The doctor may ask about your periods during regular exams. You may be asked to track your periods.

At Your Visit

You will be asked about:

  • Family history and past health
  • Lifestyle, eating, and workout habits
  • Stress
  • Changes in body weight
  • Periods
  • Birth control

Your doctor will also do an exam. A pelvic exam will be part of this. More tests will be done based on what type of problem there is.

Heavy Bleeding (Menorrhagia)


Tests may be done to look for a cause or related problems. Test may include:

  • Blood tests—to measure hormones and iron or check for pregnancy.
  • Endometrial biopsy —tissue is scraped from the uterus. It is looked at under a microscope.
  • Ultrasound—creates images of organs.
  • Laparoscopy —A tube is passed into the belly through a small cut. The doctor can view inside the belly to look for causes.
  • Hysteroscopy —A tube is passed to the uterus through the vagina. The doctor can look for possible causes.

Lack of Periods (Amenorrhea)

It can be hard to find out the cause.

Blood Tests

Pregnancy is a common cause. Blood tests will confirm a pregnancy. Blood tests will also show hormone changes such as:

  • Too much androgen
  • Lack of estrogen
  • Too much prolactin in the blood
  • Too much or too little thyroid hormone

It may show possible causes or help guide treatment.

Other Tests

Other tests that may be done:

  • Images of the brain—to check the pituitary gland. This gland controls hormones.
  • Ultrasound—to make images of belly and pelvis organs.
  • Chromosome studies—to look for genetic causes.

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