What is an irregular menstrual cycle?
- According to gynecologists, irregular periods are periods that are less than 21 days or more than 35 days apart.
- A menstrual cycle is considered irregular when it lasts more than seven days.
- If your period is heavier or lighter than normal it can be considered irregular.
- If you are getting more pains and cramps than usual, this is also a sign of irregularity in your cycle.
- Missing three or more periods in a row without being pregnant, breastfeeding, going through menopause, or taking certain medications.
Is it normal to have irregular periods?
There are some cases where irregular periods are not a source of concern. Such as with young girls who have recently started puberty, or when there are abnormal conditions affecting the body such as a major change in weight, or excessive exercise.
What causes irregular periods?
According to Cleveland Clinic here are the main reasons for irregular periods:
- Change in weight
- Birth control pills
- Polycystic ovaries syndrome
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Uterine polyps or fibroids
- Premature ovarian insufficiency
- Other Medical conditions, such as bleeding disorders, thyroid problems, hormonal imbalances.
When should you see a doctor?
You should consult your physician if any of these issues occur:
- If you experience unusually Severe pain during your period or between periods
- Abnormally heavy bleeding or passing large clots
- An abnormal vaginal discharge
- High fever
- A period lasting longer than a week
- Vaginal bleeding or spotting between periods or after having sex.
- Nausea or vomiting during your period
The doctor will perform a pelvic exam, and an ultrasound and will run further blood tests if needed he might take a biopsy, to properly diagnose your condition. Once the results are ready the doctor can determine the cause of your irregular menstrual cycle and treat it accordingly.