The duration and regularity of a menstrual cycle varies from woman to woman. While most women follow a routine cycle, some women can plan their year by their cycle. They can track their cycle on a calendar and know exactly which day of every month they will start their period. However, there are also many women who are the opposite of this and cannot plan around their cycles because they never know when they will occur. Irregular periods are a definite inconvenience, but they can also signal that something is not right with the body’s working system.
Irregularly scheduled periods are quite often difficult to tolerate. There may be three weeks between periods one month, followed by a five-week interval the next month, followed by three and a half weeks, and then who knows when the next one will start. Changes in the body’s production of estrogen and progesterone can disrupt the normal pattern of a woman’s cycle. Common hormonal causes of irregular periods include:
- Changing birth control methods (e.g. the pill or an IUD)
- Certain medications
- Too much exercise
- Significant weight loss or weight gain
- Thyroid problems
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Uterine fibroids
In many circumstances, women do not need treatment for irregular periods unless they are extremely bothersome or are caused by another condition. Often times, a hormonal imbalance is the main cause of irregular periods, so doctors often prescribe birth control pills to help regulate a woman’s cycle.
If you are experiencing irregular periods: missing periods, having your period more often than every twenty-one days or less often than every thirty-five days, bleeding extremely heavy, or other unusual symptoms, contact Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A. to schedule an appointment. We provide exceptional women’s care and welcome the opportunity to serve you.