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Are you facing irregular menstrual cycle? What can it lead to? Find all answers here

What to do if your periods are not regular, and what can it lead to? We spoke to Dr. Vijaya Sherbet, Consultant Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Manipal Hospital Hebbal, who gave us in-depth details about the problem we can face if your menstrual cycle is not regular.

Are you facing irregular menstrual cycle? What can it lead to? Find all answers here RCB
Bangalore, First Published Jan 28, 2022, 8:00 AM IST

Most women are likely to experience an irregular period at some point in their life. One can consider themselves to be having irregular periods when the menstruation cycle strays from the regular pattern. The interval between two consecutive periods in the normal human female can vary from 21 to 45 days. A minor variation in cycle length of 5 to 7 days, that is, an interval varying from say 27 to 32 days is not abnormal. Periods may be irregular (usually delayed, occasionally too early). 

Irregular periods can be triggered due to several factors that are broad and varied. Some of the causes include excessive weight, sedentary lifestyle, disturbed thyroid function, high prolactin levels or blood sugar or, rarely due to chronic infections like tuberculosis.

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Irregular periods have been observed prominently in young girls, soon after puberty or through the early teen years, as also in women in their mid to late 40s. Breastfeeding mothers may not menstruate regularly. Women using intrauterine devices like Mirena may have scanty, infrequent periods. 

Are you facing irregular menstrual cycle? What can it lead to? Find all answers here RCB

Some women on oral contraceptive pills to report scanty or absent periodic bleeding; this is usually after use for many months or a few years. Women need not be concerned if they face a couple of irregular periods per year. If one faces any further irregularity, they should see a doctor to be sure an ovulation problem or health condition isn’t the cause. 

If the person is not on contraceptives and not of the age for pre-menopause and if the periods are irregular, she should immediately alert her physician.

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Women whose periods are delayed by physiological causes such as breastfeeding should not worry about irregular periods but be mindful of the possibility of conception despite the irregularity. Stress or short-term anxiety about a specific problem can create havoc with hormone balance, causing a missed period and irregular cycle. 

Also, over-exercising too much can throw off the timing of menstrual bleeding and sometimes stop it too. Persistent irregular periods need investigation by a gynaecologist to check if underlying conditions need treatment.

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