36 answers

19 Year Old Niece with Chronic Period

My niece is 19 years old and for years now has been having chronic periods and incredible pain, she even had to miss her prom because of them. She has been on many birth control pills and still is to try to regulate her periods but none help.Her current one is now going on 18 days and getting continually heavier and more painful. I am afraid she is loosing faith of being diagnosed and getting help. She was at the doctors again yesterday to no avail. She is a beautiful young woman with a promising life however with this it's hard to even get a job because she would have to spend to much time in the bathroom and in pain. To top it off she has trouble swallowing pills and can only take 1 small Ibuprofen at a time. Please, any help or insight would be appreciated. Any Ideas as to the cause, how to stop it or even just some relief from the discomfort. Thank you all Mamasourse Moms!

A little more info to all of you moms(thank you very much for all of your responses) my sister-in-law told me that my niece has been checked for endometriosis and her thyroid, I believe she has had an ultrasound, she has had this now for I believe about 3 years and different birth control pills. She has seen a few different doctors, the one 2 days ago was a new one, her and the family recently moved near us so new doctors. Unfortunately she has Medi-cal so that does limit her options. Thank you again for all the input.

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She needs to be evaluated for endometriosis, fibroids, ovarian tumors, PCOS (Polycistic Ovarian Syndrome)and STD's including pelvic inflammatory disease. Seek a second opinion from another OBGYN if you aren't getting anywhere with the one you have.

Definitely sounds like endometriosis and the only way to get completely diagnosed with this is to have laporoscopy done. If they do find it, then they can take care of it right then and there. Letting it continue on will cause more harm then good. My neighbor just had a hysterectomy at age 30 because she let it go to long. Her lining attached outside her uterus to her bladder and other major organs. Luckily for her she was done having kids already, however, she did struggle having her kids and had to do IVF to have them.

Sounds like endometriosis to me too...I don't know where you live but this Doctor saved my life and I was able to have one child because of him...Dr. M. Aslam Barra 930 Sunnyslope Rd. #E1 Hollister, CA ###-###-####

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This may be a stretch, but has she had her thyroid checked? I've had thyroid issues for years but January I was put on different medication by a specialist and my period has gotten extremely lighter and I'm now a 28 day cycle rather then a 31 day. My period has always been 31, but wasn’t really heavy until I had my daughter. Now I'm pretty normal. I don't have a lot of cramping or anything. Anyhow, that's my shot at it. Best of luck to you and her.

1 mom found this helpful

Not sure if this has been done in all the testing, but make sure her OB/GYM has checked for fibroid tumors, or polyps. If these haven't been ruled out, they *should* be. Both are pretty common, and both can likely be removed in out patient surgery, too. To diagnos them, she would likely need to get at least 1 unltrasound done to confirm locations, etc.
She could feel better immediately after!

Sounds like endometriosis to me too. At 42 I had to have a hysterectomy because mine was so severe. My sis-in-law was able to treat hers with a lapro. surgery & then 3 injections (over a 3 month time frame) of Lupron Depot. Like someone else posted, my sis-in-law went untreated for so long that she ended up infertile. Please find another OB who is willing to give your niece another evaluation.

Hi T.,

I can share info about some effective nutritional/herbal/nutraceutical products that will help her. Female Balance is an herbal formula that has helped women with all sorts of hormonal needs. It is very safe and has no negative side effects. Another product that could help her is BioInfinity. The two products together work best. Both are solid caplets. If she has trouble swallowing them, you could try what I do with my special needs son who can't swallow caplets. I put them in a coffee bean grinder to get a fine powder and then add them to a tasty juice drink. The drink doesn't taste as good that way but at least he gets it down.

Another product that is also helpful for balancing hormones is Genesis. That one is a 100% juice drink that is doing awesome things for many health needs.

If you want more info, please call me. I can help get your neice started on a path to balance, wellness and freedom from this affliction of imbalance.

D. Hendon

18 day periods are NOT normal by any stretch of the imagination. Her mother needs to take her to another doctor for a second opinion. And I second getting her thyroid checked. My periods shortened dramatically after I got on my thyroid med.

