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HealthInfo Canterbury

Tests & diagnosis for irregular periods

If you are worried about irregular periods, you should make an appointment with your general practice team. It can be helpful to complete a menstrual diary. You can also download a menstrual diary app. Clue has apps for iPhones and Android phones, and Period Tracker is available for Android phones.

Bring your diary along to your appointment to discuss with your doctor. You may also want to read more about irregular periods or about polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

It's important to see your general practice team more quickly, if you have bleeding that has occurred after the menopause, bleeding that occurs after sex, or bleeding that occurs between your period.

The tests for absent or infrequent periods will depend on the cause of the problem. At your doctor's appointment, you can expect:

You may also need to have some blood tests, and in some cases, an ultrasound. In many cases, you will have to pay for an ultrasound or use your health insurance, but you should talk to your doctor about this.

If you have abnormal bleeding, you may need to have a pelvic ultrasound and a pipelle biopsy, or a hysteroscopy.

Referral

If you have very abnormal hormone levels or fertility issues because of irregular periods, your doctor may suggest referral to an endocrinologist or a gynaecologist. You may also want to pay to see a endocrinologist or gynaecologist privately.

On the next page: Managing irregular periods

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed November 2016.

Page reference: 6033

Review key: HIIPE-47309