Health Problem >> Menstruation Problems >> Infrequent Periods (oligomenorrhea)

Infrequent Periods (oligomenorrhea)


A woman has infrequent periods when she has normal periods (in regards to the amount and length of menstrual flow), but the interval between periods is greater than 35 days. Thus up to 35 days between periods is considered normal. If yours are much more spread out, so you end up getting six or fewer periods each year then do have your doctor check it out.

Infrequent periods are common in women who just started menstruating, and during the few years preceding menopause. Symptoms that can help your physician determine the cause of oligomenorrhea are marked weight changes, milky white discharge from your breasts, acne, hair on your face or chest, or hot flashes.

Statistically, the main suspect if you have too few periods is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The disorder is characterized by tiny, asymptomatic cysts on the ovaries, failure to ovulate, sometimes obesity, and slightly higher levels of male hormones that can result in acne and excess hair growth especially on face or chest. Women with PCOS are seven times as likely to develop diabetes at a young age as other women. If you have untreated PCOS, you are at greater risk of endometrial cancer because you don't regularly shed the lining of your uterus. Once diagnosed, you can take preventive measures to avoid diabetes and heart disease, including exercising and losing excess weight.

The contents of this Web site are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be used for medical advice. You should consult your physician or family doctor immediately with any problem about which you are concerned.

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