Menstruation is a process in which shedding of the uterus lining or endometrium takes place. The usual length of a woman’s menstrual cycle on an average is 28 to 35 days. But when there is a heavy variation in this duration, it indicates an irregularity in menses. Although irregularity in the adolescent years and around the time of menopause is a common phenomenon, medical assistance is necessary if it occurs during the reproductive phase of a woman.
Causes of Irregular Menses : Progesterone and estrogen are the two basic hormones responsible for maintaining the menstrual cycle. The body goes through numerous changes during teenage. It can take a few months to years for the levels of estrogen and progesterone to balance out. Therefore, irregularity in periods is common at this age.
Same is the case with menopause. When a woman is in the menopausal age, the amount of bloodshed and the duration of the menstrual cycle can vary.
Contraceptives are another reason why some women experience irregular periods. Pills can lead to spotting whereas IUDs (Intra Uterine Devices) can lead to heavy bleeding.
Some other factors that are associated with an irregularity in menses are:
- Endurance exercises such as heavy workouts in gym and athletics
- Anorexia, bulimia or any other eating disorder
- Excessive stress
- Sudden weight gain or weight loss
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
- Poor lifestyle choices such as smoking, drug abuse or excessive drinking
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Symptoms : The best way to determine any irregularity in the menstrual cycle is to use a tracker. Carefully examine the gap between each period. If it is based on a pattern and is similar, you have nothing to worry about. The second factor to take into account is the amount of bloodshed. If you encounter changes in the flow of blood or clotting occurs, then it’s time to seek medical advice. If the cycle exceeds 35 days or there are too many variations in the duration, it indicates irregularity.
Treatment : In case of irregular menses, treatment is provided by carefully scrutinizing the cause.
- Eliminating Stress
Stress is responsible for causing a massive disturbance in the production of hormones. Exercising proper stress management techniques can help in balancing out the hormones, thus, improving the regularity of periods.
- Changes In Lifestyle
If you are a smoker or a person with a drinking problem, it has to be brought under check immediately. Adopting a healthy lifestyle can be extremely beneficial in such cases.
- Hormonal Therapy
A Hormonal Therapy involves the regulation of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone which are responsible for maintaining the menstrual cycle.
This is often the last resort when none of the other treatments seem to work. A surgery can be performed to remove blockages in the fallopian tubes.