What is an irregular period?
The average woman’s menstrual cycle lasts four to seven days. Normal menstrual cycles can last anywhere from 21 to 35 days, but a woman typically gets her period every 28 days.
What is a late period?
An egg is discharged from one of your ovaries during ovulation during a typical menstrual cycle. Changes in hormone levels alert your body to release the blood and tissues that line your uterus if the egg is not fertilized by a sperm.
Normally, this bleeding lasts for five days. After that, the monthly cycle repeats.
But some women experience what is known as abnormal uterine bleeding, which is another name for irregular periods. Stress and lifestyle choices, as well as more significant underlying medical disorders, can all contribute to abnormal uterine bleeding.
What causes a missed period, late period, or irregular period?
You may experience an irregular, missed, or late period for a variety of reasons, from stress to more serious medical concerns.
Period irregularities are frequently brought on by:
- Uncontrolled diabetes – If you have uncontrolled diabetes, your menstrual cycle may be thrown off by the interaction of your blood sugar levels and hormones.
- Eating disorders – People who suffer from eating disorders like bulimia or anorexia may experience irregular or skipped periods. This is because not enough hormones are being produced and circulated by your body to regulate your menstrual cycle.
- Hyperprolactinemia: Women who have excessive levels of the protein hormone prolactin in their blood may experience irregular menstrual cycles.
- Medication – Some medicines, such as anti-epileptics and antipsychotics, might result in irregular menstrual cycles.
- Incorrect sex hormone levels are the root cause of PCOS, which can cause irregular menstruation.
According to the National Institutes of Health, women who have POF experience ovarian failure before the age of 40. However, some of these women still experience irregular periods from time to time.
- Stress – Stress hormones can impact menstruation, and persistent stress can make it such that you either miss or delay your period.
How are irregular menstrual (period) cycles diagnosed?
Keep a detailed record of when your period starts and finishes, the amount of flow, and whether or not you pass significant blood clots if your menstrual cycle has changed in any way. Menstrual cramps or pain, bleeding between periods, and other symptoms should also be noted.
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Your medical history and menstrual cycle will be discussed with your doctor. He or she will conduct a physical examination, which can include a Pap test and a pelvic exam. The following tests, among others, may be requested by the doctor:
- Blood tests are used to check out anemia and other medical conditions.
- Cultures taken from the vagina to check for infections
- A pelvic ultrasound examination to look for ovarian cysts, polyps, or uterine fibroids
- To identify endometriosis, hormonal imbalances, or malignant cells, a sample of tissue from the uterine lining is extracted during an endometrial biopsy.
A gynaecologist will be able to identify the reason for your irregular menstrual cycles and work with you to create the most effective treatment strategy.
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