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kellylynn posted:
im 31 i had my tubes tied over 10years ago ive been having problems with my cycle for a few months now it will come late or on time but wont last longer then 3 days and its light now im late again both me and my boyfriend are fixed stress is low and i dont know what could be going on or what to to.. any ideas
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Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP responded:
Dear kellylynn (thanks for the photo!): The most important thing is to rule out an undetected pregnancy as even very reliable methods such as tubal ligations can fail. If a woman with a tubal does become pregnant there is an increased risk that she may have a tubal/ectopic pregnancy. In your specific case I would rather doubt pregnancy if both of you have had surgical sterilizations.

Once pregnancy is ruled out there are several POSSIBLE explanations for a "too-light" flow" in a woman not using hormonal forms of birth control:

1. Lowered estrogen levels--this is more likely to be the case in a woman around the time of menopause.

2. Elevated prolactin levels---prolactin is produced from the pituitary gland. Levels can be elevated from a benign pituitary adenoma or from certain psychiatric medications. In this scenario the woman may also have nipple discharge.

3. Missed ovulations--with a missed ovulation the lining of the uterus does not shed all at once. This can result in a missed flow, a late flow, a too-light flow (just part of the top layer is shed), or even prolonged/erratic flows. This would be the most likely explanation given what you have shared.

As you may have read here there can be MANY causes for missed or erratic ovulations: low thyroid problems, pituitary problems, ovarian cysts, physical stressors (eg sudden increases in exercise, crash dieting, recent illness), emotional stressors (problems with boyfriends/girlfriends, finances), increased body weight, anorexia, rotating shifts at work, etc.

Given that this has been going on for several months it may be time to see your GYN or clinic. They can rule out an ovarian cyst, or evaluate for low thyroid/elevated prolactin with simple blood tests. Hopefully, since you have a history of very predictable periods, your cycle will reset itself without needing a treatment.

Yours,
Jane


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