Normally women start having menstrual periods by the age of 15. Then, unless they are pregnant or breast-feeding, they keep having a period every month until they reach menopause, usually in their 50s.
Not having periods, or missing periods, can mean 2 things:
You have not had a period at all by the time you are 15 years old.
You have had regular periods and then stop having them.
What is the cause?
If you have never had a period:
If you have never had periods, you may have late puberty. This may happen if you are very thin or very athletic. Or you may have a hormone problem or birth defect.
If you’ve had periods before:
A missed period may be caused by:
Some types of birth control
Your periods could stop because:
You have a lot of stress.
You exercise a lot and are very thin.
You have thyroid problems.
You have a problem with your uterus.
You take some kinds of medicine.
Your uterus has been taken out by surgery.
How is it treated?
Treatment depends on what is causing the problem. You may not need treatment. Or:
You may need to exercise less.
You may need to take hormone medicine, like birth control pills.
You may need surgery.
How can I take care of myself?
If your periods don’t come every month, keep a record of them. Write down:
The dates that they start
How long they last
How heavy the flow is
Problems you may have with them
Try to find out if any woman in your family has had a problem like yours.
If you miss more than 2 periods in a row, see your healthcare provider. Follow your provider’s advice.
How can I help prevent missing a period?
To keep your periods normal, take care of your health:
Eat healthy foods. Keep a healthy weight.
Exercise the way your provider says you should.
Try to get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.
Learn ways to manage stress.
Developed by RelayHealth.
Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth. Last modified: 2014-08-25 Last reviewed: 2014-08-22
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.