What does it mean when I have a irregular period?

Patient

Q: What does it mean when I have a irregular period? Can I help fix it? Will I be able to have kids later in life?

Doctor

A:   Thank you for writing to us.

Immediately after puberty, for a couple of years your cycles may come at irregular intervals. This is because in the initial few years of your reproductive life, you may have anovulatory cycles. (absence of egg release).
This is a natural phenomenon and generally cycles start becoming ovulatory in nature around the age of 19 - 20 years.
Having irregular cycles could also be a manifestation of endocrine disorders such as polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD) or thyroid disorders. PCOD is a symptom complex of infrequent cycles, prominent facial hair, acne, abdominal obesity, darkening of the skin around the nape of the neck etc. Thyroid disorders also have other manifestations such as cold/heat intolerance, loss of energy, swelling of feet, facial puffiness, palpitations etc.
If you have other symptoms other than irregular periods or if your periods continue to remain irregular after your teens are over, then it would be recommended that you consult a doctor for a thorough hormonal evaluation. Having irregular cycles in your teens (without having any other endocrine problem) should not be a hindrance in natural conception later in life.

Hope this helps.

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