In theory, a woman has a regular period every 4 weeks, that is, every 28 days. But in real life, women have menstrual cycles that are all different and vary greatly. It is also common for menstruation to be irregular or to arrive a few days early or late. In fact, the length of menstrual periods varies.
What are irregular periods?
In reality, irregular periodsoccur when there is an alternation between long and short cycles in the duration of the period or when the abundance varies from one cycle to another. This happens to almost all women, especially during the first few cycles. Indeed, the first menstrual periods often rhyme with a dysregulated hormonal system, which can even last for a few years. It is also very common during the pre-menopause. But this phenomenon can happen at any time because several factors come into play. We speak of menstruation being irregular when :
- There are less than 20 days or more than 40 days between each period
- the length of time between each menstrual flow is very variable
- The duration of the menstrual flow itself is very variable from one menstrual cycle to another
- Theabundance of blood loss is very variable from one cycle to the next: abundant one cycle then light the next
For this reason, we recommend menstrual panties that you can wear every day and that will protect you from unpleasant surprises.
What are the causes of irregular periods?
- A lack of sleep, increased fatigue
- Stress, anxiety, depression: any stressful situation can affect your menstrual flow
- Jet lag, or jet lag, which can disorient our internal biological clock: the body struggles to find its natural rhythm, the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone, but also those of reproduction are then temporarily disturbed
- Excessive consumption of drugs: alcohol, tobacco, cannabis but also coffee in high doses
- A weight at the extremes: a fat mass that is too low leads to the cessation of hormonal secretion, which can even lead to amenorrhea, while a weight that is too high is responsible for an overproduction of estrogen, which disrupts the menstrual flow
- In the same way, sudden and excessive weight gain or loss: eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia nervosa can also be the cause
Playing sports intensively
A uterine disease
- Polycystic ovary syndrome, PCOS, a syndrome that also causes acne and excessive hair growth, due to an increase in testosterone
- Endometriosis, known for its irregular menstruation associated with pain and heavy blood loss
- Polyp or fibroid
- Benign tumor or even cancer of the uterus
- A thyroid orhypothalamus disorder
When are irregular periods normal?
The first periods in adolescence
However, if after 2 to 3 years, menstruation has not become regular, it may be interesting to ask the question to your doctor or health professional to rule out any gynecological disorders. A pill may also be prescribed to give the flow a certain regularity.
Irregular periods after returning from childbirth
When to consult in case of irregular periods?
- If you notice large variations in the length or amount of menstrual flow and this phenomenon is associated with other symptoms
- A lack of menstrual bleeding, which is difficult to come or even a false anniversary period, can be a sign of a pregnancy that is starting: a pregnancy test will be able to confirm this hypothesis or not.
- On the other hand, an irregular cycle can be complicated to predict ovulation in the case of a baby project: without it being necessarily a sign of infertility, you can approach your gynecologist to put all the chances on your side
It is also possible to practice alternative medicine to relax and eliminate stress, an aggravating factor for menstruation: acupuncture, osteopathy, yoga, meditation...
The FAQ of irregular periods
When can we talk about an irregular cycle?
Menstruation is irregular when the menstrual cycles are separated by less than 20 days or more than 40 days. The length and amount of bleeding also varies greatly from one cycle to the next.
Is it normal to have irregular periods?
Without this necessarily giving rise to concern, several causes can be at the origin of an abnormally irregular menstrual flow: from a simple hormonal contraception, to a rushed hygiene of life while passing by more severe gynecological affections, it is important to consult if that worries you or that your non regular menstruations are accompanied by other symptoms.
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