Help! My periods are IRREGULAR! YOUNG WOMAN edition
Not many women have cycles set like clockwork. In fact, more than 50% of women have irregular periods. In young women: more than 75%! So, don't panic if you are late (or early) this month, this is very common and nothing to be alarmed about.
What does IRREGULAR mean?The term irregular periods refers to having cycles in lengths that vary month to month. We use the term irregular periods when the duration of a cycle varies by more than 5 days, from one period to the next.
For some women, the cycle is naturally irregular and will be that way throughout their lives, with cycles varying from 28 to 30, to 32, back to 28, and so on. If you have a cycle like this, you do not need to worry each month. This irregularity is especially true with adolescent girls: the cycle can take several years to find its magic number.
I’m usually regular, and now, my cycle is off... Am I pregnant?
In many women, external factors can cause a period delay of a few days, such as:·
- Emotional changes, positive or negative·
- Sudden change in habits
- Taking new medication
- Physical or mental stress
Once a cycle is disrupted, it may take a few months to resume back to normal, and usually will, once the body has settled from the disruption. In some women, however, periods become irregular and remain this way. Cycles vary in length, varying from a few days to a few weeks.
Amenorrhea: what is it and how do I know if I have it?
Amenorrhea is the absence of menstruation, defined as missing one or more periods. If you have not had periods for more than three months, this irregularity can, in certain cases, be hiding an illness, such as:·
- PCOS /Polycystic ovaries (condition in which the ovaries produce an abnormal amount of androgens)
- Luteal insufficiency (inadequate progesterone secretion)·
- Thyroid problem
- Hyperprolactinemia (higher-than-normal levels of the hormone prolactin in the blood)
- Fibroma (a benign fibroid or fibroid tumor)
- Endometriosis (tissue similar to the tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus grows outside your uterus)
- Menopause (In women who are 40 years of age or older)
Tell me HOW I can regulate my cycle!
Wait it out!
One of the first natural remedies for irregular periods is to be patient! There are several reasons that can explain irregular periods, especially in teens. The main one is that you haven’t had it for long enough. It may take several years for your body to get used to the new hormones it produces and achieve a regular, predictable menstrual rhythm. Your body should normally deal with this on its own. If it's been more than two years since your first period and you are still irregular, consider seeing your doctor to make sure the irregularity isn't caused by an underlying condition, as mentioned above. Once you know the cause of your irregular periods, you and your doctor can discuss options.
Stress can wreak havoc on your hormones. And guess what? These are the hormones that control your menstrual cycle. Reducing stress is therefore an excellent natural remedy for irregular periods in teens, because all you need to do is take it easy! Take the time to relax. Take a bath. Read a book. Go for a walk. Listen to your favorite music. Sounds pretty cool, right?
Say no to Yo-Yo!
Extreme diets and heavy weight loss can interrupt your menstrual cycle and lead to irregular periods or even no-periods altogether. Eating properly and maintaining a healthy weight (neither too much nor too little) is a proven solution to avoid irregular periods. Rather than adopting a strict diet, remember that all bodies are beautiful in their own way, regardless of size or body type. Each girl also develops in her own way and at her own pace. This is what makes YOU unique! Confidence and self-esteem are also great natural remedies for irregular periods in teens.
Is a pill right for me?
If this irregularity worries you, speak with your gynecologist so that you may find out the exact cause of these irregular periods, but mostly, to rule out any illnesses or disease.. If no physical source is found, hormonal treatment can help you get back to regular menstrual cycles. Women who take hormones, usually in pill form, get their periods on fixed dates each month and can almost set their watch to it!
Will my irregular periods have an impact on my fertility?
When the irregular periods are NOT a result of an illness, conceiving is not a problematic. On the other hand, when it comes to having a baby, it can get a little more complicated, because you never know when you are ovulating ... and therefore when you are most likely to get pregnant! Your best bet is to get ovulation tests and monitor your temperature. If your irregular periods are making it difficult to conceive, your doctor may suggest ovarian stimulation, which could help you in getting pregnant.
Please remember that your period is unique to you, and missing one, or having irregularity can be your body’s way to let you know something. So, please listen! You may not find the answer online. Every women should see a gynecologist once they get their first period, and every two years subsequently, until…well actually, forever! If you own a car, even a brand new one, you will not go 2 years without mechanic maintenance, right? Be good to your body and get those checkups!
Have any PERIOD question for us? Ask away, there are no taboos!
Have a Happy Period!