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Missed or Irregular Periods (cont.)

Prevention

Here are some steps you can take to help prevent missed or irregular periods.

  • 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. For more information, see the topics Healthy Eating and Weight Management.
  • Use contraception consistently, as directed by your doctor. For more information, see the topic Birth Control.
  • Increase exercise gradually. For more information, see the topic Fitness.
  • Learn and practice relaxation exercises to reduce and cope with stress. For more information, see the topic Stress Management.

If you participate in endurance sports, you may miss periods or stop menstruating. Eat a healthy, balanced diet, and keep track of your periods. Tell your doctor about any changes in your menstrual periods.

Preparing For Your Appointment

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

You can help your doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared to answer the following questions:

  • What was the date of your last menstrual period?
    • When was your previous period? Was it normal?
    • If you are a teen, do you have regular cycles, such as a period every 21 to 45 days?
    • If you are an adult, do you have regular cycles, such as a period every 21 to 35 days?
  • How old were you when your periods began?
  • Are you sexually active?
  • What type of birth control are you using? How long have you been using it?
  • Have you missed any birth control pills or failed to have your hormonal injection according to schedule?
  • Have you done a home pregnancy test? When did you do the test? What was the result?
  • Have you been under increased physical or emotional stress?
  • Have you recently changed your diet or exercise habits?
  • Have you recently gained or lost weight?
  • What prescription and nonprescription medicines are you taking? Are you using illegal drugs?
  • Do you have any health risks?

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