An irregular menstrual cycle does not necessarily have to be a sign of a disease. In most women, the menstrual cycle proceeds with slight deviations. The average length of the cycle is 24 to 38 days and bleeding can last from two to seven days. Stress, hormonal contraceptives, menopause and diseases such as endometriosis are among the common causes of an irregular cycle. PMS medication - what can help with symptoms?
Everything at a glance
What is an irregular cycle?
Doctors speak of an irregular cycle when the menstrual cycle lasts longer than 32 days or shorter than 26 days. Deviations of up to three days from the 28-day rhythm are considered harmless.
Larger deviations are not necessarily due to illness. However, if you also experience heavy menstrual bleeding and/or pain, you should have your doctor clarify the cause.
Frequent menstrual disorders
There are various reasons for fluctuations in the cycle.
Common disorders include the following:
- Extended cycle length - A prolonged cycle is called oligomenorrhea. The cycle can extend to 35 to 90 days. Prolonged cycles can occur at the onset of menopause or after stopping birth control pills. The reason can also be insufficient follicle maturation, which can lead to delayed ovulation and delayed menstruation.
- Reduced cycle time - The duration of a so-called polymenorrhea can be less than 25 days. As a rule, there is a hormonal imbalance with a shortened cycle.
- missed period (amenorrhea) - Missing menstrual periods may be due to pregnancy. Other natural causes can be breastfeeding and menopause. But stress, being underweight or overweight and extreme sports can also cause a missed period.
What are the causes of an irregular cycle?
An irregular menstrual cycle does not necessarily have to be a symptom of a disease.
It can occur due to these causes:
- Puberty & Menopause: Hormonal imbalances can occur during puberty and menopause. This can lead to cycle irregularities. Normally, before ovulation occurs, a follicle will mature in the ovary and a hormonal stimulus can cause it to rupture (which allows menstruation to begin). During menopause or puberty, the hormone stimulus can be absent. Accordingly, the follicle cannot burst and it continues to produce estrogen. This can delay the cycle. The bleeding can also be heavier or lighter and last longer or shorter.
- Pregnancy: If an egg is fertilized and implants itself in the lining of the uterus, you may miss your period. The follicle can develop into what is known as the corpus luteum, which primarily produces the corpus luteum hormone progesterone. This creates ideal conditions to maintain the pregnancy.It's also possible that after your baby is born, your cycle will be irregular - especially if you're breastfeeding your baby.
- miscarriages: Repeated miscarriages often result in an irregular menstrual cycle, which can be accompanied by labor-like pain.
- Unhealthy diet: Eating disorders in particular can cause a menstrual cycle disorder. For example, with anorexia, the energy reserves can be exhausted. This can signal the brain to stop the cycle because a possible pregnancy would be too much for the body. But obesity, binge eating and bulimia can also lead to an irregular menstrual cycle.
- Drugs: Addictive substances such as nicotine, alcohol or others are possible causes of irregular menstrual bleeding. Drugs can have negative effects on the endocrine system.
contraceptives: The pill or other hormonal contraceptives such as hormone patches or vaginal rings normally inhibit the body's own production of hormones. In this way, ovulation can also be suppressed. These drugs contain progestin. This hormone is similar to the hormone progesterone, allowing it to trick the body into thinking that you are pregnant.
If you stop taking the pill, an irregular cycle can also set in. This can last up to a year, because the body's own production of hormones needs time to regulate itself again. Copper IUDs or other non-hormonal contraceptives can also cause an irregular cycle.
- Operations on the uterus: Menstrual cycle disorders can also occur after surgery on the uterus or ovaries. It is also possible to have an irregular cycle due to surgery on the ovaries or a cervical or uterine curettage.
These diseases can influence the menstrual cycle
Some diseases are among the possible causes of menstrual cycle disorders, for example the following diseases:
Tumors can prevent the pituitary gland from producing hormones. A dysfunction of the thyroid gland can also affect hormone production, which can lead to a change in the menstrual cycle.
