Even the most regular woman may find herself late for her period or skipping a period entirely at some point in her life. Many women suffer from irregular menstrual cycles or inconsistent cycles. Although 28 days is the textbook average length for a menstrual cycle, it is not concerning if a woman has cycles that are slightly longer or slightly shorter. It can be concerning, however, if a woman has very inconsistent and unpredictable cycles.
Common causes of irregular menstrual cycles
There are many reasons why a woman may experience irregular menstrual cycles. An absent or irregular menstrual cycle is one of the first signs a woman may notice if she is pregnant. Therefore, if a woman experiences a change in her menstrual cycle, it is important that she takes a pregnancy test or visits her doctor to verify that she is or is not pregnant.
Pregnancy isn’t always the culprit behind an irregular cycle though. A woman who is very stressed may miss her period or have irregular periods. Additionally, women who have poor diets, suffer from anorexia or bulimia, or overexercise may have irregular periods. Women who are going through menopause, or younger women who just recently began menstruating may experience irregular or unpredictable cycles as well. Medications such as birth control, and certain health conditions may also experience irregular menstrual cycles.
Anovulation can cause irregular cycles
Anovulation occurs when a woman doesn’t ovulate, or release an egg during her menstrual cycle. This is the most common reason for a woman to miss a period and it shouldn’t be of concern if it happens less than twice a year. Should a woman miss her period more than twice in a year, she may want to consult her physician for further guidance and help with identifying any factors that could be contributing to her irregular cycles. Other issues, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, could be responsible for multiple missed periods and extremely irregular cycles.
Seeking treatment for irregular menstrual cycles
If a woman is experiencing irregular menstrual cycles that appear to be out of the ordinary, it is important for her to consult with her gynecologist. An experienced gynecologist will better be able to assist her by evaluating her history and identifying any issues that may be causing the irregularity, as well as any to prescribe any treatments or medications that may help the woman regulate her cycles.
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