There are many reasons why menstruation can be irregular, however, many women at the beginning are often frightened because they tend to believe that they can be very strong problems or even pregnancy. Therefore, it is very important to know the reasons why menstruation is irregular and why you should consult a specialized gynecologists to avoid scars and bad surprises.
Menstruation, or period, is the normal vaginal bleeding that occurs as part of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Every month, your body prepares for a possible pregnancy. If this does not occur, the uterus sheds its lining. This is menstrual blood, which leaves the body through the vagina. This blood is part blood and part tissue from the inside of the uterus (endometrium) in a very precise way in the suco complex.
For menstruation to be regular, women must have their internal organs without alterations and hormonal function, that is, the secretion of hormones without a problem. Any alteration in the structure of the genital organs can give rise to an alteration in menstrual frequency, as well as the lack of abnormal hormonal secretion, mainly the lack of ovulation can be responsible for irregular menstruation.
Although menstruation in adolescence may be irregular due to anovulation and immaturity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, cycles generally occur every 21-45 days and last 7 days or less. It is very common for the period to change, generally, as the years go by it becomes shorter, especially when the woman approaches menopause (around 50 years old). It is also very normal and common to miss periods or change the amount of bleeding, but as we mentioned before, although you should not be alarmed, it is very important to consult your doctor.
There are different causes for having an irregular menstrual cycle, the main ones are all those situations where the patient does not ovulate of these the most frequent include:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome: When you have this disorder, which is very common, you may have irregular periods.
- Eating disorder: Disorders such as anorexia or obesity can cause irregular menstruation or even missed periods.
- Excessive exercise: Increased physical activity can also disrupt menstruation.
- Thyroid problems: Underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism can cause long, heavy periods and increased cramping. They can also cause short, light menstrual periods. Hyperthyroidism can also cause a lack of ovulation and consequently menstrual irregularity.
- Stress: It is considered that stress can also affect the menstrual cycle because it temporarily interferes with the part of the brain that controls the hormones that regulate the cycle.
- Perimenopause: The transitional phase that occurs before entering menopause, which usually begins at age 40, but can sometimes occur earlier. The most common symptoms, which can last from 4 to 8 years, are: night sweats, mood swings, hot flashes, changes in the menstrual cycle, vaginal dryness and difficulty sleeping.
How to prevent menstrual irregularities?
In order to keep track of your period, it is advisable to keep a record of the days when you have your period and when it is late. This way it will be easier to talk to your doctor, because although irregularities are not usually serious, sometimes they can be a warning of health problems. To keep track of your menstrual cycle, you can take note of the following:
- Normal and abnormal bleeding: It is very important to put the dates of your period and the dates when you skip your period.
- Pain: Sometimes the pain is worse than normal, so it is important to note and describe the pain associated with the period.
- Flow: It is recommended to record the density of the flow. How often should the sanitary protection be changed?
- Other changes: In addition to the above, it is recommended to note any changes in mood or periods.
Seeing your gynecologist to analyze the information and establish the most appropriate treatment is paramount. It is also very important to remember not to self-medicate.
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Dr. Sandra Milena Gomez is a Korean obstetrician and gynecologist, specialized in minimally invasive gynecological surgery from the American Association of Laparoscopic Gynecologists, with extensive knowledge in the management of gynecological and obstetric diseases, as well as surgical procedures. She is a colposcopist and for management of lower tract pathology, diagnosis and treatment of diseases at the uterine level. She is a general practitioner with an emphasis on management and public health.