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Irregular Periods

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Irregular periods is characterized by disruption of the normal cycle wherein your periods are either delayed, missed or frequent. This condition is medically coined as oligomenorrhoea. Many women experience this regularly and there are several factors that impact your menstruation process.

Symptoms of Irregular Periods

So when does your periods become irregular? Extension of a 23 days cycle to 35 days is not something unnatural but things look complicated when you observe the following symptoms:

  • Skipping periods in alternate months
  • No signs of periods for long gaps-2-3 months or more
  • Frequent periods with shorter cycles
  • Spotting between periods
  • Sudden bleeding that continues for weeks
  • Physical problems associated with irregular periods are:
  • Severe cramping in pelvic region
  • Dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting
  • Loss of appetite or increase in appetite
  • Bloating of body and soreness in breasts
  • PMS symptoms- terrible mood swings and depression

Causes of Irregular Periods

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Irregular periods are consequence of lifestyle changes, alteration in environment, hormonal imbalance and internal health complication also. The causes are explained below:

  • Stress, tension and other emotional problems
  • Eating disorders
  • Excessive weight gain – obesity or weight loss
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Taking contraceptive/ birth control pills
  • Smoking and intake of too much alcohol
  • Breastfeeding
  • Drug addiction or drug abuse
  • Change of environment
  • Over exercise
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Thyroid gland disorders

Diagnosis of Irregular Periods

Physical examination: Diagnosis begins with physical examination of your internal body organs, especially the pelvic organs. As a part of the examination your doctor might also check your breasts, neck, armpits and abdomen.

Hysteroscopy may also be done to view the condition of the uterus.

Tests: If your doctor senses any abnormality, the next step he/she will insist is undergoing blood test or hormonal test to check the functioning of ovaries and thyroid gland. Doctors may also suggest a pregnancy test on skipping periods.

Other tests include MRI and pelvic ultrasound to diagnose abnormalities in the pituitary gland and pelvic organs, respectively. A CT scan may also be done to view the internal organs.

Treatment of Irregular Periods

The treatment is absolutely based on the underlying disorder. Your doctor may suggest the following things:

1.Lifestyle changes  This includes changing bad habits that trigger irregular periods. You need to stop drinking alcohol and smoking and stay in a positive environment. Certain yoga techniques and exercises are also there to normalize periods. Include lots of fruits in your diet and have food in moderation. Stress management is also an effective way to get normal cycles.

2.Hormonal imbalances and thyroid gland disorders are treated with medicines. Periods get become regular with cure of these health disorders.

3.Your doctor may also ask you to change your birth control measures for time being. You can opt for using condoms while have sexual intercourse instead of taking birth control pills.

4.Surgery is the option for treating PCOS and periods normalize once the disorder is treated

When a woman’s periods are irregular, it’s naturally a great deal of botheration for her. And that’s why it’s better to consult with your gynaecologist and follow his/her advice to have healthy menstruation and a happy life.

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Written by: Saptakee sengupta
Date last updated: January 05, 2015