What are irregular cycles?
On average, a woman has her period every 24-38 days. This time frame can vary from person to person, but if the cycle is quite a bit shorter or longer or if the duration varies, it’s considered irregular.
Bleeding also typically lasts between three and nine days. If you have bleeding that’s much shorter or longer, your cycle is also considered irregular. Heavy bleeding or spotting between cycles is also a possible cause for concern.
What causes irregular cycles?
It’s normal to have some irregularity when you first start menstruating and in the years before menopause. A woman’s period usually begins between the ages of 10 and 16 and continues until menopause, which usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55.
Irregular cycles that occur outside of puberty and menopause may indicate a gynecological condition like:
- Irregular ovulation
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Uterine fibroids
- Uterine polyps
- Endometrial cancer
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Hormone imbalances
Stress, eating disorders, certain medications, endurance exercise, and thyroid disorders may also disrupt your menstrual cycle. If you’ve recently changed your method of contraception or had a baby, you might experience some cycle irregularity, too.
What is the treatment for irregular cycles?
Treatment depends on the underlying cause of your irregular cycles. If you’re experiencing issues with your period, your provider at Poplar Avenue Clinic determines the cause with blood work, a diagnostic ultrasound, and a hysteroscopy to examine your uterus.
Irregular cycles can interfere with fertility, as the lack of a period suggests you’re not ovulating, or releasing an egg, regularly. The providers may recommend specific treatments to help you ovulate if you’re trying to get pregnant.
If lifestyle issues, like extreme exercise or a mental health issue, are causing your irregular cycles, the doctors can refer you to a qualified specialist to help you manage the problem.
If you have a hormone imbalance, such as PCOS, your provider may recommend certain birth control methods to regulate your cycle. Fibroids, endometriosis, and uterine polyps often require minimally invasive surgery to restore normality to your cycle.
If you’re experiencing irregular cycles, it’s important to consult with the qualified team at Poplar Avenue Clinic. Call today or use the online tool to schedule an appointment.