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Irregular Periods and Hormone Therapy

Written by Author - Authors Medical experts of the National HRT Clinic - November 20, 2015

At some point in a woman’s life, she will probably experience irregular menstruation, and may even require hormone therapy to regulate periods. There are various causes or reasons for why this occurs, just as there are many different types of irregular periods. Answering these questions will help the doctor determine the proper form of hormone treatment, if any, that is required.

Hormone therapy for irregular periods will be provided if blood tests show that a particular hormone level is lower than normal and in need of raising its level to improve health and menstruation frequency.

The average woman has a menstrual cycle of 24 to 29 days. The extended common range can go from 21 to 35 days. This means that if a woman continually sees her cycle at the extended point of 33 to 34 days that is what would be considered regular for her.

How does a woman determine if her menstrual cycle is not normal and in need of some form of irregular periods hormonal treatment or medical intervention?

Here are warning signs of irregular periods:

  • The frequency of each period begins to differ in time.
  • The duration of bleeding changes significantly.
  • Blood flow becomes heavier or lighter than normal.

Each woman is different, and, for some, normal menstruation cycles may seem abnormal to others. For example:

  • A woman who has light periods for three months followed by a heavy cycle for one month, and has this process repeat for years is considered normal.
  • One woman consistently gets a period every three weeks and another every 6 weeks. Both of these cycles are considered normal since they are present on a regular basis.

Hormonal imbalance or deficiency can often be suspected when symptoms such as weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, joint pains, loss of lean body mass (muscle), poor focus, memory lapses, high cholesterol, and difficulty with sleep are seen. A woman may not have all of these signs, or there may also be some others associated with this change that can be an alert warning as to the reason behind her irregular menstrual cycle.

Different Types of Irregular Periods

There are four different types of irregular periods that doctors will be looking for when making this assessment, and they are:

  1. Amenorrhea – the unusual absence of menstruation for a minimum of three months
  2. Menometrorrhagia – frequent heavier or longer periods
  3. Metrorrhagia – frequent but irregular periods
  4. Oligomenorrhea – fewer than six to eight periods each year with spacing of 35 days or more between cycles

There are many reasons why a woman can suddenly develop irregular periods. Hormonal imbalance is a significant factor, as are the following:

  • Stress
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Smoking
  • Excess caffeine
  • Medications
  • Changing birth control types
  • Drug usage
  • Over-exercise
  • Breastfeeding or recent childbirth
  • Recent miscarriage or D&C
  • Cancer treatments or chemotherapy
  • Eating disorders or poor nutrition
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Thyroid problems
  • Uterine abnormalities
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • IUD’s
  • Certain medical conditions and treatments

There are two reasons that stand out above all others as to why a woman is having increased irregular periods: hormonal problems and perimenopause. Both may find relief from hormone replacement therapy prescribed by a doctor.

How to Treat Irregular Periods with Hormone Therapy

Regulate Periods and Hormone Therapy

The determination of how to treat irregular periods and hormonal imbalance is always best left to an expert. If the doctor determines that some form of hormonal decline is the problem, then the proper course of supplementation will probably be ordered for use.

Hormone replacement therapy for irregular periods often consists of oral contraceptives. In some cases, a hormone-releasing intrauterine device may be suggested. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications may be required.

For a woman who is dealing with hypothyroidism and irregular periods, hormone therapy with supplemental thyroid medications will often be prescribed. Women with PCOS may be given hormones, including birth control pills with estrogen and progesterone to trigger her period. Progestin may also be used, as needed.

There is another option for irregular periods & hormonal imbalance treatment, and that is bioidentical progesterone cream instead of birth control pills. Women with PCOS often have too much testosterone in their bodies, creating this hormonal imbalance. Regulating this testosterone excess with birth control pills can help.

When to Call the Doctor

It is important to maintain a relaxed state of mind when dealing with irregular periods. Hormonal levels such as cortisol rise when stress is present, and that, in turn, can affect growth hormone, testosterone, and estrogen levels in the body. That is why knowing when it is the right time to call the doctor is important.

If you have always followed a regular cycle for you – as shown in the first section, and then notice a change for more than one monthly period, it is time to take action.

Here are some guidelines to follow for when to call the doctor:

  • Periods are coming more frequently than every 21 days
  • Periods are coming longer than every 35 days
  • Bleeding lasts longer than 7 days
  • A higher level of pain is present with menstruation
  • More than 3 periods are missed in a year
  • Bleeding becomes heavier than usual

At National HRT, we offer guidance and complimentary consultations to women wanting to learn more about hormone therapy to regulate periods, as well as other reasons why hormone replacement might be required. Diagnostic testing and treatment are provided.

Medically reviewed by   Reviewers National HRT Staff - Updated on November 21, 2023

Please note that the information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.