10 Causes of Irregular Periods

Is your period irregular? Don't worry. Here are 10 causes of irregular menstural cycles.

Sanaz Majd, MD,
May 4, 2017
Episode #238

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A regular menstrual cycle, although at times quite inconvenient, is a sign of stability and consistency. Women depend on it, whether we realize it or not. So when it’s out of whack, it becomes quite a nuisance—most especially when the irregularity includes more bleeding, rather than less.

Women who skip periods altogether often take a little longer to show up in my office a tad later than those who tend to bleed more. Who wouldn’t mind being bothered less with an inconvenience? By inconvenience, I mean:

·         Heavier flow

·         Longer duration of bleeding

·         Spotting or bleeding in between periods

·         Shorter time span between bleeding

But skipping periods, especially for 3 months or longer at a time, can also be concerning. Women who skip periods can have a greater risk of developing endometrial cancer in their lifetime. So please do not ignore their absence, either.

What Is a “Normal” Period?

But what exactly is considered “normal”? Because there is a huge variation of bleeding, and every woman is different.

Cycle: This reflects the number of days between the first day of bleeding until the first day of your next period. A normal cycle can range anywhere between 21 and 35 days. 

Duration: Normal periods last anywhere between 2 to 7 days. 

Flow: This one is more of a challenge to define. Most women tell me that they go through 4-5 pads or tampons a day on average. However, what is most important is a change from your baseline. If your periods are heavier or lighter than usual, you should report this to your doctor.

Keep reading for 10 causes of irregular periods.


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