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.