Irregular periods

A menstrual cycle is regular if menstruation occur every 25-35 days. If less than 25 days, the cycle is described as short (polymenorrhoea). Over 35 days, it is described as long (oligomenorrhoea).

In addition, menstruation may be too long (if it lasts more than a week) or too abundant (and, for example, includes blood clots). These situations sometimes cause anaemia, i.e. a low red blood cell count.

Abnormal uterine bleeding my also occur outside of menstruation (metrorrhagia).


Period problems may be linked to:

  • polycystic ovary syndrome
  • premature ovarian insufficiency (previously called premature menopause)
  • The presence of a benign tumour in the uterus (harmless thickening of the mucous membrane, such as a polyp or fibroma)
  • chronic inflammation of the endometrium (the uterine tissue to which the embryo can attach itself)
  • taking medicines such as the contraceptive pill, anticoagulants or antipsychotics
  • systemic diseases (diseases which affect various organs and cause diffuse pain in various parts of the body).

Diagnosis and treatment

Your case history (the information you provide about the history of your disease), a gynaecological examination, pelvic ultrasound scan, assays of blood hormones, and perhaps some additional examinations will allow a precise diagnosis to be made so that appropriate treatment can be offered to you.


Fertility Medicine and Gynaecological Endocrinology
CHUV Maternity Unit
Av. Pierre-Decker 2
1011 Lausanne
Fax +41 21 314 32 74
 Last updated on 17/08/2018 at 10:46