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What causes irregular periods?

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Practicing since : 1985
Answered : 236 Questions
On XXXXXXX 10th I had a pelvic ultrasound, I am 53 years old and have had a fairly normal period. The ultrasound showed a septated cyst approx. 4.5 cm on my left ovary and a small follicle on my right ovary. After two menstrual cycles the cyst on the left disappeared and the small follicle on the right was about two cm. I also had the ca 125 blood test which was 22. My last period was on February 9th and I just got it again, (18 days later). I'm scheduled for an ultrasound on March 12th. I'm checking with my Dr. if I should move up the ultrasound since my period was early. I have all the signs of a normal period. Is this something I should be concerned with. No other symtoms, pain, bloating, pain during intercourse.
Posted Thu, 20 Mar 2014 in Women's Health
Answered by Dr. Cori Baill 1 hour later
Brief Answer: You are fine Detailed Answer: Hello, Welcome to and thank you for the query. It is normal around the final menstrual period for menses to become somewhat irregular. This can mean menses can come closer together or space further apart. Because of the fluctuations in hormones ovarian cysts are very common. Most are simple cysts without a significant solid component and ebb and flow with the peaks and valleys of the hormones. Unfortunately there is no predictive test for the final menstrual period. I do not know if you have several months several years or have had your final menses and neither does anyone else. I hope you have a smooth transition but if you should require assistance do not hesitate to see your local gynecologist and discuss hormonal therapy. Risks have been vastly overstated in the media in recent years. I also see no reason for you to undergo a repeat ultrasound as the last one was reassuring. Though I think your local doctor should answer that question as there maybe some other problem that he is following that neither of us are aware of. I hope this answers your query, please do feel free to write back if you have additional questions for me. Wishing you good health. Regards
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Follow-up: What causes irregular periods? 25 minutes later
Thank you. My doctor did not seem concerned, nor did the radiologist at the time of my ultrasound. I believe the reason for the follow up ultrasound was because the small follicle on the right ovary grew and to follow up with that. I know that it is better to have the ultrasound right after your period. I was originally scheduled for March 12 and since I began menstruating I called to see if they wanted me to move up my appointment. I am now scheduled for Tues, March 4th. I just wanted to get a second opinion based on my scenario. If the cyst dissolved would that bring on my period? Thank you.
Answered by Dr. Cori Baill 2 hours later
Brief Answer: The ovaries form new cysts every cycle Detailed Answer:, Hi, Thanks for writing back. Every cycle hundreds of follicles are recruited and grow. It is a race to see which is the dominant follicle. That follicle ovulates, which is an opening of the cyst to release an egg. Then the cyst bed makes progesterone so the uterine lining can mature (and if no pregnancy hormone) mature and shed in a menses. So cysts occur every cycle and disappear mid cycle in a normal aproximately monthly cycle. Perimenopausally hormones don't ebb and flow. They roller coaster up and down. Some cysts form, sometimes multiple cysts, sometimes they regress without maturing, etc etc. But in your case, I don't think any ultrasound is needed and if you want to do it anyway, the least chance of any cyst is right after menses. But only a normal menses, which will become rarer and rarer closer to menopause. The more you look the more you will see cysts come and go regards,
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Follow-up: What causes irregular periods? 1 hour later
Thank you. I am going to try and not worry.
Answered by Dr. Cori Baill 6 hours later
Brief Answer: I wouldn't. Be well. Detailed Answer: everything you describe is normal for the menopausal transition.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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