The normal frequency of menstrual cycle for a healthy woman is 28 days. It is considered irregular if the cycle exceeds 35 days. Periods is a natural body process where the lining of the uterus called endometrium is shed concuring to bleeding from the vagina. Irregular periods can also mean that there could be infrequency in the ovulation.
It is quite usual during puberty i.e. 10 years to 16 years and at the time of menopause which is between 45 years to 55 years not to have regular periods. But irregular periods during the reproductive years shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Irregular periods can occur if there is a change in the contraceptive method or hormonal imbalance.While bleeding from the vagina normally last for 5 days,it is considered irregular if there is blood clots bigger than 2.5 centimetre or incase the menstrual cycle exceeds 35 days.
Many external reasons can also cause irregular periods.The use of contraceptives have caused small and infrequent bleeding and the usage of intrauterine device have also resulted in heavy bleeding.Extreme weight loss as well as weight gain, emotional stress,endurance excercise,eating disorder such as anorexia and bulimia are also said to have affected the menstrual cycle and flow.
Irregular periods can also mean internal health problems which could possibly lead to infertility issues.Polycystic ovarian syndrome ( PCOS) are condition in which small fluid filled sacs known as cyst develop in ovaries.A woman with PCOS doesn’t ovulate and can’t release eggs every month.A woman who suffers with PCOS are least likely to have regular periods and they usually have high level of male sex hormones i.e androgen or testosterone which may cause obesity,acne and excessive hair growth in the body.
Thyroid disorder would also lead to irregular periods.Cervical,uterine,womb cancer can also cause bleeding between periods and during sexual intercourse.Endometriosis is a condition where the endometrial cells that normally grows inside the uterus are sprung out of the uterus.Although it isn’t cancerous, it is most likely to affect the child-bearing ability of the affected women. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of the female reproductive system leading to sexually transmitted infections ( STI) and can be treated with antibiotics if detected during early stage.
A regiment which include regular exercises to maintain appropriate weight, a stress-free lifestyle coupled with a healthy diet are the essential precautions one need to take in order to prevent irregular periods and its serious complications.Irregular periods during the reproductive time is a serious health issue and medical attention should be given at the earliest.