What are irregular menstrual cycles or irregular menstrual periods?
Women’s bodies are constantly changing, and every once in a while, every woman suspects that her menstrual cycle is abnormal for one reason or another. The periods are usually irregular during the first two years of menstruation. This is because the body is still balancing hormone levels. The other most common cause of a rough period is pregnancy.
If, for any reason, your period is irregular, you should contact your health care provider.
If you are not pregnant, we list these other common causes of an irregular menstrual period:
- Although low body weight is a frequent cause of absent or irregular periods, excessive weight loss, or weight gain, obesity can also cause nonregular menstrual problems.
- The eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia
- Increased exercise: absent periods are standard in endurance athletes.
- Emotional stress
- Hormonal problems: this can cause a change in the levels of hormones that the body needs to support menstruation.
- Use of illegal drugs
- Problems with the pelvic organs, such as imperforate hymen, polycystic ovarian syndrome, or Asherman syndrome
- Breastfeeding: Many women do not resume regular periods until they have completed breastfeeding.
Therefore, if your menstrual cycle is irregular, how can you know when you are about to get your period? Here are some clues that your body can give you, according to the National Institutes of Health:
- Cramps or stiffness in the back
- Heavier breasts or chest pain
- Acne breakouts
- Disturbed sleep patterns
- Mood changes
“In addition, women may find that their menstrual cycle before menopause is changing,” says Joseph G. Grover, MD, chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Delaware Memorial Hospital. “Women can experience menstrual changes related to their age in their 30s.”
Some of the changes that women can experience are:
- A change in periods – shorter or longer, lighter or heavier, with more or less time between periods
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Difficulty to sleep
- Vaginal dryness
- Mood changes
- Problems to concentrate
- Less hair on the head, more on the face.