Hi T.,
Has your niece ever visited a chiropractor? Chiropractic restores function to the nervous system, which is the master control system of the body. If your niece's nervous system isn't working properly (usually due to some kind of trauma) then it can absolutely affect her menstrual cycle. Chiropractic is super safe and effective--I've helped several patients regulate their menstrual cycles, and it also helps reduce PMS and cramping.
Best of luck,

Sounds like endometriosis to me too...I don't know where you live but this Doctor saved my life and I was able to have one child because of him...Dr. M. Aslam Barra 930 Sunnyslope Rd. #E1 Hollister, CA ###-###-####

could she ask them to do labroscopic surgery, hystoroscopy to check aruond? i had that & was finally diagnosed with endometreosis. my longest period was 6wks, but didn't get heavier through the long periods. maybe it is polycystic like erin said. have they already done ultrasounds too? will keep her in my thoughts & prayers!

Hi T.,

It sounds like she has an imbalance. Is she taking any nutritional supplements? I advise that she rebuild her immune system. That would be a great start to get her back balanced.

I am a wellness consultant and have worked with women in her condition and with those that have not had periods in years. This is not normal and there are natural ways to deal with this condition.

If you want more information email and I will share.

N. Marie

Hi T.,

My sister had periods like that and after years of bleeding she found out she had endometriosis. Unfortunatley because she left it untreated for so long, they told her she was infertile. Please please have her checked for this. My sister (who was always plagued with gyn issues) also had cysts (or polyps or something like that. I don't remember all the details) in her uterus which was making the bleeding worse.

The upside to all of this, is that despite the diagnosis, my sister got pregnant and had my nephew, but I wouldn't want your neice to have to go though the grief that being told she could be infertile brings, particularly because she's so young.

Good luck. I wish her all the best, D.

There are many conditions that can lead to the symptoms that you speak of. The bottom line though, is that none of them are 'normal' God designed the perfect body and illness doesn't occur in a vaccum. Most western medical doctors treat the symptoms with drugs, or by yanking out organs, instead of looking for the root cause to disease.

Several things come to mind:

b6 and essensial fatty acids deficiency causes PMS.

Zinc deficiency causes delayed, irregular menses.

A need for Iron can cause heavy prolonged periods.

Vit K deficiency will cause overall increased bleeding.(long courses of antibiotics wipe out good gut bacteria and can cause k deficiency)High saturated fat diets need more vit k.

But my first thought was estrogen and it's effects on the body. We live in an age where we are bombarded with excessive amounts of estrogen. These high amounts WILL affect our periods, pms, fertility and more.

You are stating that high levels of estrogen, in the form of birth control pills, are having no effect on reducing her symptoms. It could be that estrogen is in fact the problem. Estrogen has a direct effect on increasing prolactin, which causes ovulation problems. estrogen causes fibriods, pms pain, excessive bleeding, prostate enlargement, and more.

Where do we get estrogen in our diets?

*Chlorine in our public water mimics estrogen: it has the same effect on us as estrogen. Chlorine also suppressees the immune system,alters cholesterol metabolism, Stops vit A from going out from the liver,destroys A, B, C and E, and omega 3, 6, and 9. Causes poor thyroid function, breast cancer,and colitis. Put a reverse osmosis filter on your tap.

*Estrogen is already in our public water supply from females who are taking the pill, this estrogen( in the urine) does not get filtered out of the public water supply.

*babies fed a soy based formula is equivalent to giving them 5 birth control pills a day. When those soy fed children get to puberty (and many have) they will have major problems with PMS, fertility, and even elevated female cancer rates.

* Dental sealants have a very high estrogen impact on our body with very little exposure.

*HMBP, in almost all sunscreens and lotions.Parabens are estrogenic. Use coconut oil in place of commerical lotions.
Mercola.com has an estrogen/paraben free sunscreen.

*PCB's and plastics

*BHT, the preservative put in processed foods (cereals, etc)

*laundry detergents.

*DDT, Kepone, and Toxophane (pesticides used in agriculture)

*and genetically modified Soy, of which the USA has become the top manufacterer in the world. It is in almost EVERY processed food, in the form of soy casienate, soy protien, soy extract, soy lethicin, etc. It can be listed under natural flavorings as well.

* estrogens added to cattle (beef and dairy milk).

We've got to get away from all this estrogen!

Thyroid also impacts the reproductive system. I know you said she was tested, but most of the thyroid tests are ineffective at catching thyroid problems and many people are walking around undiagnosed. A better way to check for thyroid problems is to check basal body temp in the morning, upon waking but before rising.(look up online) Iodine helps normalize thyroid (150-225 mcgs a day) and you can check deficiency with a patch test on the skin. (look this up online)paint a 2 inch wide square of iodine on the shoulder and see how quickly it dissapears - it can tell you if you are deficient. Boron is another thing that helps normalize estrogen and testosterone. It can be bought in powder form at the pharmacy and mixed into water ( 1/2 t to a quart)drink daily 5 days a week, or you can get it in ionic form in a FULVIC ACID supplement (which I would highly reccomend anyway. )Fulvics also release chemical toxins and heavy metals and support immunity. Fulvics are filled with 60+ trace minerals, many of which are antibacterial.

