Irregular menstrual cycle is often considered to be an early indication of a health problem. It may not always be the case, but it's not completely wrong either. Every woman is unique and so is each of our hormonal systems. What is regular for one woman may not necessarily be true for another woman.
Read more about How Hormones Affect Every Part of Your Life!
Menstrual cycles are clinically said to be irregular if the length of the cycle is unpredictable and occurs out of the predicted dates more than once within a 6 month period.
Irregular menstrual cycle lengths can be divided into three categories:
- For adolescents: if the cycle length is less than 21 days or more than 45 days
- For adults: if the length of the cycle is less than 21 days or more than 35 days, the allowable difference between cycles is 7-9 days
- Menstruation that suddenly stops for more than 90 days (except pregnancy, menopause, and stopping hormonal contraceptives)
Why is it important to know what is considered to be an irregular menstrual cycle?
Continuously irregular menstrual cycles will have a serious impact on your health. The menstrual cycle is closely related to your cardiovascular health, metabolism, and fertility. Therefore, it is very important to understand your menstrual cycle and any changes to it should be seen as an early marker of the occurrence of something that is not normal within your body. The earlier an abnormality is detected, the faster the issue can be addressed.
Causes of irregular menstrual cycles
The causes of irregular menstrual cycles themselves are divided into three categories: normal, causes that you need to watch out for, and causes due to certain conditions.
Causes of irregular menstrual cycles that are classified as normal
- The first 2-3 years after the first menstruation (menarche)
- Perimenopause (approaching menopause)
- Postnatal / Postpartum
- Repeated miscarriages
Causes of irregular menstrual cycles to watch out for
- Having sleeping problems
- Late night shifts at work
- Chronic stress
- Drastic changes in weight
- Eating problems or disorders
If you are experiencing one of the above and it is followed by irregular periods, then you should be more vigilant and try to regulate your menstrual cycle by improving your lifestyle and having a healthier mindset.
Causes of irregular menstrual cycles due to certain conditions
Certain medical conditions that can cause irregular menstrual cycles, includes:
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Thyroid disorders
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Infections of the reproductive tract
- Uterine fibroids
- Uterine polyps
- Abnormal cervix or vagina shape
- Certain types of cancer or benign tumors
- Early Menopause brought on by decreased ovarian function
Do not hesitate to seek attention and speak with the relevant health professionals if you experience irregular menstrual cycles for a long period of time. Remember, the sooner it is diagnosed, the sooner you will get the necessary treatment and the better your outcomes are likely to be.
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