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Shortening of menstrual cycle at 18

Postby Hairinabun on Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:35 am

My last two menstrual cycles have been very short, 21 and 18 days respectively. My normal cycle is 28 days and I bleed for 5 days. The length and heaviness of my periods has remained the same. I became sexually active during the cycle before they became short. During my last cycle I took emergency contraception, which I know can cause a period to come a few days early. Other than this, nothing has been unusual. It is possible I have been under a little more stress recently due to placements and assignments at uni, however I haven't noticed myself being practically stressed. I am just wondering if it worth visiting my GP if this continues?
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Re: Shortening of menstrual cycle at 18

Postby Dr James Thompson on Sat Apr 27, 2013 12:31 pm


Thanks for getting in touch.

I realise that it has been another month and a bit since you posted, have your periods sorted themselves out yet?

You mentioned that you took the morning after pill(MAP)/emergency contraception prior to the change in your periods. You are right in that your subsequent period can change as a result of taking the hormones. I always tell my patients that I prescribe the MAP to that they should monitor their periods after taking it and should take a pregnancy test if they are worried. The MAP is very good at preventing pregnancies when taken within 72 hours of the unprotected intercourse but nothing is ever 100% effective.

You are also correct in saying that stress can play a role in your cycle and as it is likely to be coming up to exam times, this may be the reason for it.

Your cycle may vary in length for no obvious reason naturally, it may be worth chatting to the female members of your family to see what their periods are like, it may be something that they have experienced too.

I would always encourage patients to see their GP if they are worried, it may be that they tell you to monitor your periods for a while but at least then they can reassure you with all the info in front of them.

I hope everything settles down for you.

Best wishes

Dr James Thompson
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Dr James Thompson
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