Irregular Periods in Teens – Causes and Treatment

Q: I have had my period now for 12 days. My periods are very irregular during which my breasts get swollen. I have terrible cramps and extremely heavy periods that last 4 days or less. The last period I had before this one was in March. Also, I passed a large clot, about a quarter size; I am somewhat concerned about it. My period is not super heavy. I go through maybe 2 regular tampons per day but it seems like it will never end. Help please.
– By Anna, age 21 years, female.
Reply :
Most of the time, irregular periods are part of the normal changes that can happen when you’re a teen. At some point as you get older, your cycle will probably settle into a recognizable pattern. 

It is common and absolutely normal to have the following symptoms during menses:

  • back cramps or stiffness
  • heavier breasts or breast soreness
  • headaches
  • acne breakouts
  • disturbed sleep patterns
  • mood swings
  • bloating
The presence of any of these symptom is normal and needs no treatment medically. Symptomatic relief can be provided in the form of a pain reliever and a muscle relaxant during those days.

Causes of Irregular Periods

Disturbed or irregular periods can have medical causes too:

  • It can be as a result of a hormone imbalance. This is common for a few years after puberty and before the menopause. This can cause your menstrual cycle to become longer or shorter. Your periods may also become lighter or heavier. 
  • Extreme weight loss or weight gain
  • Excessive exercise
  • Stress 
  • Sudden withdrawal of any contraceptive pill being taken
  • A thyroid disorder is another possible cause. The thyroid gland, found in the neck, produces hormones that maintain the body’s metabolism). Your doctor may test for a thyroid problem by taking a blood test to check the levels of thyroid hormones in your blood.
To make an exact diagnosis, I need to know more about your case:
  • When did you start having your first period, what age? 
  • Were the periods regular then?
  • Any other symptom you have beside your menstrual problem?
Take Care, 
Buddy M.D.

Medical Advice (Q&As) on “Irregular Periods in Teens – Causes and Treatment

  1. Shiya sinha

    This article seems to be extremely useful and very practical. This will be perfect solution to stop the problem of irregular periods.

    The suggested home treatment are simple and highly useful for teenagers who suffer from this problem. Thanks for the useful information.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Irregular periods can happen by any factor that disturbs or affects the hormonal levels of the female reproductive hormones.

      The menstrual cycle is regulated by two hormones basically, estrogen and progesterone. So anything that affects their production is liable to affect the your periods.

      For example, mental stress of any kind triggers the production of cortisol, the so called stress hormone.
      Cortisol can affect the ovary and hence the production of female hormones. So menses can get affected.

      Reply
  2. Cass

    I’m fourteen and I’ve had my period since I’ve been 12. Ever since then, my period has been very irregular, never coming on the same time and it comes twice a month. Each time for seven to eight days and my flow makes me bleed through two super tampons per thirty minutes. My doctor keeps telling me to wait it out but my mom was talking to my sister’s doctor and she said to bring me in so we can get me on the pill. I’m so confused!

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Menses do take time to stabilize in young females. There is nothing to be worried about.

      In most girls, after 6 to 8 menstrual cycles, the pattern gets stabilized and regular. However, some girls may take more time.

      Since it has been two years now, you may go for a medical evaluation. Do you have any other symptom, like lethargy, weight gain etc? Thyroid problems may also present in a similar way.

      Get your thyroid profile done to rule any endocrine cause from this gland. Read more about other causes of disturbed menses.

      Treatment with pills is not recommended, since you are too young. Pills have many side effects and are not the best way to treat unless very essential.

      Reply
  3. v siri

    I am 18 years and have irregular periods since two months. Tested for thyroid result is negative. More pimples are growing on face. Rest no problems. Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      You may get your hormonal levels, both female hormones and testosterone, checked up. Also, get your blood sugar checked. Let us know the results.

      Read above about the various causes that may lead to irregular menses.

      Reply
  4. Neha

    Sir, I am now 19 years old. My periods started when I was 16. My periods are very irregular from then. My flow is also very less (3days max). I am also not much fat but I get pimples, dark spots very often. But now I’m feeling that I am becoming little obese. So please help me doctor and please suggest me some ayurvedic tablets.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      You need to see a gyne for evaluation. An U/S pelvis may be done.

      Ayurvedic medicines are not prescribed here.

      Read above in detail about the various causes leading to irregular menses.

      Reply
  5. Mary

    23 years and have not started menstruating and I went for a pelvic U/S scan and the result say small size uterus. The ovaries are not visualized. There is no abnormal adnexal mass. The POD is empty. What should the person do?

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Why were the ovaries not visualized? What about your hormonal levels?

      Do you have some underlying medical condition, like thyroid problem etc.

      Reply
  6. Usha

    My daughter 10 yrs old has first period in the month of july’2014. In the first four months of period, she has irregular period that some times it’s period comes in 10 days or some times 20 days. In these four months she had six times periods and some times the days limits are also 3 and sometime 6 to 7 days. She is not feeling well and tidy. Request suggest some home remedies and if required medical treatment.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      It’s alright to have all these variations during the initial years of getting periods. Her menses would stabilize with time, over a year or two. Do not intervene medically.

      The natural treatment includes giving her a proper healthy diet. Pure vegetarian diet is the best for reproductive organs. Promote her to have plenty of vegetables and seasonal fruits.

      Let her play, and stay physically active. Check if her Hb levels are alright.

