If menstrual cycles of a woman are shorter than 21 days or longer than 35 days, it is called menstrual irregularity. Hormonal irregularities or polyps are common causes of this problem.
Menstrual irregularity is a problem that many women ignore, however it can be a symptom of very serious diseases. Having regular menstruation is an indicator that shows many systems in the female body are working properly.
It is normal to have irregular periods during the first years after the start of menstruation. However, irregularities that still persist after a few years should be evaluated.
A regular menstrual cycle indicates that the uterus, ovaries, vagina and vulva are functioning properly. Normal functions of the adrenal glands, pituitary gland and hypothalamus are also essential for a regular menstrual cycle.
Attention to Symptoms of Menstrual Irregularity
When defining menstrual irregularity, despite women generally perceiving the duration between two menstrual periods to be longer than expected, a duration of less than 21 days between the start of two menstrual periods is also considered as irregularity.
Menstrual cycles shorter than 21 days and longer than 35 days indicate irregularity. In addition, the length and amount of menstrual bleeding is important, and menstruation lasting more than 8 days should also be taken as irregularity. Although irregularities starting after the age of 40 may be considered as menopause, it should not be ignored that the menopause may not start until the age of 55.
Before a woman diagnoses herself with menopause on her own, she should consult a gynecologist and undergo an examination. It should be remembered that regular gynecological examinations after early 20s are a must for a healthy life for every woman.
Menstrual irregularity should not be confused with menstrual delay (absence of menstruation)
A delay may indicate a pregnancy. Disruptions in at least two menstrual cycles should be examined as irregularities.
Causes of Menstrual Irregularity?
Stress, hormonal irregularities, medication, sudden weight loss or excessive weight gain, too much exercise, too low body mass index (BMI) can cause menstrual irregularities.
Menstrual irregularity can also be a symptom of gynecological cancers, especially cervical cancer or uterine cancer. Non-gynaecological conditions such as liver diseases, diabetes or clinical depression can also cause menstrual irregularities.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and chocolate cysts are also among the causes of irregular periods. Each woman's menstrual irregularity needs to be examined individually. This problem is of great importance for early diagnosis, especially in cancer cases, therefore it should be seen as a problem that requires a very detailed examination.