Every woman has a different menstrual cycle. For some, it might occur at the start of every month or the end of every month. Irregular periods, occurs when someone’s menstrual cycle is shorter than 24 days or longer than 38 days or the duration of the cycle varies frequently. Irregular periods are common for teenage girls. They might be irregular periods before they become regular for the first few years. It may also occur in women during perimenopause.
If you exhibit the below-mentioned symptoms, then you might have irregular periods:
Menstrual cycle changes too often
Period after every 21 days or after every 35 days
Period lasts more than one week
Much pain during periods
Haven’t had a period for 90 days
Loose more or less blood over a period than usual
Bleeding in between your periods or following sex
Several factors can cause irregular periods, including stress, underlying health conditions, or more. Some of the common causes for irregular periods are as follows:
Stress: Multiple studies have shown that a high level of anxiety for a prolonged can lead to irregular periods.
Obesity:Obesity is also one of the common reasons for irregular periods. The extra fat in the body makes the hormone known as estrogen. The extra dose of estrogen changes the menstrual cycle and can cause irregular periods.
Hormonal imbalances: Estrogen and progesterone regulate the build-up of the uterus lining. So, if there is a hormonal imbalance in your body, this also results in irregular periods.
Birth control pills: Going on or off birth control pills can cause irregular periods.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): PCOS is one of the reasons for multiple ovarian cysts, hormonal imbalance, and irregular periods.
Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI): This occurs when ovaries stop working before 40. This may result in irregular periods.
Endometriosis: This is a condition in which the tissues inside the uterus grows in other parts of the body, causing irregular periods.
Eating disorders: If you have eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia, you may experience irregular periods.
There are four different types of irregular periods, including:
Menorrhagia: This is one of the most common irregular periods. In this condition, you will experience prolonged and heavy bleeding. In some cases, the bleeding may also disrupt your day-to-day activities. Menorrhagia can be further classified into polymenorrhea (when bleeding occurs too frequent), postmenopausal (when you have menstrual periods after menopause), and metrorrhagia (when you experience bleeding between periods).
Dysmenorrhea: This condition denotes severe pain or frequent cramps during the period. It can be described as primary or secondary, depending on the cause. Primary dysmenorrhea occurs due to hormonal imbalance, while secondary dysmenorrhea may occur due to underlying medical conditions.
Hypomenorrhea: This is opposite to menorrhagia. In this condition, you will experience light periods, and the bleeding often lasts less than two days, or it is less than 80ml.
Amenorrhea: When your period is absent for more than 90 days, it is known as amenorrhea. There are two types of this condition - primary amenorrhea and secondary amenorrhea. Primary amenorrhea occurs in teenage girls when menstruation fails to start at puberty. Secondary amenorrhea occurs when the normal menstrual cycle becomes increasingly irregular or absent for a prolonged period.
If you have irregular periods, your doctor might first perform a pelvic exam. Your doctor may also ask about your medical history and menstrual cycle. The doctor may also order specific tests, including:
Endometrial biopsy to evaluate problems with your uterus
Sonohysterogram to take photos of the uterine cavity
Pelvic ultrasound to create images of uterus, ovaries, and pelvis
Depending on the diagnoses results, your doctor might recommend treatments for irregular periods. These may include:
Lifestyle changes: Your doctor may advise you to change your lifestyle to overcome this problem. If you exercise too much, you need to cut down on it. If you are taking too much stress, your doctor will help you learn different ways to cope with stress.
Hormone therapy (HT): If your irregular periods are triggered due to hormonal imbalance, your doctor might prescribe certain birth control pills to control irregular periods.
Surgery: In some cases, there are scarring or structural problems in the uterus o fallopian tubes that cause irregular periods. Your doctor may recommend surgery to correct irregular menstruation problems.
Endometrial ablation: In this procedure, the doctor surgically destroys the uterus lining to reduce heavy menstrual flow.
The long-term outlook is generally good for irregular periods. However, with proper medications and lifestyle changes, one can control irregular periods.