It depends. Some changes in menstruation are normal and should not cause concern. It is possible for a woman to miss her period because of weight loss or gain, vigorous exercise, stress, illness, or other changes that affect her body.
In older women, menstrual periods usually become lighter and less frequent as menopause approaches and hormone levels decrease, although sometimes periods become heavier and more frequent.
Since pregnancy can also cause missed periods, if there is any possibility of pregnancy, a woman should make an appointment with her clinician.
Please see our handout on Oral Contraceptives and refer to the heading "What do I do if I miss a pill?" Or you may refer to the printed information insert that comes with each pack of your birth control pills.
If your question is not answered adequately, you may call the Women's Health consulting nurse at 206-221-2491.
If you are trying to decide on a method of birth control appropriate for you or are wanting to change your current method of birth control, call the Patient Services Center (PSC) at 206-616-2495 and ask for an appointment with the family planning counselor in Women's Clinic.
She will review with you in detail the methods of birth control available and assist you in making an appointment with a clinician.
Ortho Evra or "the patch" is a birth-control patch. It contains the hormones norelgestromin and ethinyl estradiol, hormones similar to those used in birth control pills. Each contraceptive patch, which is thin, beige, flexible, and square, is worn on the body for 1 week at a time.
Women's Health Clinic provides expert, women-centered care with a focus on gynecology, obstetrics, and preventive services.
Genital herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus (abbreviated as HSV). It is very common--about 1 in 4 women and 1 in 8 men have genital herpes. There are two types of the virus:
A UTI or bladder infection results when bacteria gain access and multiply in the normally sterile urinary bladder. Bacteria infect the bladder by way of the urethra, a small tube connecting the bladder to the outside. The urethra is very short and opens near the vagina. These two factors make bladder infections very common in women. Men rarely develop bladder infections because their urethras are longer.
A colposcope is a magnifying instrument used to look closely at the surface of the cervix. A colposcopy is an easy office procedure, which is performed very much like routine gynecological exam.
The diaphragm is a round silicone cup that holds spermicidal jelly or cream against the cervix. Although it may prevent some sperm from entering the cervix, it does not and cannot fit snugly enough to protect against pregnancy by itself. Therefore, spermicide is essential for the diaphragm to work.
An IUD (intrauterine device) is a small plastic device that is inserted into a woman's uterus by a clinician. It provides highly effective and convenient birth control for the appropriate woman. The two brands of IUDs available in the United States are the ParaGard®, which uses a copper wire wrapped around the plastic device, and Mirena®, which contains the hormone progesterone.