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by EBSCO Medical Review Board

Risk Factors for Menstrual Disorders

A risk factor is something that raises the chances of getting a health problem. A woman can get a menstrual disorder with or without the risk factors listed below. The chances of getting a menstrual disorder are greater in women who have many risk factors.

Heavy Bleeding

Things that raise the risk of heavy bleeding are:
Obesity
Hormones in fat tissues can turn into estrogen. This can lead to heavier bleeding.
Health Problems
The risk of heavy bleeding may be higher if you have:
The risk is also higher in women who take blood thinners.
Age
Young Women
Young women may have periods that:
  • Are too close together
  • Are too far apart
  • Stop
These changes happen because young women are still growing.
Older Women
Periods may change leading up to menopause. The risk of heavy bleeding may also be higher in older women who still have regular periods.
Birth Control
Copper IUDs may cause heavy periods in some women. IUDs with progestin may ease bleeding.
In most women, birth control pills will lower bleeding. Women who have heavy bleeding while taking them should tell their doctors right away.
Medicines
Medicines that may raise the risk of heavy bleeding are:
  • Blood thinners
  • Anti-inflammatory medicine
  • Cancer drugs

Lack of Periods

Too Much Exercise
Regular intense exercise may stop periods. It can happen in athletes or those with compulsive exercising.
Eating Disorders
Eating disorders can cause low body fat, rapid weight loss, and hormonal problems. They can all cause period changes.
Stress
Stress can cause hormone changes that may slow or stop signals to start periods. When stress is eased, periods often return.
Health Problems
Health problems related to amenorrhea are:
Stopping a Birth Control Method
A period may not start right after birth control pills are stopped or an IUD is removed. It may take many months to start again.

References

Abnormal uterine bleeding. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/approach-to/abnormal-uterine-bleeding. Updated October 10, 2019. Accessed November 14, 2019.
Amenorrhea. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/amenorrhea. Updated January 16, 2018. Accessed November 14, 2019.
Bleeding Disorders in Women. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/blooddisorders/women/index.html. Updated April 25, 2018. Accessed November 14, 2019.
Klein DA, Poth MA. Amenorrhea: an approach to diagnosis and management. Am Fam Physician. 2013 Jun 1;87(11):781-788.

Revision Information