Although we would like it to, we as women know that our bodies don’t always work on our time. From issues with fertility, bodily issues and more we deal with a lot. Not mentioning dealing with society’s pressure to be ‘perfect’ in spite of. Today, I wanted to provide insight on irregular menstrual cycles, what defines them, causes them and most importantly what to do once you find out your cycle is irregular.
The average length of a Menstrual Cycle is around 28 – 35 days, with menstrual bleeding lasting between 3 – 7 days. Keep in mind that what is a normal or average period for one person, can be experienced completely different by another.
What defines an irregular period?
Irregular timing between each cycle
Abnormal blood loss (too much or too little)
Your period doesn’t last for the same amount of days
What causes this?
There are many factors that contribute to an irregular cycle. The first one being a change in your hormones (estrogen and progesterone to be exact). This is why ladies who are going through puberty and menopause experience irregular cycles. According to WebMD, other factors include stress, breastfeeding and too much exercise. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) as well as hypothyroidism are also issues that can affect your cycle.
Lifestyle changes can also cause a huge effect on your menstrual cycle. The important part is to listen to your body. If you can pinpoint exactly what changes caused you to have issues with your cycle, it’s a lot easier to adjust.
What should I do if my cycle is irregular?
See A Doctor
If you are used to having a normal cycle and all of a sudden it becomes irregular, scheduling an appointment with your doctor is always the best option. Medically trained, they can help you to see if an ovulation problem or health condition is the cause.
Exercise and Eat Healthy
If you notice that stress is one of the reasons behind why your cycle is irregular, pay attention to how you are treating your body. What you feed yourself and how often you exercise can help tremendously in reducing stress. A minimum of 30 minutes of exercise a day can make all the difference. Studies have shown that yoga, pilates, and visualization are extremely helpful with minimizing stress.
Take A Pregnancy Test
Of course, if you miss a period and you’re not used to having an irregular cycle, taking a pregnancy test may be the best bet. This helps to automatically rule out the possibility of an irregular cycle.
Overall, it’s important to listen to your body. Also, please keep in mind, this blog speaks to an irregular cycle, meaning that your period is slightly late, heavier/lighter or shorter than usual. If you miss more than three periods, bleeding is a lot heavier than normal, or if you just feel as if something isn’t right. ALWAYS be sure to consult with your doctor.