Along with getting all estrogen out of her diet and environment, I would recommend B complex drops in liquid form (at walmart)2 drops twice a day under the tounge.Then immediately take the fulvic acid (it will help with uptake of all other supplements).
Grape seed extract strengthens connective tissue (the uterus is made of connective tissue)
Strengthens blood vessels, helps circulation, but it could cause more bleeding as it thins the blood a bit. Calendula and Artemesia could help.Look them up online.

Is she severely anemic? I have had two surgeries because of fibroid tumors- they are non-cancerous tumors in, on & around the uterus that basically, depending on where they attach, could make her uterus "grow" bigger- causing her to have increased period lengths and heavy flows (both happened to me). They also make periods painful, especially if she is dealing with endometriosis or ovarian cysts on top of the tumors. She needs to go to an OB/GYN and have an extensive ultrasound done- insist on better treatment- they should be able to figure this out and treat it. I remember having to give up events and woried when I would have a "long meeting" at work to sit through- no one should have their lives affected in this way- esp. when there are things that doctors can do to help! Good luck- and insist on 2nd and 3rd opinions if her doctor is just not getting the diagnosis right!!!

I was sent this information about milk. It might be something to research considering your niece has similar symptoms.
Hope it helps.

Health Warning - rBST in Great Value [Walmart] Milk

Please read this and pass along to as many people...

Mitzi Lyons and her husband Kyle live in Gainesville, TX. For THREE years their daughter has incurred menstrual problems (bleeding every day) and within the last year she started producing milk. Doctors have performed every test, every surgery, put her on birth control and the last straw was to be a hysterectomy in January. BUT, Mitzi's dad started research on the internet of his granddaughter's problem and found out about rBST in milk (injecting cows with hormones so they will produce more milk). Walmart Great Value milk is the kind that the Lyons family has always drank. Three months ago, they pulled Marissa off of Great Value Milk and she quit bleeding and lactating. Her doctors in Houston are going to write a medical journal discovery on her, because FDA says that rBST is safe.

Borden milk does not have rBST in it. The label on their milk states that rBST is not used on their cows.

Mitzi asked to please share this with everyone to hopefully save someone the pain and suffering that Marissa has endured.

Mitzi knows this was an answered prayer.

In addition to endometriosis, fibroids could cause the bleeding and the pain. I'm sure there are other possibilities too. Prompt medical care is extremely important because edno and fibroids can cause infertility (though do not have to), and, while this is highly unlikely, I believe uterine cancer can cause bleeding, though I don't know about the pain.

sounds like Endometriosis...

Has she been checked out for that? Also, sounds like you need a new Dr. this one is not treating her correctly!

Best of luck

Hey there

I had similarly difficult periods as a teenager and even had to reschedule an exam as a result. Two alternative treatments helped me. One Lavender oil - the essential oil on a kleenex or hankerchief - inhaled for relaxation -helped to calm me which had an effect on teh length of the period and pain level. But the best and really only thing that worked to regualte my cycle - (28 days exactly like clockwork and only 4 days long) was chinese medicine and acupuncture. I cannot recommend anyone in the bay area but it ws magical. I have no idea how it works - but it really works. I had only three sessions and it has now worked for years.

Definitely sounds like endometriosis and the only way to get completely diagnosed with this is to have laporoscopy done. If they do find it, then they can take care of it right then and there. Letting it continue on will cause more harm then good. My neighbor just had a hysterectomy at age 30 because she let it go to long. Her lining attached outside her uterus to her bladder and other major organs. Luckily for her she was done having kids already, however, she did struggle having her kids and had to do IVF to have them.

I think it is time for a new ob/gyn. It wasn't until my third one that I got diagnosed with PID. I wasn't showing any outward signs, and having a high tollerance for pain made it so I never went in. Pelvic Inflamitory Disease can also cause the symptoms she is having. She may have to become her own advocated,and get pushy to get results. That is what I had to do with our kids.
At least she has an ultrasound coming up. Good luck
W. M.

JCCA J Can Chiropr Assoc. 2007 Dec;51(4):235-46.Click here to read Links
Menorrhagia: A synopsis of management focusing on herbal and nutritional supplements, and chiropractic.
Livdans-Forret AB, Harvey PJ, Larkin-Thier SM.

