What increases my risk for oligomenorrhea?

Patricia Geraghty, NP
Women's Health

High levels of activity require high levels of energy intake—food. Working out too much may be stressing your body so that the reproductive system "shuts down" and periods become infrequent, and you can begin a trend of oligomenorrhea. For some women, even at moderate to high levels of activity, they simply need to increase their calories to restore regular periods.

Your risk of developing oligomenorrhea is much higher with polycystic ovary syndrome. Women under a lot of stress or who put their body through stress with extreme diets, eating disorders or serious exercise are also at a greater risk of this. Other illnesses, including thyroid disorders, and obesity are also risk factors. Many young women who are just beginning their menstrual cycles and pre-menopausal women experience oligomenorrhea as a natural phase in the lifetime of their menstrual cycle.

Oligomenorrhea in itself does not run in the family, but polycystic ovary syndrome—again, a major cause of oligomenorrhea—is genetic.

If your periods are irregular and you think you may have oligomenorrhea, go see a doctor to determine the actual cause of your symptoms.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.