Menstruation is a physiological process that women must face each month, although not all do it in the same way. Irregular menstruation -whose menstrual cycle is not 28 days- is a common concern for women, but little discussed or treated by society. In addition to the instability that it entails, it is usually accompanied by certain physical and mental problems that should be known. In this post, we tell you everything you need to know about irregular menstruation.
Irregular period: one of the most and common reasons for gynecological consultation.
According to the “Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics &Gynecology” study carried out in 2016, between 14% and 25% of fertile women suffer from menstrual irregularities. Therefore, it is one of the most common reasons why women go to the gynecologist. Likewise, the consequences of these irregularities can be of various kinds, although it is important to determine them and correct the problem to achieve an adequate menstrual cycle.
What do we mean by irregular menstrual cycle?
Before delving into more details, we must clearly define what we mean by an irregular menstrual cycle. In this sense, it is important to take into account that, according to the scientific community, a menstrual cycle that is between 21 and 35 days, approximately, is normal. Although a 28-day cycle is always taken as a basic reference, the truth is that the fork is somewhat wider.
Therefore, we understand an irregular menstrual cycle as one that occurs in periods of less than 21 days or greater than 35 days. On the other hand, menstrual irregularities are also considered amenorrhea , which consists of the absence of bleeding without pregnancy, and bleeding between two menstrual cycles.
Reasons for menstrual disorders:
As we said before, there are many causes that can cause irregularities in the female menstrual cycle. Some of the most common are:
Eating disorders, excessive weight lossor similar like that.
Intense exercise practice.
Stress caused by a specific situation of nerves and emotional disturbances.
Intake of certain medications, such as anticoagulants or certain contraceptives.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome, a type of maladjustment that can cause intense pain on the regular .
Premature ovarian failure, which consists of the loss of ovarian function before the age of 40.
Uterine fibroids, which are non-cancerous growths in the uterus and should be treated.
Hormonal imbalances or thyroid problems .
Injuries after having sexual intercourse.
Infections of the uterus, urine or similar.
Irregular rule in adolescents
During the first years of the menstrual cycle, it is more common for them to be long, and they tend to decrease over time. In fact, according to Healthy Children, during the first two years of menstruation, between 50% and 75% of adolescents suffer intense pain, dysmenorrhea or other irregularities.
In addition, it must be taken into account that, during the stage of adolescence, it is more common to suffer hormonal alterations that suppose a disorder, also, in the rule. Therefore, it is more common for young women to suffer menstrual irregularities, which, if treated from the beginning, are usually resolved in most cases.
Irregularity in menstruation in adulthood.
Regarding the irregularities that occur in adulthood, when our body has fully matured, there is no single defined pattern either. In some cases, women tend to have irregular periods due to causes such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, thyroid problems , or other physical causes, such as endometrial hyperplasia.
In these cases, it is advisable to go periodically to the gynecologist with two objectives. On the one hand, resorting to the most appropriate treatment to try to regularize menstrual cycles based on their cause. And, on the other hand, study the causes if the irregularities occur suddenly in order to act in time and solve the problem quickly.
The usual thing is that, with the passage of time and as we age, the cycles become regular and shorten over time. However, it must be taken into account that, during the years prior to menopause, we can also suffer irregularities in the cycle again. In these cases, it is advisable to go to the gynecologist to rule out possible diseases such as uterine cancer or similar.
So, is it bad to have an irregular period?
The first thing you should analyze is when the irregularities occur, anticipating possible causes. For example, if you are suffering from times of increased stress, or have undergone some major emotional disturbance, it may manifest as a menstrual imbalance. In these cases, it is convenient to control if it dilates over time, and go to the gynecologist in case it does not revert.
In addition, it is necessary to analyze how these irregularities are. It is not the same to have the menstrual cycle every 36 days than to have it every 50, for example. The third factor to take into account is if you suffer from any other disease that could cause these imbalances.
In any case, the causes of menstrual irregularities are usually easily identifiable and treatable, so it is advisable to visit the gynecologist if you detect that your cycles are not as regular as they should be.
Having an irregular period does not have to indicate more serious problems. However, it is always advisable to consult with professionals and, in cases where possible, try to regularize the cycles.
What should I do if my period is always intermittent?
If your menstrual cycles do not have an exact regularity and you usually suffer from intermittent periods, there are a series of recommendations that can help you in your day to day when faced with the uncertainty of not knowing when your next period will be:
Always carry a couple of compresses in your bag, so you can use them in case your period suddenly drops.
Mark, on a calendar, the beginning and the end of each period, to keep track of how the irregularities are and detect if there are many variations between them.
Always keep the necessary precautions. If you don't want to get pregnant, not knowing when you will have your next cycle means that you should always be vigilant and maintain precautions at all times.
Take care of your diet and your lifestyle. You always have to maintain a balanced diet and avoid excesses, but even more so if you suffer from menstrual irregularities.