They are a common symptom of menopause, as they occur when the body is preparing for the cessation of the menstrual cycle. They are characterized as menstruation that is different from your usual cycle. They can be irregular in a number of ways, and vary from woman to woman. They can be irregular in length, in frequency, in the amount of bleeding, and in the symptoms that accompany them.
Read on to find out more about irregular periods, what to expect, and how to monitor and deal with them.
As you approach menopause, you may experience irregularities in the length of your periods. Typically, bleeding lasts between 2-5 days. However, when having menopausal irregular periods, it might s less than you usual cycle. Note any changes in length in a dairy, so that you can keep track on your periods.
When your body is experiencing irregular periods, it is likely that you will have some variation in frequency. They may appear to stop, only to start again. Menopause is defined as the moment 12 months after your last period; it is important to record the frequency of your period, so that you are aware of when it may arrive.
It is likely that your bleeding a pattern will change in the run up to menopause. It may be unexpectedly heavy or light. Irregularities are caused by fluctuations in hormones that control the menstrual cycle. Irregularities in bleeding can be irritating to deal with; make sure you carry the necessary feminine hygiene products with you to handle unexpected bleeding.
You may experience monthly abdominal pain,mood swings, or sleep or concentration problems. You may find it useful to keep a symptom diary, so that if symptoms become severe, your doctor will be able to offer a solution.
An irregular period is any menstruation that differs from your usual cycle. As everyone's cycle is different, your experience of irregular periods is likely to be different to anyone else. Irregular periods are a completely normal symptom of menopause, and are nothing to worry about.
If you have any concerns regarding irregularities in your period, talk to your doctor. Click the following link for more information on irregular periods treatments.
- 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.
- BMJ Group. "Menopause: What is it?" Patient Leaflet. 2007