Associate Professor, Palmer College of Chiropractic, 1000 Brady Street, Davenport, IA, USA 53803.


INTRODUCTION: To make chiropractors more aware of menorrhagia and how they can serve a role in their patient's care and education since women make up 60% of the population seeking chiropractic care. METHOD: A review of the biomedical literature on menorrhagia was conducted. Items that were retrieved were synthesized and interpreted in order to give the best information to practicing chiropractors. DISCUSSION: Most of the information available relative to menorrhagia is medically oriented. Other treatment options can include: chiropractic, various types of herbs, and nutritional supplements. CONCLUSION: Knowledge of medical treatment, nutritional supplements, along with chiropractic treatment options may be beneficial to doctors in their practice.

I'm so sorry about your niece :( I once watched a program called Mistery Diagnosis, on the Discovery Channel, this girl had the same symptoms as your niece and she spent most of her life suffering with pain and endless periods, it came out to be endiometriosis...tell her she needs to ask her doctor to check her for that, or find a new doctor who really cares...hope she finds relief soon!

Reflexology can balance the systems & there are specific reflexes for this. Find a reflexologist or get a book & do it yourself! There is a acupuncture point called spleen 6 on the inside of each leg about 3 inches up from the top of the ankle bone that will be very sore, work on it every day until the soreness goes away (it really will eventually) & learn the endocrine system reflex points. I know this because I had a similar condition when younger. Eunice Ingham's or Dwight Byer's book describes how to keep the body healthy & relaxed naturally. ( And I'm supposed to say see a doctor if you have any medical concerns.)
It is good for the whole family & enjoy learning something new! Blessings, P.

I definitely think she needs to see a specialist or at least get some more in depth tests done. It could be something small, or a larger problem that could carry unwanted results if not taken care of. Most of the BC pills these days are tiny, so she shouldn't really have a problem taking them. Have her even talk to her doctor about an IUD or another form of BC. I know with the IUDs they normally want you to have had at least one child, but with her situation, you never know. It might help her a lot. I had the Mirena put in after my son and again after my daughter. I hardly had a period at all. It is covered with only progestren, so you don't get the moodiness and other effects from an estrogen and progestren pill. Good luck to her though.

It sounds like endometriosis to me...something I dealt with for over 20 years. My periods could last as long as 28 days and the cramping was incredibly painful. Symptoms began for me when I was 15 and our family doctor was clueless. At 20, I sought out a gynecologist who diagnosed the problem almost immediately. My OBGyn put me on high dose birth control pills to control it. I took them daily for 12 months then was off them for 1 month (the idea was to mimic pregnancy). This protocol worked well for me for quite a few years, before and after having my son, who is now 34.
If your niece isn't seeing a specialist, she should be. All this bleeding leads to anemia as well, so she may need to take an iron supplement.
I wish her the best of luck.

Hi T.,

My little sister has suffered with this also. She was diagnosed with having Polycystic Ovaries. She had a difficult time getting pregnant at first because of this, but she had surgery to "scrape" around the ovaries, and now has a beautiful baby boy! Your niece should go in and do an ultrasound to determine what is causing this for her. I hope she has luck in the near future. You are sweet to care so much for her!

I realize this may be a bit behind in response to your request but just thought I would suggest having her see an acupuncturist. Has she tried that if traditional medicine isn't working. I've used one for a variety of issues with some great results.


I am sorry to hear about your niece--- I am not a doctor, but it sounds like it could be endometriosis. I would ask for a specialist in the OBGYN field to do a complex exam. Also, alternative therapy can be wonderful too- acupuncture, nutritional counseling, etc. I hope she feels better really soon!


Hi T.

sounds like it could be endometriosis, then again you may want a professional oppinion. BUT if it is, I have a friend who has it very severely and has for years. She is now doing a special treatment program for it (for which I don't think insurance covers) anyway, as I understand the doctor administers hormones in such a way that it mimics what a 20 year old's would be. that being said and your niece being 19, I am not sure how this would work. The person I know who has it is in her 40s.. she has tried just about everything and nothing has worked. If you want, I can at least get the name and number of the doctor she is seeing. Even if the doctor doesn't think her plan is right for her niece, this doctor has been studying this problem for years and be able to help..
let me know
thanks much!

Have her Drs. checked for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome? Sounds very similar to the symptoms... I had endometriosis & though I had very painful periods, they didn't last for 19 days!

If you think she is sexually active, it could also be an ectopic pregnancy...

