Why is my menstrual cycle irregular?
On average, a menstrual cycle lasts 28 days. But sometimes things go wrong without us knowing why. If this happens to you, we explain to you what are the causes of irregular periods and when to consult.
What are irregular periods?
A cycle is considered regular when it lasts more or less the same number of days each month and the periods have the same duration. As a reminder, on average, periods last about 5 days per month (although this varies from woman to woman).
Periods are considered irregular only when the length of a cycle varies by at least 5 days from month to month or the abundance of flow differs each month. An irregular menstrual cycle can be seen in particular by the absence of periods for several months or by periods that last two days in some months and six days in other months.
How do I know if my cycle is irregular?
To know if you have irregular periods, you need to know your menstrual cycle well. As we know, on a daily basis, it is not always easy to remember the date and duration of our last period. But good news! There are applications that allow you to track menstruation in order to get to know your body well and to identify the slightest irregularity in the duration of cycles, periods, but also their abundance.
What causes irregular periods?
Many reasons can explain irregular cycles. If you had your first period not long ago, don't worry, it's not abnormal! In young girls, it may take several years for the cycle to become regular.
On the other hand, if you have had your period for several years, this disorder may be due to medical treatment, an intense rhythm of life (stress, lack of sleep, etc.), an emotional shock or even taking or stopping a contraceptive. To learn more, read our article on the causes of irregular periods .
When should you consult in case of an irregular cycle?
All women experience an irregular cycle at one time or another. When it happens in isolation, there is nothing to worry about. That said, if your period has been irregular for several cycles, it's important to see a doctor. For what ? Because an irregular menstrual cycle can hide a health problem, especially if it is associated with other symptoms. This is particularly the case if:
- you have very spaced periods, i.e. every 6 to 12 weeks, and excessive hair growth: this may be due to micropolycystic ovary syndrome;
- your periods are very heavy and very close together: this may be symptomatic of a uterine disorder such as a fibroid or a polyp;
- your periods are very painful and you have pain during lovemaking : this can be a sign of endometriosis;
- you are not pregnant, but have not had your period for at least 3 months and your breasts secrete milk: this may be a benign tumor called a prolactin adenoma.
Irregular cycles can also be caused by a problem with the thyroid or hypothalamus. This is why it is important to quickly consult your gynecologist if this happens to you more than once.
What are the remedies for irregular periods?
There is no specific cure for irregular periods, as it all depends on the cause. So no self-diagnosis, because only a doctor can determine the reason for this upheaval and give you an appropriate treatment.
That said, sometimes a healthier lifestyle can fix the problem. So be sure to adopt a more balanced diet and sleep well. If you are prone to stress, there are methods to stay zen throughout the day, such as aromatherapy or even practicing a sport.
And to avoid accidents, don't forget to slip in your menstrual panties in your bag in case your period makes a surprise arrival...