Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page:

    2. Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at

    Includes Expert Content
    I do Not Know!
    kamilacbronx posted:
    What is the difference between abnormal periods and irregular periods?
    David K Walmer, MD, PhD responded:
    Menstruation refers to cyclic bleeding that accompanies the shedding of uterine lining, which occurs when certain mammals do not conceive. In humans, normal ovulatory cycles are associated with regular predictable bleeding episodes. When menstruation stops completely it is referred to as amenorrhea. Hormonal conditions associated with amenorrhea include pregnancy, hyperprolactinemia, etc. When menstrual cycles do not occur regularly, this may be a sign that there is a hormone imbalance. The most common cause of irregular menstrual cycles is frequently called polycystic ovarian syndrome which is associated with an imbalance of androgens (male hormones) and estrogen. irregular cycles may also be associated with other hormonal abnormalities such as thyroid disorders. Menstrual periods can be considered abnormal if they occur to frequently, not frequently enough or irregularly. Excessively heavy bleeding is also considered abnormal and can be caused by a variety of problems including uterine fibroids, ovulation problems, bleeding disorders, in rare instances cancers etc. Menstrual periods that are abnormal because they are irregular were excessively heavy should be investigated by making an appointment with your primary care physician or gynecologist because they can be assigned of significant health problems.
    kamilacbronx replied to David K Walmer, MD, PhD's response:
    Thank you for replying to my question. This information is very helpful.

    Helpful Tips

    New Committee Opinion on Female Fertility TestingExpert
    New Guidelines on Fertility Testing! American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) released a Committee Opinion on evaluation of the ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    9 of 9 found this helpful

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

    For more information, visit the Duke Fertility Center