Periods vary widely from woman to woman. Many may be punctual every 28 days, a textbook period occurs every 24-29 days but anything from 24-38 days is average with the period itself lasting 2-8 days. So ‘regular periods’ are really what is regular to you, and so ‘irregular periods’ may be irregular for you but not for the next woman. However most women are likely to suffer irregular period problems at some point in their reproductive life. When the menarche starts ( around age 12), a young girls periods can be irregular for a while and at the start of the menopause, periods will become more irregular over a period of time before they stop. It can be a complicated process to define the exact reason for your periods to become irregular. Mr Penman takes a special interest in issues with periods, including irregular periods and heavy periods.
Irregular period problems are likely to be if:
→The time between periods changes from what has been a routine length.
→Losing more blood/ less blood during your period than is normal.
→The number of days that the period lasts varies significantly.
Causes of Irregular Periods:
There are many reasons for your periods to become irregular, some of them are listed below.
→Significant weight loss or significant weight gain
→Over exercising – Exercise induced amenorrhoea.
→Poor diet ( bad nutrition including a diet too rich in carbohydrates)
→Banned drug use
→Polycystic ovary syndrome(PCOS)
→Excessive alcohol abuse ( interferes with how the liver metabolises progesterone and oestrogen)
→Anorexia type eating disorders with extreme low weight.
→Uterine abnormalities such as fibroids, cysts, endometriosis.
→Peri-menopause – hormonal imbalances
→Childbirth, miscarriage, D&C
→Medication such as the oral contraceptive pill
Different Types of Irregular Bleeding
Irregular bleeding take take different forms. It may be that there is a prolonged cycle such as occurs when suffering from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) so menstrual bleeding occurring very infrequently with prolonged cycles of over 35 days. This will lead to periods of amenorrhoea( absent bleeding). Bleeding may suddenly become much heavier, with clots, or the complete opposite, with very light bleeding, almost a non-period. Each type of irregular bleeding may have a wide variety of causes which need to be investigated.
Treatment of Irregular Menstrual Problems
Treatment for irregular periods depends upon the cause. Mr Penman will use your history, blood tests and ultrasound scanning to diagnose the cause for your irregular bleeding, this can then be treated in various ways, if indeed it requires treatment.
For example : If your irregular periods are due to lack of ovulation (annovulation), this can be treated in different ways depending on whether you are wanting to get pregnant or just want cycle control. Mr Penman has longstanding experience in managing and treating irregular period due to annovulation. He is experienced in managing patients who wish to become pregnant but whose irregular anovulatory cycles are preventing this. For more information on this please go to the page on infertility. Or it may be that you have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome as a reason for your lack of periods. For more information on this please refer to the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome page.
It may be that your irregular bleeding is due to the start of the menopause, that you are peri-menopausal. Menopause is classed as not having menstrual bleeding for over a year. For more information on this, please refer to the menopause page.
If you would like to make an appointment to see Mr Penman and discuss your worries regarding irregular menstrual problems, please either go to the Gynae Appointment Booking page or the contacts page and call today for an appointment. Mr Penman is happy to see you without a GP referral letter, but if you plan to use your private medical insurance, you will need to be referred by your GP.