Irregular Menstrual Cycle
A normal menstrual cycle is 28 days long, give or take a few days on either end—every woman’s body is different. Some women have normal menstrual cycles that are less than 28 days long and some women have longer cycles, but they are consistently regular. An irregular menstrual cycle is characterized by cycles that are longer than 35 days long, and also cycles that greatly vary in duration and/or amount of blood that is shed from cycle to cycle.
Oligomenorrhea, or irregular menstrual cycles, during puberty and menopause are not usually any cause for concern. However, an irregular menstrual cycle during the reproductive years should be addressed and treated. At Dr. Sayyed, we treat irregular menstrual cycles in Chicago women, just get in touch with our friendly staff to make an appointment.
What Causes an Irregular Menstrual Cycle?
Estrogen and progesterone are the two hormones that are responsible for your menstrual cycle. The regular production of these hormones will generate a normal menstrual cycle. Hormonal changes and imbalances will throw the menstrual cycle out of regularity.
Hormone production is influenced by different life stages and cycles. The most noticeable hormone changes occur during puberty, pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and menopause. Irregular menstrual cycles, or no menstruation at all, are all expected and normal during these times.
Hormonal contraceptives such as an intrauterine device (IUD) and the birth control pill can also affect the menstrual cycle.
Irregular menstruation can also be caused by certain lifestyle habits. Your diet is linked to your menstrual cycle and extreme and sudden weight loss or weight gain and eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia can trigger an irregular menstrual cycle.
Endurance exercises such as training for a marathon, for example, can also affect the menstrual cycle’s regularity, as well as significant emotional stress.
Complications from Irregular Menstrual Cycles
An irregular menstrual cycle could be indicative of further medical issues, that if go unaddressed can result in problems with fertility.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), endometriosis, thyroid conditions, and cancer in the cervix or the reproductive organs may all produce irregular periods.
If your menstrual cycle is irregular, you should have it checked out by one of our practitioners at Dr. Sayyed. We provide the best women’s health services in Burr Ridge, La Grange, Hinsdale, Chicago.