POS or endometriosis seem likely. It took me years(15) to get someone to diagnose the endo. You can't always see it with an ultrasound. They have to go in and look. For some reason simply "it's a pain in my life" isn't enough reason to schedule surgery. I finally told them I was trying to get pregnant and had no success so they'd get on board. (total fib but it worked and I did have kids - LATER). Push to have that done to know for sure. They can laser it all out if that is the case and that helps a ton. Best to get the laparoscopic surgery right away to truly know, rather than keep guessing. I feel for her. I spent many an period hiding in the bathroom of public places when I got caught of guard and was so sick I couldn't get up. It sucks.

Best wishes to her!

Raw milk from Organic Pastures completely normalized my periods. Also, blackstrap molasses and red raspberry leaf tea would also help. Chiropractic adjustments could also help. Dr. Hansen in Elk Grove is amazing!

Dear T.,
Being 19 and going through all of this is no way to live. Believe me, I know that all too well. Even though your niece has medi-cal, she should still be able to find a good OB/GYN. She can go to a clinic or planned parenthood and get a referral to a specialist that way. Many doctors don't accept new medi-cal patients but will make exceptions if the referral comes from another healthcare provider.
Unfortunately, ultrasounds don't always show everything and I think she really needs to have a laparoscopy so they can go in and look at what's going on.
I was diagnosed with endometriosis after suffering for years but I had the opposite problem. I never had periods and was often in too much pain to be able to ride in a car. It was discovered that the cells that form the blood lining on the inside of the uterus and are flushed out during a period, were forming on the OUTSIDE of my uterus and on other organs. I was in so much pain because the blood had no way to get out and I was a mess. I had most of it burned off by laser surgery a couple of times which helped, but the thing that really worked for me was taking birth control pills non-stop for an entire year at a time. Meaning, I didn't take the 7 days of inert pills during which you have a period, I took the active pills every single day and just shut my system down completely for a year. It helped immensely and instead of having a hysterectomy at 22, I had a baby a month and a half before my 24th birthday!
Tell your niece to hang in there and just keep trying until you get a doctor that will help her, especially if she wants to have a child someday.
My mom, God bless her, never had a cramp in her entire life and she wasn't very understanding until she saw the pictures of my insides. She began bleeding uncontrollably and just thought she was going through "the change". Her bleeding was caused by uterine fibroids. So, your niece really needs a full evaluation. I don't mean to offend anyone because I really do believe in holistic healing, but some things require more agressive treatment.
I wish your niece the very best!
Keep trying until you find someone to listen!

a lot of great advice here already. my first thought when i read your post was to wonder about her diet. diet is the root of so many health issues and western doctors rarely, rarely address it. a nutrition dense diet of whole foods and free of processed foods and sugars can be the cure for so many aliments for which western doctors just prescribe medication that screw up the balance of the body. the Weston A Price Foundation (WAPF) is dedicated to awareness of the importance of organic, properly raised foods and does extensive research of the effects of processed foods on the body. it's really interesting. they have a quarterly digest called Wise Traditions and you can read past articles online. people will write letters to the foundation about how the WAPF diet changed their life, and time and again women write in who had reproductive issues that went away after they began the diet.

also, i have a feeling your nieces issues go deeper than this, but a visit with a homeopathic doctor might help to get things on the right track or be an option to explore if she hasn't already.

You might try posting on the moderated message boards on WebMD. They have doctors monitoring them. I was having eye trouble and got exactly the advice I needed from a doctor on the eye board. I suspect there's at least one there devoted to OB/GYN issues. Wouldn't hurt to get another doctor's opinion on this one.

She needs to be evaluated for endometriosis, fibroids, ovarian tumors, PCOS (Polycistic Ovarian Syndrome)and STD's including pelvic inflammatory disease. Seek a second opinion from another OBGYN if you aren't getting anywhere with the one you have.

I feel for your niece. I remember when I couldn't even stand up, the bleeding was so bad. Two things--I hope she's taking some iron--she doesn't want to become anemic (you'll know when she's bleeding so much her lips are white--this happened to me!), and perhaps she could make an appointment at Planned Parenthood to see an OB/Gyn. I believe they will see her and charge her based on her ability to pay.

Hi T.,

Have you been going to the doctor's with her? I imagine they have suggested endometriosis by now. If not, I would think that might be a possiblity. If it's that bad, I think they can remove at least some surgically. If it is endometriosis, it usually improves with pregnancy. Some women work towards having their families earlier, rather than later, then opting for a hysterectomy. I could be WAY off track if that isn't what this is, but the symptoms you describe line up pretty well.

I'm an OB nurse and proud mother to 23 y/o son and 8 y/o boy/girl twins.

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