ADVENTIST LA GRANGE MEMORIAL HOSPITAL: Are Irregular Periods Normal?
Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital issued the following announcement on Nov. 19.
Every woman is different, and so are our menstrual cycles. Some of us get them like clockwork, while others are a little less predictable. If you’re among the former, it can be disconcerting to experience an irregular period — periods that either happen more frequently than every 21 days, less frequently than every 35 days or last longer than 8 days. But there may not be any reason to worry. “Irregular irregularity” likely has a benign cause. “Regular irregularity,” on the other hand, might indicate a more serious condition. Here is how you can tell the difference:
What Can Cause an Irregular Period?
Several common factors can affect the rhythm of your cycles. Happily, most of them have simple explanations and solutions:
If you’re very young, it can take a few months to a year for your body to settle into a predictable pattern. Likewise, you might experience natural changes in your period schedule as you approach menopause. If you’re in either of these age groups, having an irregular period every now and then is not uncommon.
Exercise, Dieting & Weight Fluctuations
Any extreme changes to your fitness regimen, diet or body weight can contribute to irregular periods. If you’re participating in a boot camp or trying out an intensive new diet, ease back on it and see if your period returns to its normal schedule.
Stress can be the trickiest factor to pinpoint, but in the absence of other causes, consider trying meditation, yoga, tai chi and similar relaxation techniques.
Any changes to your birth control can disrupt your cycles for a few months. If you’ve changed your birth control method and your irregularity persists longer than this, let your OB-GYN know. They might need to modify your birth control regimen.
When to Worry About Irregular Periods
One irregular period every now and then is usually not a cause for concern. However, if your cycle is consistently off-schedule, get evaluated by your OB-GYN to rule out more serious causes, such as:
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
Ectopic pregnancy complications
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
Precancerous and cancerous conditions of uterus
Medical conditions such as thyroid disease
Certain conditions affecting the liver and kidney
Disorders of blood coagulation
If left untreated, many of these conditions can lead to long-term fertility issues and pregnancy complications. Early action can help prevent these dangerous complications.
Treating Irregular Periods
If you’re concerned about the regularity of your menstrual cycle, an easy first step is to keep a written record of your periods (or log them in your phone calendar). This record can help set your mind at ease if it turns out that you’re more regular than you realized. You will also be able to recognize when to take proactive measures. Schedule an appointment with your gynecologist if you experience irregularity over multiple cycles (and if you don’t have a gynecologist, find an AMITA Health OB-GYN near you ).
During your appointment, the OB-GYN will typically review your medical history with you and might perform a pelvic exam or Pap test. If your doctor suspects a more serious condition is affecting your cycles, they might also order additional tests to complete their diagnosis, such as:
The AMITA Health Women’s Health Institute treats the most serious and complex conditions that can affect a woman’s menstrual cycle and long-term wellness, with outpatient OB-GYN centers conveniently located throughout the Chicago area. I hope you will continue to come to us first with any health concern.
Original source can be found here.
Source: Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital