A woman’s menstrual cycle isn’t always like clockwork. While some women may get their periods on schedule, whereas some women’s cycles aren’t so predictable. An irregular period may not usually be a problem, but it can occasionally signal health complications.
When is an irregular period?
A normal menstrual cycle lasts for 28 days, with plus or minus seven days (21 days to 35 days). If menstrual bleeding occurs more frequently than every 21 days or lasts longer than 8 days, then it is considered irregular. Early, late or missed periods can also be considered as signs of an irregular cycle.
In many cases, irregular periods are caused because is ovulation hasn’t taken place. An irregular period can be due to hormone imbalances. You may still be ovulating, but the timing of your ovulation can vary greatly month to month.
What can cause irregular periods:
- Extreme exercise or dieting. Too much work-outs can impact the timing of menstrual bleeding and sometimes even stop it. Being underweight, be it from extreme exercise, dieting, eating disorder, or illness, can have a similar effect.
- Stress. Stress or even short-term anxiety about a specific problem can tweak with your hormone balance, causing a missed period and irregular cycle.
- Contraceptive pills: Birth control pills help you to get lighter periods, or cause you to miss periods. Few cases may lead to less or more frequent periods or no periods at all.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): PCOS is a medical condition where tiny cysts are formed on ovaries, which interfere with regular ovulation. PCOS can cause infertility, diabetes and heart disease.
- Other disorders: If blood levels of the thyroid hormone go too low or too high, can cause irregular periods. Other conditions such as STD, diabetes, fibroids, eating disorders, and endometriosis can cause an irregular cycle.
- Age: When teens first start having periods, their menstrual cycles may not always be on the same schedule every month. It takes several years to settle into a pattern.
When should you consult a doctor?
If you have consistently irregular periods, then it is advisable to be evaluated for PCOS. Consider screening for thyroid disorders and other diseases linked to irregular periods. If you are trying to get pregnant but not ovulating every month, then you need to visit a doctor.
Prevention and Treatment of Irregular Periods
If stress is a possible culprit, stress management techniques, such as meditation and yoga can help you. Avoid over-exercising and try not to diet excessively. Contraceptive pills may be prescribed to get your period back on track.
A couple of irregular periods per year are nothing to worry about. But more than that, or frequent irregular periods needs a doctor’s assistance to be sure an ovulation problem or other health condition isn’t the cause. If you’ve had sexual relations in the past month, take a home pregnancy test first. If the test is negative, then you can explore other options and talk to our Gynecologists at www.cupidcare.in to get your menstrual cycle back on track.