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Expected Duration

Most women have a period that is irregular in timing or in the amount of bleeding at some point during their menstrual years, most often because of a cycle without a normal ovulation. Normal periods may resume as early as the next period or might take a few months to become regular again. Some women become regular only with the help of treatments, such as birth control pills. If irregular periods signal the beginning of menopause, the last period may not occur for a few months or a few years.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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