Most adult women know that the first question a gynecologist will ask her is, “When was your last period and how long did it last?” For some the answer is easy because her period arrives like clockwork – after the same number of days every month and lasts for a consistent number of days. For others, it can be challenging to remember because her period may not be regular at all.
It’s important to note that there is no “normal” cycle, only what’s typical for each patient. The length of each woman’s cycle, the heaviness of her period, and the amount of time it lasts can vary from patient to patient and is no indication of a problem. However, when your period has followed a typical pattern for many years and then deviates from that pattern, it may be an indication of a problem.
Some causes of menstrual irregularities include pregnancy, breast-feeding, eating disorders, significant weight loss, extreme exercising, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), premature ovarian failure, pelvic inflammatory disease, and uterine fibroids. Some of these problems are easy to detect, such as pregnancy and weight loss or excessive exercising. Others will require further testing by your physician. Some of these issues may cause pain or future problems and they should be treated while others may not be cause for alarm.
This is why regular checkups with your gynecologist are important. Not only does it cause you to think about whether your period is regular, it also gives your doctor a chance to diagnose any potential problems. Additionally, it’s important to contact your doctor immediately if any of the following occur:
If your irregular menstrual cycles are not caused by a medical problem, your doctor may suggest birth control pills to help regulate your period. This can make your periods more predictable, can lessen cramping prior to and during your period, can decrease your bleeding, and can even decrease the number of days that you have your period.
For more information about menstrual irregularities, call Jenkins Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Medicine today.
We offer general care, gynecology, and obstetrics services that span all stages of a woman's life. Dr. Taryll L. Jenkins, MD received his undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University and Doctorate of Medicine from Meharry Medical College School of Medicine, TN. He completed his residency training at the University of Texas and Hermann Hospital, TX and is Board-certified from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, with years of research experience.
Having graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington with a Bachelors of Science in Biological Chemistry in 2011, Dr. Stephanie Roy received her Doctor of Medicine Degree in 2015 from the University of Texas Medical Branch. Today she is a leading Board-certified physician who works hard to provide you and your family with high quality services. In addition to spending time at the practice, Dr. Roy possesses extensive volunteer experience in the community. She was also a tutor at the Medical Careers Diversity Program in 2012 and since then has spent her free time volunteering for the St. Vincent’s Clinic.
Dr. Tiffany Ikwuagwu is passionate about caring for the diverse communities in Katy and Houston, TX. Having completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Houston, her medical degree at the Baylor College of Medicine, and her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the McGovern Medical School, she worked as principal investigator on a research project with Dr. Nana Ankumah at UT Houston. A member of the American Medical Association, Texas Medical Association, and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Dr. Ikwuagwu has served in several leadership roles and has made many contributions to the community.
Yara Ramirez, MD earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Baylor University and her doctorate in medicine from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston where she also completed her residency. She won the Resident Teaching Award from UTMB’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology for two consecutive years.
Dr. Ramirez has researched extensively on many obstetrics-related topics. She has been a Junior Fellow Representative for the UTMB Residency Program and a Medical Student Education Committee Member at the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She has volunteered for various local and foreign community programs. Her fluency in Spanish and French is an asset to her organization.
Nadia Alexander is a Board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner with a Master’s of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Texas Health Science Center. With seven years of experience in women’s health and a focus on obstetrics and ambulatory gynecology (vaginitis, UTI, and vaginal bleeding), she provides quality, compassionate care to patients in various stages of reproductive life. She is fluent in English and Spanish and is the lead contact for our Telehealth service.