No two women are exactly alike, and in many cases, the same goes for menstrual cycles. There are some parameters within “normal” among women concerning our period, but sometimes there are specific anomalies. If you’re wondering why your menstrual cycle is irregular, let’s find answers.
What Exactly Is Considered “Regular”?
On average women get their period every 24 – 38 days which last about 2 to 8 days. Do you fit into these parameters, or are you one of the anomalies? Being slightly irregular is not worrisome, so don’t go judging yourself based on this. Instead, look at your whole menstrual cycle and all the other factors before you label yourself irregular.
Real Factors Defining An Irregular Menstrual Cycle
You may be having irregular periods if the time between each begins to change, you lose more or less blood during your period than normal, or the number of days your period lasts varies quite a bit.
Your menstrual cycle can be irregular due to simple stress or to more serious underlying causes. Never overlook or underestimate stress as a factor causing irregular periods.
Overall causes can run the gamut from insignificant to serious medical issues.
Consider the following:
- Changes in the level of estrogen and progesterone can affect your cycle.
- Taking birth control
- Too much exercise
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which are small cysts in the ovaries
- An overactive or underactive thyroid
- Uterine fibroids
- An IUD
- Pregnancy or breastfeeding
- Significant weight gain or loss
Any of these issues can cause an interruption or change in your cycle.
When To See an OB/GYN
There are circumstances that should prompt you to visit our office in in Reston or Dulles.
If you are having extra painful cycles, a foul smelling discharge, a high fever, periods lasting longer than seven days, vomiting and nausea during your period, fainting and diarrhea, or are bleeding more heavily than normal, these are signs you should be checked out by an OB/GYN at All About Women OB/GYN.
Don’t panic and think something terrible is wrong when it could be stress and too much exercise. At the same time, don’t procrastinate. Find out what the problem could be and what your options are to correct it.