The menstrual cycle can be a hassle from the very beginning, and many women find that this inconvenience is doubled if there is any irregularity. Irregular periods in females are fairly common and are one of the earliest signs of menopause.
Read on for more information.
About Irregular Periods in Females
An average menstrual cycle usually is about 28 days, although the range for a normal menstrual cycle is between 21 and 35 days with bleeding lasting for approximately five days. This textbook definition of menstruation may not apply to all women, who typically by their 40s or 50s know what a normal cycle is for their bodies.
Irregular periods in females are periods that deviate from a woman's typical menstrual experience. These irregular periods can be characterized by cycles that last much longer or much shorter than normal, unusual amounts or frequency of bleeding, or bleeding between periods. These irregularities often begin sporadically before becoming increasingly frequent.
Causes of Irregular Periods in Females
Irregular periods in females can be caused by one of several things. Fluctuating hormone levels are the most common reasons because the hormones dictate the menstrual cycle. Irregular periods are often experienced by menopausal women, in their 40s and 50s, who are in the process of stopping menstruation and fertility. Other causes of irregular periods in females include various health conditions or lifestyle triggers. Even most of these occur because of a hormonal imbalance. These healthy conditions and lifestyle triggers are:
- Eating disorders
- Recent birth
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Uterine abnormalities
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Poor nutrition
- Significant weight change
- Excessive exercise
- Excessive consumption of caffeine and alcohol
- Drug use
Symptoms of Irregular Periods in Females
Women who experience irregular periods may notice any or many of the following symptoms of irregular periods. These are:
- Infrequent or too frequent periods
- Abnormal duration of bleeding
- Changes in blood flow
- Painful cramping
- Completely missed periods
More Information about Irregular Periods
Women who experience irregular periods and are seeking for treatments, they should know that they have many options and these are divided into the following categories:
- Lifestyle changes
- Alternative medicine
Women before choosing any treatment, they should talk to their doctor first to find the best solution for their irregular periods.
- BMJ Group. "Menopause: What is it?" Patient Leaflet. 2007
- Hutchinson, Susan M.D. "The Stages of a Woman's Life: Menstruation, Pregnancy, Nursing, Perimenopause, Menopause". November 2007.
- Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.