Period problems birth control or pregnancy.

Patient

Q: When I was 17 I took the depo birth control shot and had a horrible reaction. I gained weight like crazy I have my period for three straight months and I cried for no reason constantly. After the three months was up I went straight to using the pill again. I had been on three different types of pills over a three year period. I've been off for three months now and my periods have been very off. Is there a reason for this? I am sexually active but we always use protection. Could me no longer being on birth control be effecting this or could I be pregnant? My past two period have been pretty far apart. One was six weeks and the other was eight weeks. When I take pregnancy tests they're negative but my period is still off. Should I get a pregnancy test done by a doctor or is this normal?

Doctor

A:   Unscheduled or irregular bleeding is often a sign of hormonal imbalance and even Depo shots may also cause it being hormonal in nature. the same holds true with pills. Certain other medical conditions may also be responsible, like thyroid diseases or Polycystic ovaries, in addition to stress or obesity.

An unprotected intercourse results in pregnancy only when a woman is in her so called "Fertile Period". The fertile period of a woman is determined by analyzing her menstrual cycle with an ovulation calculator or fertility chart. Normally, the menstrual cycle is a 28 day cycle. During the 14th day after a period, the ovum is released. This process is called ovulation and the days 12 to 16 days after a period are said to be a woman’s most fertile period. Ovulation may not occur at a predictable time in the menstrual cycle, however. A number of factors may cause an unexpectedly early or late ovulation, even for women with a history of regular menstrual cycles.

A pregnancy test attempts to determine whether a woman is pregnant. Markers that indicate pregnancy are found in urine and blood, and pregnancy tests require sampling one of these substances. Most chemical tests for pregnancy look for the presence of the beta subunit of hCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, in the blood or urine. hCG can be detected in urine or blood after implantation, which occurs six to twelve days after fertilization. Sometimes more than one pregnancy test may be necessary to confirm or negate pregnancy.

Please consult your gynecologist for help regarding the diagnosis of your problem.

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