Irregular periods

What is it?

Irregular periods Irregular periods: A menstrual period is considered late if it is 5 or more days overdue

Menstrual cycles vary in length from one woman to another. They may occur at the same time each month or be irregular. Typically, a cycle occurs about once a month, but can be as short as 21 days or as long as 35 days and still be considered normal. Menstrual flow lasts about 3 to 7 days. A menstrual period is considered late if it is 5 or more days overdue according to the usual pattern of periods. A period is considered missed if there is no menstrual flow for 6 or more weeks.

What are the causes?

Irregular periods Irregular periods: Hormonal imbalances could give you irregular periods

A late or missed period could be because of any of the following: Pregnancy This is the most common cause of missed periods. If you have had unprotected sex even once in the past several months, see your doctor for a pregnancy test before you consider any of the other possible causes. Stress is the second most common cause of late or missed periods in teenagers. It could be due to emotional stress or depression. Or it may be physical stress, such as a severe illness, a sexually transmitted infection, rapid weight loss or gain, or strenuous exercise. Dieting or bingeing and purging may interrupt menstrual cycles. Changes in your usual routine, for example, going on a vacation may also cause your period to be late or missed. In teenagers, polycystic ovary syndrome is the most common type of hormone imbalance that affects the menstrual cycle. Polycystic ovaries may cause irregular cycles, increased body hair, acne, and weight gain. Sometimes when you stop taking birth control pills you may have a temporary hormone imbalance and loss of periods. If you are having sex, be sure to use another reliable method of birth control because you could still conceive. Problems of the thyroid gland, pituitary gland, adrenal glands, or ovaries can be rare causes of irregular periods.

What are the symptoms?

Irregular periods Irregular periods: If there are changes in blood flow, or if clots appear it is counted as irregular periods

A menstrual cycle lasts around 28 days, but it can vary from 24 days to 35 days, depending on the individual. Usually, women get their first period at 11 or 13 years of age. Bleeding usually lasts around 5 days, but this can vary, from 2 to 7 days to 11 days.After hitting puberty, most women get regular cycles. For some women, the duration between periods and the amount of blood lost can vary. The main symptom of irregular menstruation is when the cycle is as long as for 35 days. If there are changes in blood flow, or if clots appear it is counted as irregular periods.

What is the treatment?

If irregular periods are caused due to menopause, puberty or birth control contraception, then no treatment as such is needed but it is recommended to consult a doctor. In case of PCOS, weight loss is regarded as the treatment for irregular periods. In cases of thyroid, medications, radioactive iodine therapy or surgery can prove helpful. 

What are the complications?

Missing or irregular period may be the first clue that you have an underlying health condition that needs medical attention. You should also be screened for thyroid disorders and other diseases that may be linked to irregular periods. Women with irregular periods trying to have a baby are seldom prescribed fertility drugs to enhance ovulation. This can be because of PCOD which is an ovarian cyst. 

What is the homecare treatment?

To treat periods at home, you can take unripe papaya. Unripe Papaya helps in the contraction of muscle fibers in the uterus which helps in regulating the menstrual flow. Ginger helps in the regular flow of menstrual blood. Hence one can also take ginger in a boiled form. Consuming turmeric with milk or honey can help as it balances the hormones and increases flow. 2 spoons of cumin can be taken to regulate periods. Aloe Vera helps cleansing the body and regulating hormonal imbalance 

DoctorNDTV Team

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