Menstrual disorders: how to manage your menstrual flow?

The average menstrual period lasts between 2 and 5 days each month. The average menstrual cycle lasts 28 days. Of course, every woman is different, so some will have more irregular periods than others.

When are periods irregular?

Some women worry about their periods being a few days late, while others have cycles that are 40 days longer and don't worry. Although it's common to experience irregular periods at least once in one's life, if they are too often irregular, it's important to find out the reason(s).

Menstrual frequency disorders

A menstrual irregularity can be characterized by a change in the frequency of menstruation, for example:

  • Periods shorter than usual: if they are shorter than usual, e.g. lasting only 2 or 3 days when they usually last 5 days, we speak of a menstrual disorder.
  • Long periods On the other hand, abnormally long periods lasting 7 days or more, when they usually last only a few days, are also characteristic of a menstrual disorder.

Menstrual flow intensity disorders

A menstrual disorder is also characterized by a change in the intensity of the menstrual flow. The menstrual flow may be lighter or heavier. Light periods may be linked to the use of the contraceptive pill.

What causes menstrual disorders?

Menstrual disorders can have many causes.

Puberty and adolescence

The first periods are often chaotic. During puberty, it's common to experience irregular menstrual flow, as the menstrual cycle settles down and hormones are regulated. It is estimated that it usually takes 1 or 2 years for menstruation to become regular.

Diet and health

Diet plays a vital role in the menstrual cycle, its regularity, period pain, abundance, etc.

Eating disorders such as bulimia or anorexia tend to cause irregular periods, due to the hormonal fluctuations and imbalances they entail.

Mental health also has a major influence on the menstrual cycle. If you're stressed or anxious, you're likely to have irregular or longer periods.


Like diet, sleep also plays a very important role in the regularity of your menstrual cycle. The better you sleep, the more regular your hormonal activity, and therefore your periods, will be. If you suffer frominsomnia during your periodit's quite possible that your period will become disrupted over the long term.

Intensive sports

It's common for sportswomen to experience shorter periods, longer cycles and, in some cases, amenorrhea.

Premenopausal periods

As menopause approaches, it's common to experience irregular menstrual flow. In fact, during the premenopausal menstruationThe ovaries may continue to secrete hormones for several months, but in an irregular manner.

Disorders of the vagina or uterus

Finally, irregular periods can also be a sign of vaginal or uterine disorders. Examples include polyps, uterine fibroids and polycystic ovary syndrome. Certain pathologies, such as thyroid, hypothalamus or pituitary dysfunction, can create irregular cycles.

FAQs on menstrual disorders

What causes irregular periods?

There are many reasons for irregular cycles: uterine or vaginal pathologies, poor lifestyle habits, stress, over-intensive sports...

How can I get my menstrual cycle back to normal?

A healthy diet and a good sleep pattern help you to have a more regular cycle. But if your menstrual irregularity persists, consult your doctor, as there may be a more serious cause.

Is it serious to have irregular periods?

Having irregular, dysregulated periods can be a sign of a more serious pathology or a mild dysfunction of the menstrual cycle.

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