An irregular cycle is not uncommon. Around 70% of women, especially those approaching menopause, experience them.
Irregular periods can be both worrying and discomforting. Spotting, light menstruation, and bleeding between periods can all put stress on your body. There are; however, several useful remedies out there, and it's important to find the correct one for you.
What Is an Irregular Period?
Irregular menstrual cycles have a number of causes. These can include puberty, menopause, pregnancy, and stressful circumstances that can change the hormone levels.
A regular menstrual cycle typically lasts between 21 and 35 days while bleeding can last anywhere from 3 to 7 days. You can keep track of your periods by noting the first day of your last period and the first day of the next to help determine if your period is irregular. It is recommended that you do this for a few months to get an accurate reading. You are the only one that knows your body and can detect if something is abnormal.
Causes of Irregular Periods
Infections, menopause, and pregnancy are all reasons why women have irregular periods. Hormone levels, lack of exercise, and poor diet are tied together and could cause the problem. Below are some common causes.
- Alcohol and cigarettes are also known to affect menstrual cycles.
- Stress. If you are fatigued, worried, or anxious this can cause your hormones to become unbalanced.
- Diet. An unhealthy diet, or extreme weight loss or gain will cause shifts in your body.
- Exercise. Be careful to not overdo it. Excessive exercising can put physical stress on the body.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can also cause irregular menstrual cycles and are usually accompanied by extreme pain, excessive bleeding, hair growth, and many other symptoms.
Depending on the cause of a woman's irregular cycle, there are several available remedies.
Treatments for Irregular Periods
Exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding alcohol can greatly help a woman's body to become healthier and function properly.
There are many medications which can also add hormones to the body to make up for the loss. There are also some natural remedies that work to activate your body and encourage it to produce these hormones on its own.
If you suffer from extreme pain, discomfort, or abrupt changes to your menstrual cycle you should consult your doctor. Your doctor can help you choose which treatment works best for you.
- 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