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irregular periods


I have always had irregular periods.  I am now 39.  I went on birth control in my 20s for a short while and during this time I was normal.  Often, although my cycles are irregular, I will have sets of periods that are a certain length apart (perhaps not to the day but very close), i.e. 6 weeks was about right for me, then 5 weeks over the past few years.  My mother always had irregular periods also, but did not have issues conceiving so she was ovulating.  She became regular after taking the pill for a number of years (getting pregnant once in between).  

18 months ago I was very long due to worrying about coming on before a flight as I did not want to be having a heavy period on a long-haul flight.  I think the stress of wanting to come on prolonged it.  My period started the morning I landed so it seemed to be stress related.  I also have a lot of stress in my life due to OCD.  When I do have a period they tend to be heavy with menstrual cramps.  Sometimes I get clotting, but small pieces, and shreds, not balls, although sometimes they can be about an inch+ square but flattish.

As my Mum was irregular I never worried about it and put it down to genetics and sometimes stress, but now I worry about PCOS and/or endometriosis.  This year I have also become more regular (i.e. around 30-32 days although one was 24 days.  I am hoping to start trying for a baby in the next year (delayed due to anxiety disorder and partner worried about a commitment) and this is why I was reading a lot, and now I am very worried.  

Is it normal for some women to be irregular and heavy (I have never really been regular) without there being anything wrong?  Could recent normal cycles mean perimenopause, or could it be that my body is just cycling differently as it has in the past (it has been consistent like this for over 6 months now).

Thank you for any insight.  I have always gone to my GP/PCP for pap smears and may have mentioned it, but nothing was ever said.  I have never had an actual ob/gyn.  Right now I am away and won't be able to see a doctor for two months, but was hoping for some advice.

Thank you.

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Avatar universal
In addition, my Mum had also some hair around her naval (until after she had her first baby) and some dark hairs on chin and I do too.  I also have very fair and fine hair on my face.  Does this confirm PCOS?
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Avatar universal
Correction.  The hair never went away until after menopause (she was almost 55).
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1583546 tn?1296671467
I was on the pill for 13 years and went off the pill 8 months ago & still haven't started my period.  I went to the gyno & he said this is common, he took blood & tested for thyroid issues & came back normal.  He perscribed Provera for me to take by everyone says that made their acne horrible and just made them start but didn't help them to cycle regularly.  I have hated all the side effects of being off the pill.  Dropped weight (I am 120 as is) so losing wasn't what I needed, by boobs got smaller, I am breaking out and even on my back which I never did before.  I have heard that some people get really bad acne after a year of being off the pill, has this happened to anyone?  My mother had sever PCOS and I am afraid I have it but the Dr. didn't seem to think I did.  I am lost and frustated! Please share any input or your thoughts, I am just curious what other peoples experiences are.  
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