What does it mean if I skip a period?There are several reasons why you might skip a period one month:
- Age - If you have just started having your period, it might not come every month. If you are an older woman who is approaching menopause, (when your periods stop), you might also skip a period.
- Exercise - Excessive exercise might cause you to skip a period.
- Stress - Stress and highly emotional times in your life may cause you to miss a period or two.
- Illness - If you are sick, you might also miss a period.
If you miss more than a period or two (if you have been having regular periods previously), contact your health care provider.
Why would I stop having my period?The absence of a menstrual period is called Amenorrhea. This condition describes women who have not had a period in their teenage years or women who used to have a regular period that has stopped. There are several causes for Amenorrhea:
- Pregnancy is the most common reason for a woman to stop having her menstrual period
- Extreme weight loss that can be caused by serious illness, eating disorders, or excessive exercising
- Gland problems (pituitary, thyroid, or adrenal)
- Reproductive problems
If your period has not started by the age of 16, or if you have stopped having your period, while you are still young, contact your doctor.
Will I have a period for the rest of my life?No. A woman will no longer be able to reproduce once she reaches menopause. Menopause occurs around the age of 50. Menopause means that a woman is no longer ovulating (producing eggs) and therefore can no longer become pregnant. Like menstruation, menopause can vary from woman to woman and may take several years to occur.
- If you have not started menstruating by the age of 16
- If your period has suddenly stopped
- If you are bleeding for more days than usual
- If you are bleeding excessively
- If you suddenly feel sick after using tampons
- If you bleed between periods (more than just a few drops)
- If you have unbearable pain during your period
How do I know if I need to see a doctor about my period?
You should consult your doctor for the following:
Teen Health. Healthywomen.gov. http://www.healthywomen.org/healthtopics/teenhealth. Accessed 08/21/2009.