Almost every woman will experience an irregular period at some point in her life. Irregular periods are annoying, but they are relatively normal, especially during menopause. Read on to find out more about irregular periods.
When Is a Period Irregular?
A normal period lasts anywhere from three to seven days and usually occurs around the same time every month. An irregular period is when bleeding happen outside this time or when there is a noticeable change in flow.
Some women may suffer from irregular periods, but with guidance from their doctors, they may take prescribed medications that prevent menstrual irregularities.
What Causes Irregular Periods?
There are many causes of irregular periods. The primary reason for irregular periods is hormonal imbalance. The following are common causes of hormonal imbalance:
- Menopause. During menopause, estrogen and other hormones are fluctuating, which often causes irregular periods.
- Stress. Stress can cause irregular periods and sometimes even contribute to early menopause. It is a good idea to reduce stress as much as possible.
- Diet. Alcohol, tobacco, sugar, and other harmful substances can affect the body negatively and produce irregular periods.
- Birth control pills. Some doctors recommend birth controls pills to prevent irregular periods, especially during adolescence.
Treatments for Irregular Periods
In order to improve irregular periods, is important to keep track of when you are menstruating. You may want to mark the dates on a calendar or write them in a personal journal. It is key to note anything out of the ordinary, such as changes in severity of bleeding or cramping and fluctuations in the length or dates of your period.
As always, exercise and a healthy diet are important. Exercise keeps the body and mind fit while relieving stress. Making lifestyle changes such as eating healthy foods and avoiding alcohol and tobacco can have a significant effect.
Some alternative medicines have been known to work for some women. Many times, natural supplements are low-risk and can be taken alongside prescribed medications. You should always ask your doctor, though, before taking a new supplement.
If you have had irregular periods and bleeding for more than three consecutive months or feel that something is wrong, you should talk to your doctor. For more information on treatments for irregular periods, click on the links below.
- Love, S. (2003). Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press.
- National Health Service UK. (2015). Irregular periods. Retrieved January 13, 2016, from http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Periods-irregular/Pages/Introduction.aspx