Infrequent periods/bleeding

While many women are concerned regarding the heaviness, pain or closeness of one period to another, some women have infrequent or no periods. If you have reached the age of 16 and have never had a period (primary amenorrhea, a = without, menorhea = periods), you should discuss this with your doctor. While most women in this group will go on to have perfectly normal periods, it is wise to have someone check if there are any problems.

If you have periods which are infrequent (oligomenorrhea, oligo = few), or stop altogether (secondary amenorrhea), it is important to have some tests to see why this is so (of course the most common reason for not having a period is because you are pregnant). You normally have a period because you produce an egg, so logically the most common reason for not having regular periods is because you are not ovulating regularly. This can be caused or lead to problems with your weight, and can lead to excess hair and acne.

The majority of women who are not happy with the amount of hair on their face or body have no underlying problem. We all have hair on our body, some more than others. If you are a woman and you have male type hair growth (e.g. heavy hair growth under your chin) you may have an underlying problem (hirsutism). You should see your doctor for some tests. Acne is also a problem that is usually the effect of normal hormonal changes in your body. If your acne is affecting you, see your doctor who can help with various treatments. Sometimes further tests are required.

Where there is no underlying problem, the advice is to deal with the problem on a practical level e.g. electrolysis, acne creams, and personal hygiene. Some women suffer these problems when their ovaries do not function properly. They often have irregular periods, problems with weight gain in addition to problems with acne and unacceptable hair growth.

Getting help
If you wish to make an appointment to seek further advice and or treatment, please email Dr Harrington's secretary.