Periods are different for every woman. For some, they are regular. For others, they are unpredictable. The average woman gets her period every 24 to 38 days. It usually lasts between two and eight days. Do you have an irregular period -- and if so, does it warrant treatment?
What's an Irregular Period?
Periods may be irregular if:
Each period starts at a different time
Blood loss during a period is greater or lesser than usual
Your period lasts for a variety of days
A variety of factors can cause an irregular period. Your period can become irregular if your body's levels of estrogen and progesterone fluctuate. Due to this, young girls experiencing puberty and women approaching menopause often experience irregular periods.
Irregular periods can also be caused by:
The use of an intrauterine device (IUD)
Use of certain medications or changes in birth control pills
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
Pregnancy or breastfeeding
Hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism
Treatment Of Irregular Period
Generally, irregular periods don't require treatment unless they bother you or you need treatment for another condition that affects your menstrual cycle.
Women with irregular periods are often affected by PCOS and hypothyroidism. The goal of treatment is to restore hormone balance in the body. In the case of PCOS, your doctor may prescribe birth control pills or other hormones to kick-start your period. You may need to take thyroid hormones if you have hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).
The following may also be helpful:
Making a change in birth control pills.
Your doctor may recommend another type of birth control if you still have irregular periods after 3 months of hormonal birth control.
Overexertion can lead to changes in a woman's period. Exercise should be done in a correct way under the guidance of a well-trained and professional person. Otherwise, over-exertion due to an unguided workout may lead to irregular periods. If stress is the problem, learning how to manage it and seeing a counselor may be helpful. A drastic change in your weight can affect your period. Weight gain makes it harder for your body to ovulate, so losing weight might help. However, extreme, sudden weight loss can also cause infrequent or irregular menstruation.
(HT). The imbalanced hormones often cause an irregular menstrual cycle. Doctors often prescribe birth control pills containing estrogen and progesterone for irregular periods. In women who don't get periods, progestin can be used to trigger them.
Scarring or structural problems in the uterus (womb) or fallopian tubes can lead to irregular periods. You may need surgery to correct structural problems or birth defects, especially if you want to have children in the future.
You may be able to regulate your period by making lifestyle changes such as regular exercise and weight loss. Extreme weight loss in a very short period of time and intense and unguided workouts may lead to irregular periods.
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