Irregular menstruation period is considered by menstrual cycles that don’t follow a regular rhythm every month, creating it difficult to detect the fertile period and the best period to get pregnant. In general, the menstruation cycle varies from 21 to 35 days to descend and is considered regular when it happens every 28 days.
It is normal for menstruation time to be irregular in the first 2 years after the first menstruation or in the period close to menopause, as these are moments of hormonal variations.
In addition, menstruation disorder can be caused by several factors, from changes in excess physical activity, stress, diet, gynecological diseases, or any changes in hormone production, for example.
Thus, if changes in the menstruation cycle are noticed, what should be done is to make an appointment with the gynecologist for a thorough evaluation to find out the reason and start treatment.
What classifies an irregular menstruation cycle?
A menstruation cycle is measured to be irregular clinically when most of the cycles in the prior 6 months are outside regular intervals. Those with uneven cycles may find that menstruation time occurs infrequently, very often, or is very unpredictable.
Abnormal menstrual cycle durations:
- Adolescents: Menstrual Cycles outside the 21-45 day interval
- Adults: Menstrual Cycles outside the 24-38 day range
- Adults: Menstrual Cycles that vary in duration for more than 7 to 9 days (for example, a cycle that lasts 27 days in one month and 42 in the next)
- Menses that stop suddenly for over 90 days (exceptions include menopause, pregnancy, or a recent interruption of hormonal contraceptive methods)
Why do irregular menstrual cycles occur?
Following are some of the most common reasons why cycles can become irregular. Diverse causes lead to dissimilar types of irregularities.
Stages of life and pregnancy:
- After menarche (in the first 2 to 3 years after menstruation begins)
- Perimenopause (when cycles are about to end)
- The postpartum period (after pregnancy)
- Recurrent abortions (known or unknown)
- Shift or night shift work
- Sleep disturbances
- Jet lag or long-distance travel
- Chronic stress
- Intensive physical exercise
- Use of drugs
- Eating disorders (insufficient calorie consumption, compulsive eating behaviors)
- Rapid weight changes
- Some medications
In this way, a menstrual cycle is said to be irregular when it happens consistently outside “regular” intervals for unexpected reasons.
Some variation in the duration of your cycle is normal and expected in your first periods (menarche) and also when you approach menopause (perimenopause).
An irregularity is also expected after pregnancy and when interrupting or starting a hormonal contraceptive method.
Between these moments, continuously irregular cycles can indicate a problem that needs to be analyzed by health professionals. Irregular cycles can originate in some behaviors, lifestyles, or environments in which you find yourself, but they can also originate in health conditions that affect your hormones or the reproductive system. These medical conditions are sometimes not diagnosed and treated.
Continuously irregular cycles can have a serious impact on your health and well-being in the short and long term.
Talk to healthcare professionals:
When talking to your doctor, show your history of cycles. Also, tell them if you have noticed recently unexpected changes in your body. Such as unexpected abdominal pain, unusual hair growth on your face or body, or difficulty controlling your weight. This can help to identify what is causing the irregularities in your cycle.
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