Spotlight On: Irregular Periods – The Facts 7 years ago

Spotlight On: Irregular Periods – The Facts

Over the last number of months, we’ve learned a thing or two about the wide range of contraceptives that are available on the market today.

Now, we are going to continue our focus on health by studying a wide range of topics relating to sex and sexual health.

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Last week, we brought sexy back into your love life, while this week we will be explaining all the facts about irregular periods. 

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Irregular Periods – The Facts

A number of women suffer from irregular periods. Their periods can be late or early, can last for a number of different days and can also vary in how heavy they are.

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There are a number of reasons that could be causing this.

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Contraception

Your menstrual cycle can be disturbed if you change contraception. It can also be affected by an imbalance of the reproductive hormones progesterone and oestrogen.

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Hormone imbalance

A number of different factors can cause a hormone imbalance including polycystic ovary syndrome, extreme weight loss or excessive exercise.

Stress is also another key factor in causing an imbalance in hormones and irregular bleeding.

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Thyroid disorders

Although rare, a thyroid disorder is another possible cause of irregular periods. The thyroid gland produces hormones that help to maintain the body’s metabolism.

Gynaecological issues

There are some gynaecological problems that can also cause irregular bleeding to include unsuspected pregnancy or problems with the womb or ovaries. Your GP may refer you to a gynaecologist for further investigation.

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Pregnancy test

If you are experiencing abnormalities in your menstrual cycle, your GP might recommend that you do a pregnancy test and/or ultrasound scan in order to rule out the possibility of pregnancy. This is particularly the case if you are experiencing pain.

Counselling and stress management

If you are stressed or going through a time of high pressure, you may experience irregular periods. Using relaxation or stress management techniques along with visiting a counsellor or therapist may help.

Double-Check First If you’re overweight, make sure you consult your doctor before starting any new exercise program. Your doctor will be able to tell you what types of exercise are best for you based on your personal health history or possible disease risk factors.

What is an average menstrual cycle?

On average the female menstrual cycle lasts 28 days, but this can very anywhere between 24 to 35 days.

Most women develop their own regular cycle within this timeframe, with bleeding usually lasting between two to seven days.

When to see your GP

You should go to your GP if you are bleeding or spotting between periods or after having sex.

If your periods are particularly heavy, whereby you need to change your pad or tampon every hour or two, or have to wear both, a trip to your GP is advisable.

Schedule a check-up: When is the last time you had a medical/dental check-up? Yes, we know that going to the doctor or the dentist is never a pleasant thing and that it can be costly, but honestly? Think of the peace of mind you’ll get knowing that you’re healthy or that you don’t need any fillings. Make a phone call and book a check-up. It’s always important to look after your health.

Other times that you should make an appointment with your doctor include if you suffer from heavy bleeding that goes through your clothes, if your period is longer than seven days or occurs more frequently than once a month.