From time to time, every woman experiences some type of irregularity in her menstrual cycle. Missing a period on occasion, or bleeding earlier or later than usual is completely normal and even to be expected. However, if your periods are consistently absent or occuring at long intervals, you may want to speak with your health care provider. You could be suffering from a condition called oligomenorrhea, which, if not treated, could decrease your chances of becoming pregnant.

What is Oligomenorrhea?
Oligomenorrhea is a complication of the menstrual cycle. It is the medical term used to describe infrequent or light menstruation. Women who do not get their periods regularly or whose periods are much lighter than they should be, are described as suffering from oligomenorrhea. Oligomenorrhea usually begins after a time during which your menstrual cycle was regular. Typically, most women have normal menstrual cycles by the age of 16. If your periods become irregular or infrequent after this time, you may be suffering from oligomenorrhea.

Symptoms of Oligomenorrhea
If you think that you may have oligomenorrhea, monitor yourself for these symptoms:


  • irregular or unpredictable periods
  • periods that come more than 35 days apart
  • fewer than 4 to 9 periods a year
  • difficulty conceiving
  • easily broken or fractured bones


Causes of Oligomenorrhea
Period irregularities are usually caused by environmental factors, which can easily be changed to help reintroduce a normal period. These factors include:


  • emotional stress
  • physical illness
  • poor nutrition
  • over exercise
  • frequent travel


Sometimes however, oligomenorrhea is the result of physiological problems which must be addressed in order to restore normal menstruation. These include:

Confused Messages
Sometimes, irregular menstruation is the result of a lack of synchronization between your hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and ovaries. In order to stimulate ovulation, these three parts of your body need to send messages to one another in a specific order. Sometimes these messages get confused, resulting in a missed period. Usually, synchronization will work itself out, though sometimes your body needs a kick start to help things along.


Hormonal Imbalances
Oligomenorrhea is commonly the result of hormonal imbalances. When the body produces too many male hormones, called androgens, and too few female hormones, called estrogens, ovulation can become irregular. Women who use anabolic steroids, certain prescription medications, or who have eating disorders often have hormonal imbalances.

Table of Contents
1. Oligomenorrhea
2. How do I fix oligomenorrhea?
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