, such as prednisone.
  • Thyroid medicine, such as Synthroid or Levothroid.
  • Dilantin.
  • Antipsychotics.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants.

Diseases

  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Diseases that can affect hormone balance, such as:
    • Adrenal disease
    • Ovarian cysts
    • Pituitary disease
    • Polycystic ovary syndrome
    • Thyroid disease
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection
Author Sydney Youngerman-Cole, RN, BSN, RNC
Editor Susan Van Houten, RN, BSN, MBA
Associate Editor Lila Havens
Associate Editor Tracy Landauer
Primary Medical Reviewer William M. Green, MD - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Joy Melnikow, MD, MPH - Family Medicine
Last Updated July 2, 2009

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 02, 2009
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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