The menstruation cycle in a normal, healthy woman is about 28 days, but, there is no hard and fast rule. Some get their periods right on time while others can face a delay or before time. The term menorrhagia is for women suffering from prolonged or abnormal menstruation cycle. Amy Autry, MD, a clinical professor of obstetrics-gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of California, San Francisco states that “At least 30 percent of women have abnormal periods during their childbearing years,”Usually considered it normal, abnormal periods can lead to alarming health issues such as hormonal imbalance, deficiencies and anaemia.
The abnormal menstruation cycle means if your periods occur more often, like every 21st day or menstruation cycle. Therefore, it is significant to keep a check on your menstruation cycle and seek continue for beyond 8 days. Furthermore, delayed or missed periods for months is also an irregular medical help immediately if required. Now, the key rule is to begin counting from the last day of your previous menstruation cycle and stop at the first day of coming cycle. Make sure you repeat this process for at least three months.
A menstrual cycle can vary from 21 days to 35 days at max. Bleeding period, on the other hand, ranges from 2 to 7 days. A prominent symptom of the irregular period is when cycle exceeds 35 days or for three months (in case if you are not pregnant). Irregular blood flow and clotting are common symptoms of irregular periods.
The below factors lead to abnormal periods:
- Hormonal imbalance:
Hormonal Imbalance is the most common issue among women. Puberty, pregnancy, childbirth, menopause and breastfeeding are the common issues resulting in irregular periods, and during these phases, hormonal imbalance is often noticed. Hormonal imbalance is commonly categorized by symptoms such as; unexplainable weight loss or weight gain, depression and anxiety, digestive issues, facial hair growth, acne, breast tenderness, decreased libido, PMS and mood swings, abnormal menstrual cycle etc.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS):
PCOS leads to tiny crystallization on the ovaries, thus interfering in the ovulation process. It often leads to irregular periods, leading to infertility. PCOS can prompt the chances of heart disease and diabetes. Polycystic ovary syndrome is a result of excessive production of androgens, which is essentially a male hormone. This causes hormonal imbalances in the body, leading to development of various symptoms such as; irregular periods, heavy periods, excessive facial hair, acne, pelvic pain, mood swings and depression, difficulty in conceiving, hair loss or hair thinning etc. The precise cause of PCOS is unknown. PCOS can be managed by making certain diet and lifestyle changes, and using certain medications. Clomifene, for example, is a drug that favors ovulation. As ovulation is drastically decreased or otherwise non-existent in women with PCOS, this medication can be helpful.
- Excessive weight loss:
An extreme workout can disturb the periods timing, or even stop, that’s why you must have heard athletes missing their periods. An underweight woman (due to any reason like workout or dieting) can lead to irregular periods
Medicines of any kind, such as anti-inflammatory or birth control pills (contraceptive pills) can result in abnormal or no periods. Therefore, abnormal periods with birth control pills have often complained. Birth control pills or IUDs are supposed to give you less heavy irregular periods that are not supposed to trouble you. However, irregular period cycle has been reported in women. It is also given to ease the pain associated with menstruation, also known as endometriosis. Warfarin is an anticoagulant, known to prevent formation of clots. However, it thins your blood and increases chances of bleeding. Thus it is possible to alter your period cycles. Other drugs include antidepressants, anti-epileptics, thyroid medications, NSAIDs etc.
Stress and anxiety have a direct influence on the hormones. They can easily trigger a hormonal imbalance leading to irregular menstrual cycle. So amongst the many causes of irregular periods, stress also plays a major role.
PCOS and other complications due to irregular periods:
- An Abnormal or missed periods is a serious issue that needs quick medical attention, it can lead to serious consequences such as infertility. According to Amy Autry, “If you have consistently irregular periods, you should be evaluated for PCOS. It affects up to 10 percent of women of reproductive age.” A woman suffering from PCOS is unable to release an egg monthly as she does not ovulate. Some of the obvious symptoms are weight gain, acne and extreme hair growth, analyzing the report of the Office on Women’s Health at the United States Department of Health and Human Services, PCOS attacks between 10 percent of women reproductive age.
- If you are trying to conceive and you’re facing irregular periods, then you must seek urgent medical help. Go through some necessary tests to check your monthly ovulation, because women who are not ovulating require fertility medicines to get pregnant.
- A disease where cells developing inside the uterus grow outside it this medical condition is called Endometriosis. It usually sticks a woman during her childbearing years. Here it is important to notice that these cellular growths are not cancerous, but can be painful and lead to complications including infertility.
- You must keep a check on thyroid and other medical issues as they can also play a role in abnormal periods.
This magical food works wonder for irregular menstruation cycle. Rich in Vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, copper and manganese, ginger helps in reducing period’s pain as well. Boil 2 teaspoons of grounded ginger in a cup of water for 10 minutes and take this brew 4 times a day until achieving your goal.
Yoga plays a vital role in reducing the anxiety and stress, which are common causes of the irregular menstruation cycle. Breathing exercises and meditation helps in fighting against stress.
An ideal fruit for the period’s cycle is unripe papaya. Known for helping in proper compression of muscle fibers of the uterus, Papaya is recommendable for stress and menopause in irregular periods. Regular intake of can help you fight against irregular periods, however, you should avoid it during periods. Papaya is known to cause abortion, therefore it is mandatory to avoid this fruit during pregnancy.
The natural antiseptic works wonders for irregular menstruation cycle, balancing the hormone level in your body. Moreover, the emmenagogue attribute ensures inciting menstruation, bleeding and period pain relief. Regular intake of turmeric guarantees desired results.
Lastly, the abnormal menstruation cycle is something that needs immediate medical assistance; however, medicines are always available in the market in case these remedies do not work for you.