Irregular periods are confusing. What are the criteria to confirm that you’re having irregular periods and if you are, why are you having them? Should you be concerned that your periods are irregular? There are many reasons why a woman’s menstruation might be abnormal; some are serious and others aren’t. To ease your mind, let’s talk about irregular menstruation because Eagle’s Landing OB/GYN can help.
What Is an Irregular Period?
Every woman is different so before you worry that your periods are irregular, check with your mother and grandmothers to see about their periods. Perhaps you only menstruate every 35 days because your mom did. Yes, on average a woman should expect to have a period every 28 days. However, if you are menstruating anywhere from every 21 to 35 days, your periods are normal. Anything outside that range is considered irregular. If you menstruate for longer than 20 days, your menstruation is also irregular.
What Makes My Period Irregular?
As we mentioned briefly above, there are things that aren’t concerning that can cause you to have irregular periods and there are things that are concerning. For example, some women suffer from irregular menstruation because they have an underlying medical condition. The most common medical issues that cause irregular periods are pelvic inflammatory disease, polycystic ovary syndrome, and pituitary gland or thyroid disorders. Pre-menopause can also cause irregular periods.
Pre-menopause, also called perimenopause, is not a disease; it’s just the natural progression from your child-bearing years to your non-child-bearing years. Other non-disease issues that cause irregular periods include chronic anxiety or stress; over-exercising, which can actually stop your period; eating disorders or malnutrition that causes you to be underweight; age, i.e. perimenopause and then menopause; and hormonal forms of birth control. These things can also upset your periods.
When Should I Worry?
We are here for you if you’re concerned no matter what, but things that should cause you and us concern include
- Bleeding heavily for long durations
- Missing your regular periods
- Abnormally short periods
- Severe discomfort and cramping
- Bleeding between your normal cycles
- Abnormally painful breasts
- Vomiting or diarrhea during your period
None of these things are normal and warrant further examination. This doesn’t necessarily mean bad news, however, so don’t panic. We’ll get to the bottom of your period issues.
Call Eagle’s Landing OB/GYN at 770-474-1919 to set up an appointment. Our medical offices are in Stockbridge, GA, and we’d be happy to help you with your menstruation concerns.