      Reply
  7. Minha

    Hi.i’m 15 year old now and I started having period at the age of 12.My period hasn’t come for 2 month.Before it used to come every month and was coming irregular day.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      If you are sexually active, better go for a pregnancy test.

      If not, this may happen a few times in your age group, as hormones stabilize with the growing body. Nothing to worry.

      Reply
  8. Sadaf

    My daughter 12 yrs old started her first period 3 months back.hving 8 days bleeding.this timeand today is 14 day.bleeding is not stopped.cap transamina and ponstan given.no effect.guide me what to dodo.

    Reply
  9. Prerana

    I am a 16 year old girl and I need to go out next weekend. My period is exactly on the same date how can I get it earlier so that I can enjoy the plan without any tension. Can aspirin be used?

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      No, aspirin has no role. The only way to alter menses is by taking hormones. This is not recommended medically, unless you have a very important task to look after.

      You cannot make it early. However, you may delay your menses to whatever length of time you want. Read here about the topic- http://buddymd.com/how-to-delay-periods-safely

      Reply
  10. Hisana thasni

    I’m 15 years old. My period start in about 13th age. Then after 1year regularly period is perfect, but now period date is irregular. If period coming, blood is in small amount or a drop, but a dirty brownish substance present some largely, and that period is maximum about two days. Also sometimes the irregularity longer to a month. Any problem?

    Reply
    1. Shiny

      Sir
      My daughter 13 yrs old has first period in the month of October ’2015. Since last month it is coming in small amount like drops. Last two months it was like that., she is having body weight 34 kg it was last for around 9 days

      Reply
      1. Buddy M.D. Post author

        Did she have normal menses last two years? Any pain in abdomen, recent weight gain, feeling lethargic or any other symptom?

        Reply
  11. Holly

    My daughter is almost 18 and only has 3 or 4 periods a year. She has had labs done and pelvic ultrasound..all normal results. Itr was suggested she go on birth control to get her regular but we wish not to. Is there any natural remedies we can do to get her regular

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Did she get a thyroid profile done? Can you post her ultrasound report, that visualizes her ovaries and uterus?

      Reply
      1. Holly

        Yes tsh was done and unfortunately I don’t have that. I have been told all test are normal and she will eventually regulate but I have researched natural remedies and just can’t find anything that seems to be accurate

        Reply
        1. Buddy M.D. Post author

          Best natural remedy is to stay relaxed, not to worry. Avoid all sort of junk food, fried fatty stuff. Eat more of fresh fruits and vegetables. Drink plenty of water.

          Staying physically active would help.

          Reply
  12. Onyii

    Sir I’m 14 years old, I had my first menstrual flow on April 2017 ever since then I’ve not seen my menses again. Last week I went to c a Doctor Who instructed that I do an ultrasound scan of which I did But according to the scan result and the doctor there isn’t anything wrong with me. I don’t have any symptoms of infection like foul odour discharge, itching and coloured discharge. The doctor said I’m too young to check for hormonal imbalance. How true is that and could there be anything wrong with me? Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      This may be normal. Since you have no serious symptoms, may be your body is just taking time for growing up. Your menses are likely to resume in a normal way in a year or two. Stay relaxed.

      This is common in your age group.

      Reply
  13. anu

    sir I am 17 years old I got my first periods when I was 14 years old….in the beginning for one year my period cycle was not regular then it got regular I get it every 35 days but this time I didn’t get my periods its been nearly 35 days+15 days…..what shall I do

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Any other problem you may have noticed recently like weight gain, getting pimples, more hair over the face, sluggishness etc.?

      Reply
        1. Buddy M.D. Post author

          It’s better to wait for some time. Likely to be a temporary hormonal imbalance. Stay relaxed, your periods are likely to regularize on their own in a few cycles.

          Disturbances in menses commonly occurs around your age group due to emotional stress, exams at school, physical stress and other factors going around you. This is a sensitive phase of time .Give it time. Most problem eventually get corrected by themselves.

          Reply
  14. jabamayee

    Sir i have had started my mens at the age of 14 . It was regular for 7 -8 months but after that ireggularities started . I dont hv mens for some months and if started then it last for 2 months and more. I often gets pimples on my face . I hv tried homeopathic as well as allopathic but it didnt worked .after i took medicine my mens.stops for 1 -2 months and again the same happens

    Reply
  15. Uzma Amir

    My daughter is 14 yrs old. Her periods had started when she was 10. Since then her periods are irregular, i e bleeding contiue throughout the whole month. The discharge is usually little and brownish. During the past 3 years we have done her ultrasound and blood tests many times, but all tests and ultrasound report are normal. Due to this she is very weak but she has not reported any pain or headache etc. Doctor has suggested to start REGOLON TAB. But I m reluctant to start hormonal threpy at this very young age. We have waited for three years but her cycles are not regulating. Please guide us how to treat her problem. I am really worried about her health. Thanx

    Reply
  16. Ananya

    I am 18 yrs old i am latley having irregular cycle and for the past 2 months i didn’t have my periods . My cycles started when i was 15 it was pretty much regular but not now what to do????

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Any other problem, like recent weight gain or loss, dry skin, mood fluctuations, stressful situation an home or school?

      Reply
      1. Ananya

        i have natural dry skin and i am a little stressed about studies but this much of stress never affected my periods so i am really worried.

        Reply
        1. Buddy M.D. Post author

          Just relax and wait for a few more cycles. Your menses are likely to stabilize with time.

          We can re assess after 3 to 4 months.

          Reply

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