Dr. Elizabeth L. Oldfield received her bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University, her degree of medicine from University of Tennessee, and completed her residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She was board certified in obstetrics and gynecology in 1989. She is a fellow in the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Oldfield is a board certified OB-GYN practicing in Nashville at Tennessee Womens Care.

Q: My cycle is not always 28 days is that normal?

A:It is a misconception that everyone should have a 28 day cycle since normal cycles can vary from 21-35 days. Cycle length can also vary from month to month so if you have a period each month it is ok. Cycle lengths can change over time so look to see if the change becomes a new pattern for you. You can have an occasional irregular cycle so if it is mostly regular do not worry. If it is mostly irregular or it has been 2-3 months between cycles consult your physician.

Q: I sometimes spot between menses is that normal?

A:Look to see if there is a pattern. The most common times are at ovulation (mid cycle) or just before your period. If the bleeding persists and is unpredictable see your physician. It may be helpful to keep a chart also.

Q: My cycles have always been regular but I have not had a period in 3 months?

A:Some people never have regular cycles but if it is a change for you call your physician. We do not recommend anyone go longer than 3 months without a period. Anytime you are worried it is worth a call to your physician to address your concerns. The first step would be to check for pregnancy if that is a concern. Many factors such as change in weight,diet and exercise,stress,illness,medication,and travel can alter your normal menstrual pattern. In adolescence when menses first start it is normal to be irregular for the first two years. At menopause irregular cycles may occur for 2-3 years prior to the end of cycles.

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