Irregular Menstruation
Late Period?

An occasional irregular menstruation might be considered an early pregnancy symptom, but if these irregularities are repeated month after month, then you would have to consider an abnormality in your menstruation cycles.

Your period has usually been very regular, month to month, but in recent months you have had irregularities in your menstruation cycles, right? And even more, your period might come with severe pain and intense bleeding?

Why are these irregularities in my period?

Look dear, I do not think there are quite regular periods, and that always occur exactly in 28 days. That's why there is a normal range between 21 to 35 days. Before or after this range, it can be considered an irregular menstruation. However I understand that we want our period to be as accurately as possible, right?

Irregular Menstruation - Cycle

By Isometrik
Click to enlarge

Do not be alarmed by occasional irregular menses, or short term irregularity. To some extent and at some point in our lives, we have irregular periods. However if it is repeated month after month, then you should take action immediately and see your doctor for a diagnosis and start finding possible causes.

I would worry if these causes were a major problem such as:

  • A Secondary Amenorrhea, which means a total absence of menstruation for three consecutive months, and can occur in women with chronic illness as rheumatic fever.
  • The bleeding has lasted over a week.
  • A pretty severe pain in the stomach.
  • You have a fever or abnormal vaginal discharge, especially if it has an odor.
  • You have bleeding after menopause.
  • Your periods have been heavy or prolonged for three or more cycles, compared to what is normal for you.
  • You have bleeding or spotting between periods.
  • Problems with the hypothalamus, pituitary or ovaries can lead to irregular menstruation cycles.

What are these irregularities of menstruation?

Menstrual periods vary between 21 to 35 days, but you might consider that your period is regular, if it occurs roughly at the same date each month.

Usually in young girls who have just started their first menstrual cycles, it is likely that their first menses are irregular, or not exactly in 28 days. They are beginning to learn their menstrual calendar. But this is only a process of hormonal synchronization in their menstrual period.

At certain age, women may also have irregular menstrual cycles in some months, indicating the entrance to the menopause or per-menopausal stage. Remember that your menstruation will stop if you have already entered the menopausal period.

Another factor of irregular menstruation can occur due to certain disorders in the process of ovulation. This means that some women might not properly grow and release a mature egg each month, as it should normally. These disorders of ovulation can disappear just as they appeared. However do not hesitate to visit your doctor to find out possible causes.

What could be the reason that my period goes from being regular to irregular?

Most common causes of irregular menstruation can be:

  • Losing or gaining some extra weight. If you lose weight, you have to take care that there are no symptoms of anemia, anorexia or bulimia. Overweight tends to affect hormones that regulate menstruation.
  • Too much, or intense exercise.
  • Smoking.
  • Drug use and Alcohol.
  • Stress.
  • Rigid diets low in calories.
  • Treatments and Medications such as chemotherapy.
  • Abnormalities of the uterus such as polyps, endometriosis, fibroids, and cysts.
  • Emotional disturbance.
  • An illness.

How to treat these irregularities of menstruation?

Any irregularity in your period has to be treated according to the cause which it originates. That's why I recommend you to visit your doctor to find out the root cause. However, there are causes that you might find out and correct by yourself. Normally these causes are corrected by changing your lifestyle, "all depends on you".

Treatments with the help of your doctor:

relax with yoga

If you are stressed,
Relax with Yoga

If the causes are not properly due to your lifestyle, your doctor may suggest blood tests, ultrasound or even a biopsy, in order to find out the reason of your irregularities.

Many of the causes are due to a hormonal imbalance that can be corrected with appropriate drugs or hormones, as recommended by your doctor.

The contraceptive pill can be used as a measure to control irregular menstruation, providing an adequate combination of hormones (estrogen and progesterone) to maintain the proper balance. But if you stop taking the pill at any time, your period may be affected and there may be some months of menstrual irregularity. Therefore, if you take the pill, try to have a strict regime on its use.

Treatments that you can do by changing your lifestyle:

If you make a lot of exercise, try to reduce its rate. You may see in the following months an improvement in your menstruation irregularities.

If you smoke or drink alcohol, stop it, and check for yourself if your menstrual period starts to regulate itself. Otherwise visit your doctor to find out the cause that may disturb your menstrual cycles.

If there is stress or fatigue, try a relaxation exercise such as yoga, or take time off to relax.

A final thought:

There are always irregular menstruation cycles and you might not even notice them. You have to start a strict tracking of your menstrual cycles. Personally, I am a bit messy, and it is very difficult for me to follow a strict regimen, but I have started to keep track of my menstruation dates in a paper calendar, and believe me, I have learned to know my body, and to take immediate action when there is an abnormality in my menstruation period.

Your health is more important than your job. I know that the bills have to be paid, but you cannot play with your health.

See also the following early pregnancy symptoms:

Missed Period | Heartburn | fatigue-during-pregnancy | Frequent Urination | Breast Tenderness | Morning Sickness | Cramping | Constipation

Return from Irregular Menstruation to Early Pregnancy Symptoms Page


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