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What To Know About Irregular Menstrual Cycles

There’s nothing to worry about if your menstrual cycle is irregular from time to time. But do you know when you should already be concerned and keep a watchful eye?

The menstrual cycle isn’t always like clockwork. Some women get their periods right on schedule every 28 days, others have difficulty predicting theirs. Irregular cycles usually shouldn’t cause you to be worried, but sometimes they’re telling you that you have a reproductive health problem. 

So, what is considered irregular?

The average menstrual cycle usually lasts 28 days, but it can vary from 21 to 35 days. Irregular bleeding commonly occurs especially when girls first begin menstruation after puberty, but their cycles eventually become more regular and predictable as they grow older. Menstrual bleeding lasts five days on average, but can go from two to seven days.

Periods become irregular if they occur in less than 21 days or more than 35 days apart, or the bleeding lasts longer than seven days. Irregular cycles can also be identified by missed periods, heavier or lighter bleeding than normal, and constant spotting.

To determine the length of your menstrual cycle, count the number of days from the last day of your previous to the first day of your next period. The number of days between each period is the length of your menstrual cycle. Is your cycle consistent or does it seem irregular? If the intervals between your periods vary significantly each month, you may have an irregular cycle.

Then, let’s see what are the causes of irregular periods?

Irregular cycles can be caused by a number of things ranging from stress to underlying medical conditions:

  • Puberty and menopause. It’s normal to experience hormone imbalances for a few years after puberty and before menopause. This can make your menstrual cycle longer or shorter, and your bleeding lighter or heavier.
  • Contraception. Contraceptives can affect the menstrual cycle when you start using a method. Pills can make periods lighter, irregular, or more frequent, while injectables can make some women completely stop menstruating while they’re using the method. The copper IUD can sometimes cause heavier, longer periods. Getting off contraceptives also affect menstruation. Some may experience irregular or missed periods for up to six months. It’s important to note that these side effects do not happen to all women, and they usually last for only the first few months. Give your body some time to adjust to contraception.
  • Pregnancy or breastfeeding. A missed period may be a sign of pregnancy (especially if you had unprotected sex). Breastfeeding can also delay the return of menstruation after giving birth.
  • Lifestyle. Stress, significant amount of weight gain or loss, diet, changes in workout routines, travel, illnesses, or other disruptions to a woman’s daily routine can affect the menstrual cycle.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). When a woman has PCOS, the ovaries produce excessive amounts of androgens (a male hormone) and cause tiny cysts to form on the ovaries. The hormonal changes prevent egg cells from maturing, which interferes with regular ovulation, and result in irregular periods.
  • Thyroid disorders. Although they are rare, they can cause irregular periods. The thyroid gland is located in the neck, and it produces hormones that regulate the body’s metabolism. Menstrual irregularities occur when the blood levels of the thyroid hormone go too low or too high.
  • Other causes. Aside from the factors previously mentioned, other causes that aren’t so common are uterine or cervical cancer, medications such as steroids, pregnancy complications, sexually transmitted infection, diabetes, uterine fibroids, or endometriosis.

So, what do I do if I have irregular periods?

Irregular periods may not always need treatment, but it will depend on the underlying causes. It’s best to consult your healthcare provider if:

  • you have frequent bleeding or spotting between periods or after sex
  • you have severe pain during or before your periods.
  • your periods are unusually heavy, where you need to change your tampon or pad every hour or two, or you have to wear both a pad and a tampon
  • heavy bleeding floods into your bed or through your clothes
  • periods last longer than seven days
  • periods become very irregular after you have had regular cycles.
  • you may need a different contraceptive, or further investigations may be needed to find out whether you have an underlying health condition.

If irregular periods are already affecting your daily activities, it’s best to have it consulted. Your menstrual cycle may be naturally irregular, but it’s also possible that there’s an underlying cause that may need medical attention. If that’s the case, proper diagnosis, and treatment can help put your cycle back on track.

Sources:

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Periods-irregular/Pages/Introduction.aspx

http://www.everydayhealth.com/pms/irregular-periods.aspx

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28 thoughts on “What To Know About Irregular Menstrual Cycles

  1. Hi good morning… mag tatanong lang po sana ako last po na nag karoon ako is june 23 bali irregular po yung menstration ko.. mga ilang days nakaramdam napo ako ng pag susuka kada umaga, pananakit ng dib2x minsan po parang pagod yung katawan ko tapos may time na parang puyat ako na gusto ko lagi matulog tapos may time din na tatakam ako sa mga pagkain pero nag pt naman po ako negative naman po yung result ano po ba dapat gawin… salamat po sa sasagot.

    1. Hi Marivic! Marami po kasing posibleng sanhi ng iyong nararanasan, hindi lamang pagbubuntis ang maaaring magdulot ng mga ganitong sintomas. Kung June 23 po ang huli niyong regla, masyado pong maaaga ang pagkuha niyo ng pregnancy test. Mainam na gawin ang pregnancy test kapag lumipas ang isang linggo mula sa karaniwang araw datnan ka ng regla. Halimbawa: Kung kada-23 ka palaging nireregla, magpregnancy test na sa 30, 31, o 1 kapag hindi ka pa rin dinadatnan.

  2. Hi po nung january 23 2020 po yung first menstruation ko 16 years na po ako 3 days din po tinagal nun pero hanggang ngayon po di pa rin ako nagkakaroon normal pa po ba ito?

    1. Hi Shekinah! Nagdadalaga ka pa lang at ang iyong katawan ay dumadaan pa sa ilang pagbabago sa ganitong edad. Normal para sa mga nagdadalaga tulad mo na hindi pa regular ang regla. Magiging regular rin naman ito pagtanda mo. Kung nangangamba, maaari ring magpunta sa OBGYN para masuri kung normal ba ito o may kondisyon na nagsasanhi dito. Mabuting basahin mo rin ito para sa karagdagang impormasyon: https://doitright.ph/tl/pagdadalaga/

  3. tanong ko lng po,,maaga ksi nag ka mens yung anak ko she is 11 yrs old at almost 2 months n syang delayed at ung pang 3 nya months nya ay puro spots lng normal po ba un??

      1. Hi po tanong ko lang po , lagi po kasi akong delay and kapag nag ‘ka meron naman po ako lumalagpas siya ng seven days,ano po bang ibigsabihin nun?

  4. Hello Po ask Lang Kung bakit Po Hindi pa Po ako nag ka menstruation ngayong buwan I’m only 14th years old po so virgin pa Po ako pero d pa Po ako dinadatnan kinakabahan Po ako

    1. Hi Lj! Normal para sa mga nagdadalaga katulad mo na makaranas ng irregular menstruation dahil ang iyong katawan ay dumadaan pa sa ilang pagbabago. Sa kadalasan, ito ay magiging regular rin kapag ikaw ay tumanda na. May ibang sintomas po bang nararanasan?

  5. Hello po ask ko lang po . Feb 11 ponung last period ko. Then expected date po sana na magkkron ako nung March 11. Pabago bago po kasi cycle ko. Minsan po 28 days, 30 days, then pinaka longest cycle ko po is 35 days, pag 36 days ko po nagkkroon n ko. Di po ako dinatnan nung March 11 upto now. Halos mag eend of month n po. Wala namn pong intercourse n nangyare. Then start po nung March 18 hirap n po ako makatulog usually 12am or 1pm n po ako bago makatulog. Insomnia po yata yun, factor din po b ng pagka delayed yun. Possible po ba na mag missed period n ko this month?

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