Diabetes can be a reason for an irregular menstrual cycle because too low or too high a blood sugar level can counteract egg cell maturation.
Endometriosis can be associated with irregular menstrual bleeding and severe period pain.
Furthermore, chronic fallopian tube and ovarian inflammation, benign ovarian cysts (PCO syndrome) and other diseases can be among the possible causes of menstrual cycle disorders.
Depression, eating disorders, panic attacks, and other mental illnesses are associated with stress, which puts the body into survival mode. The body shuts down all non-essential functions. One of these bodily functions is the menstrual cycle.
Cycle disorders can also be genetic. This is the case, for example, with aneuploidy. This is a maldistribution of the chromosomes of the egg cell.
You can do this if you have an irregular cycle
Medicinal plants use chaste tree to regulate the menstrual cycle and PMS. The active ingredient can lower the prolactin level in the body, which can be responsible for unpleasant symptoms. The follicle stimulating hormone and estrogen can be formed. These hormones can regulate the menstrual cycle. Monk's pepper is also in ours Dietary Supplement Harmony included.
Since stress can be a common cause of menstrual cycle disturbances, you should take rest breaks. Walks, yoga, progressive muscle relaxation according to Jakobsen and similar methods can also help you reduce stress.
Eat a balanced diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Take your time with meals and eat consciously and without distractions.
In addition, restful sleep is important in order to be balanced and relaxed.
When should you see a doctor?
If you have any of the following symptoms of an irregular cycle, you should see a doctor:
- Your cycle used to be regular and now irregular.
- Your cycle disorders are accompanied by labor-like pain and rare period bleeding.
- You suffer from changing abdominal pain during the cycle.
- The irregular cycle is associated with rapid weight loss or gain.
- You rarely bleed, and you also develop facial hair, chest hair, and weight gain.
- There is spotting or bleeding between periods.
- The menstrual bleeding suddenly stops, although no reason is recognizable.
- After stopping hormonal birth control, you missed your period for more than six months.
What are typical treatments and procedures?
Your doctor will first take a medical history. For example, he asks you to describe the irregular cycle in detail. He also wants to know if you suffer or have suffered from physical or mental illnesses. He also asks about weight fluctuations and medication intake.
In order to be able to determine the cause, a gynecological and physical examination usually follows. It is possible that you need to measure the basal body temperature in the morning, because the measurement results can indicate a lack of ovulation or a disruption in egg maturation. Hormonal disorders can be determined by a blood test.
Additional investigations such as magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography and/or ultrasound may be used. These imaging methods can be used to detect tumors or changes in the genitals.
Desire to have children despite cycle disorders
With a slight deviation of three to four days, an irregular cycle cannot pose a problem when trying to have children. If you have a longer or shorter cycle, you should first have the diagnosis clarified by a doctor.
Depending on the cause, your doctor will talk to you about appropriate treatment. Stress reduction, which includes a healthy diet, regular exercise, and relaxation techniques, is most often advised. You should also avoid nicotine, alcohol and other addictive substances. A normal weight is also important.
If the cause of the menstrual cycle disorder is a disease, medication, surgery or hormone therapy may be necessary. Natural remedies such as chaste tree can also contribute to stabilizing the hormone balance. Our dietary supplements can support you in your desire to have children.
|Tip: Be sure to check it out our Fertile+F dietary supplement which you can take with håvsund Harmony.|
If you want to have children with an irregular cycle, it is helpful to listen to yourself. What is stressing you out? How can you change your everyday life so that you can be more balanced and happier? Bring things into your life that are good for you and that you enjoy. Observe your body and note your monthly cycle-related symptoms.
And especially: Take the pressure off of getting pregnant. An irregular cycle can take longer to conceive. When you push yourself, you get caught in a spiral of stress, and as you now know, stress is one of the most common reasons for a menstrual cycle disorder. If necessary, get professional help if you can't handle the inner stress on your own.