Why Do I Have Irregular Periods?

Although women don't look forward to their periods, their absence or irregularity can create concern and uncertainty.
Why Do I Have Irregular Periods?

Last update: 13 January, 2020

Irregular periods have always caused women a lot of pain and discomfort. However, the worst aspect is the worry about why it’s happening. For this reason, we need to be aware of all the changes in our bodies. We should be able to recognize the signs our body may be sending us, especially regarding our period.

Menstruation is one of the ways we can check that the female reproductive system is in good order. It appears at puberty and ends with menopause.

Your period is where the endometrium lining (the internal part of the uterus) becoming thicker and enriched with blood. When pregnancy doesn’t take place, this excess blood is expelled by the body regularly. This is the only natural vaginal bleeding a woman should experience.

The regular presence of your period is an indication that your body is performing all the hormonal processes correctly and that everything is in order regarding the reproduction process. However, it doesn’t always occur as regularly as it should. This, quite naturally, creates concern, as it’s a clear sign that something isn’t quite right.

What are the characteristics of normal menstruation?

If your period doesn’t fit into the parameters that experts consider to be normal, then you’ll need to see a specialist. They’ll carry out the appropriate examinations and tests.

This is why it’s very important to know the characteristics of a normal menstruation, in order to determine if there is an irregularity in your case:

  • It occurs at intervals of 21 to 35 days (usually 28). Short delays of 48 to 96 hours may occur, which are considered normal.
  • The duration of bleeding should range from 2 to 8 days, and it can vary throughout the year, remaining within these parameters.
  • The amount of bleeding should range from 30 to 80 ml. As long as the loss of blood due to menstruation doesn’t affect a woman’s quality of life, the period is considered to be normal.
Why Do I Have Irregular Periods?

What are the causes of irregular periods?

The main causes of irregular periods are physical. The presence of tumors, myomas, polyps, ovarian cysts or endometrial cancer are problems that can create changes in a woman’s natural bleeding process.

There are also functional causes due to changes in the hormones. Menstruation is regulated by the hypothalamus (a part of the brain), which sends a signal to the pituitary gland, which commands the ovaries to carry out the final process.

As there’s often some irregularity in the above-mentioned process, this may cause changes and problems with menstruation. A curious fact is that when a woman is subjected to strict diets or extreme exercise, it can trigger hormonal changes, and her period may disappear temporarily.

Could irregular periods be dangerous?

When menstrual flow exceeds regular levels, it can be considered a health risk. Every woman knows her body and the normal amount of bleeding she experiences as her period progresses. When it gets too heavy, it can cause low levels of hemoglobin and lead to anemia.

A woman’s body is biologically prepared to compensate for the loss of blood that occurs during the menstrual period, but if the flow is too heavy and not within normal parameters, then the body will send out clear signals. These can be the following, and all of them show that something isn’t right.

  • Muscle fatigue
  • Constant sleepiness
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Pallor

Some women experience bleeding during their periods of 25 days, and even up to 3 months. By not controlling this irregularity in the menstrual period which keeps hemoglobin levels very low, hypovolemic shock can occasionally occur.

This condition occurs when the heart is unable to pump blood out of the body due to low hemoglobin flow. This decrease prevents sufficient oxygen from reaching the brain, and can have serious consequences.

Why Do I Have Irregular Periods?

Is menstrual period irregularity normal during adolescence?

When the menarche, or first menstruation, occurs, the body’s hormones are still maturing, and so some irregularity in the cycle is normal. Generally, it should normalize during the first two years. However, you should see a specialist if you find that the inconsistency persists for a longer period.

In the event of any irregularity in the menstrual period, we should consult our trusted specialist, since this is a clear signal that our body is sending us to tell us that something isn’t working as it should do.

We shouldn’t think it’s serious every time it happens but, just to be sure, we should see a specialist so that they can give us an accurate diagnosis.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.