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Infrequent Periods: How to Care for Your Daughter

Infrequent periods is when a girl goes 6 weeks or more between periods. Depending on the cause, infrequent periods don't always need treatment.

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  • Help your daughter track her periods on a calendar or a smartphone app. She should include:

    • when her period starts and ends

    • the amount of flow each day

    • whether there are any blood clots

    • whether she has cramps or other problems during her period

  • Depending on the cause of your daughter's infrequent periods, the health care provider may recommend that your daughter:

    • Wait and see if her periods become more regular. 

    • Manage stress by getting enough sleep and plenty of exercise, avoiding drugs and alcohol, and doing things that are relaxing for her such as listening to music, yoga, or meditation.

    • Take medicines that can balance hormones, such as the birth control pill ("the Pill"), or use a birth control shot, a birth control implant, or an IUD.

    • Lose or gain weight through changes in diet and exercise.

  • Fill any prescriptions and be sure your daughter follows the health care provider's recommendations for taking medicines.

  • Girls with infrequent periods can still get pregnant if they have sex. Talk to your daughter about using condoms to protect against pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs, also called sexually transmitted diseases or STDs).

  • Call the health care provider or log in to your daughter's electronic health record (EHR) to get any test results.

  • Follow up as instructed by your health care provider.

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  • Your daughter:

    • has irregular periods for more than 3 months

    • got her first period more than 2 years ago and still has infrequent periods

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What causes infrequent periods? Infrequent periods can be caused by:

  • changing hormone levels in the first few years after a girl starts getting her period

  • hormone problems from medical conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome 

  • being too thin or too heavy

  • intense exercise

  • stress

  • medical conditions that cause easy bleeding

  • some medicines, including the Pill; also a birth control shot, a birth control implant, or an IUD

  • pregnancy and/or breastfeeding

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