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Women's Healths

Missed or Irregular Periods

Home Treatment - When to Call a Health Professional

Missed or irregular periods have a variety of causes. Pregnancy is usually the first cause to be considered, but other common causes include:

Home Treatment

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  • If you had sex during the previous month, do a home pregnancy test. See Home Pregnancy Tests.

  • Avoid fad diets that greatly restrict calories and food variety, and avoid rapid weight loss. To maintain a healthy weight, focus on eating a variety of low-fat foods. See Nutrition.

  • Increase exercise gradually. If you are an endurance athlete, cut back on training or talk with a doctor about hormone and calcium supplements to protect against bone loss.

  • Learn and practise relaxation techniques to reduce and cope with stress. See Stress and Distress.

  • If you are age 45 or older, you may be starting menopause. See Menopause.

When to Call a Health Professional

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  • Call your doctor immediately if it is possible that you may be pregnant and you are having lower abdominal pain.

  • If it is possible that you may be pregnant, see a doctor to confirm your home pregnancy test and begin pregnancy counselling and/or prenatal care.

  • If you have missed 2 regular periods, and there is no obvious cause such as those listed previously.

  • If you are an endurance athlete who is unable to cut back on training. You may need to take hormones or calcium supplements.

  • If you miss 2 or 3 periods while taking birth control pills, and you have not skipped any pills.

  • If you have not started having menstrual periods by age 16.

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