What is menstrual irregularity?

In some women, their menstrual cycle is not always regular in nature, with periods being early or being late, and also their periods can vary in terms of how heavy/light they are in each cycle and in terms of how long they last in each cycle.

Menstrual irregularity consultation

At your IPSA Medical clinic, one of IPSA Medical’s female clinicians will see you to undertake your menstrual irregularity consultation. Working at all times with you, and with a holistic approach towards your treatment, she will note your medical history, discussing your current/past lifestyle choices with you, alongside any of your relevant family history. Our peaceful and highly confidential clinical setting is conducive for a thorough examination, and if your IPSA Medical specialist believes there might be an underlying disorder causing your irregular periods, then any of the suggested further investigations will be discussed with you (including, for example, full blood tests) so that your IPSA Medical clinician can fully determine the reason behind your irregular cycle.

How are irregular periods treated at the clinic?

During puberty and also just before you enter the menopause, irregular periods are a common occurrence, so treatment is usually inappropriate. However, following your IPSA Medical consultation, if any treatment is then required, the treatment offered by your IPSA Medical practitioner will be dependent on what is causing your irregular periods.

What is the average menstrual cycle?

Menstrual cycles last anywhere between 24 days and 35 days; the average cycle is 28 days.

After puberty, most women do develop quite a regular menstrual cycle, and the time between periods is usually the same, with a five-day average for menstrual bleeding.

Women’s health: What causes irregular periods?

  • Your lifestyle

The hormonal balance in your body can be altered by lifestyle factors, which then cause irregular bleeding, with stress, extreme forms of exercise and excessive weight loss or gain being the key lifestyle factors at play.

  • Contraceptive use

Using the contraceptive pill or having an intrauterine device (an IUD) have been associated with both spotting and bleeding in-between periods, with painful period cramps and also heavy periods sometimes being attributed to IUD use. There has been no evidence of IUDs causing irregular periods, however.

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is where small, fluid-filled sacs (which are called cysts) have formed in your ovaries, with symptoms including light periods, your periods stopping altogether, or irregular periods.

These symptoms tend to develop in women presenting with PCOS because ovulation often takes place less often than usual.

  • Gynaecological problems

Irregular bleeding can also be the result of womb problems, ovary problems, unsuspected pregnancies or early miscarriages.

  • Thyroid disorders

Although this is quite a rare issue, having a thyroid disorder can lead to irregular periods. The thyroid, located in your neck, works by producing hormones to maintain your body’s metabolism, and a simple blood test by your IPSA Medical practitioner can assess the levels of your thyroid hormones.

During the consultation at IPSA medical clinic, we will go through your medical history and examine the patient in order to establish what may be the cause for the irregular periods. We may also recommend a range of blood tests or vaginal swabs to help diagnose or confirm the cause for the irregular bleeding.

Depending on the diagnosis will be able to offer you further information on management and advice on fertility if this is needed.

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