Footsteps to fertility foundation

Understanding Irregular Periods with Footsteps To Fertility Centre

Every woman is different, and so are our menstrual cycles. Some of us get them like clockwork, while others are a little less predictable. It can be disconcerting to experience an irregular period.

A typical menstrual cycle tends to vary from 23 to 35 days. Menstrual bleeding is considered irregular if it occurs more frequently than every 21 days or lasts longer than 8 days.

Irregular menstrual bleeding could indicate a health issue, so it’s important to reach out to a doctor if you notice any inconsistencies. Whether you’re concerned about the length, heaviness, or regularity of your period, at Footsteps To Fertility Centre, we specialize in the treatment of irregular menstruation and other hormonal disorders that affect the reproductive system of adolescents and women.

What is considered as irregular periods?

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Most women have between 11 and 13 menstrual periods each year. Bleeding usually lasts around 5 days, but this too can vary, from 2 to 7 days.

When menstruation first starts, it can take up to 2 years to establish a regular cycle. After puberty, most women’s menstruation is regular. The length of time between each period is similar.

However, for some women, the time between periods and the amount of blood shed vary considerably. This is known as irregular menstruation.

The main symptom of irregular menstruation is when the cycle is longer than 35 days, or if it comes more frequently than 21 days.

If there are changes in blood flow, or if clots appear that are more than 2.5 centimeters in diameter, this is also considered irregular.

Feel free to speak to us about your irregular period

What can cause an irregular period?

Several common factors can affect the rhythm of your cycles. Here are some possible causes of irregular cycles that are also infertility risk factors:

  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS): Irregular periods may be a sign of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

  • Other illnesses: Thyroid disorders can cause irregular periods if blood levels of the thyroid hormone go too low or too high. Other health conditions that may cause an irregular cycle include sexually transmitted diseases, diabetes, fibroids, and endometriosis.

  • Birth control: Any changes to your birth control can disrupt your cycles for a few months.

  • Age. When teens first start having periods, their menstrual cycles may not always be on the same schedule every month. It may take several years to settle into a pattern. In addition, missed periods and lighter or heavier periods are common as women near menopause.

  • Exercise, dieting & weight fluctuations: Extreme exercise, diet or body weight can contribute to irregular periods. Female athletes are more likely to experience infertility for this reason.

  • Stress. Chronic stress or even short-term anxiety about a specific problem can wreak havoc with your hormone balance, causing a missed period and irregular cycle.

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When should you be concerned about an irregular period?

A missed or irregular period may be the first clue that you have a condition that needs medical attention. If you have consistently irregular periods, you should be evaluated for PCOS.

You should also be screened for thyroid disorders and other diseases that may be linked to irregular periods.

If you’re concerned about the regularity of your menstrual cycle, an easy first step is to keep a written record of your period.

This record can help set your mind at ease if it turns out that you’re more regular than you realized.

You will also be able to recognize when to take proactive measures. Schedule an appointment with your gynecologist if you experience irregularity over multiple cycles.

During your appointment, the OB-GYN will typically review your medical history with you and might also perform  tests such as pelvic exams, Pap tests, MRI or CT scans and minimally invasive hysteroscopy.

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How Irregular Periods Affect Your Ability To Get Pregnant

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An irregular cycle can make it more difficult to get pregnant, especially if you’re not ovulating every month. Your doctor can run tests to see if you’re ovulating. Women with irregular periods who are trying to have a baby are sometimes prescribed fertility drugs to increase ovulation.

Irregular or abnormal ovulation accounts for 30% to 40% of all cases of infertility. Having irregular periods, no periods, or abnormal bleeding often indicates that you aren’t ovulating, a condition known clinically as anovulation. If you’re not ovulating, you can’t get pregnant without the help of fertility treatments.

It is therefore a good idea to be checked out by a doctor just to make sure that nothing serious is going on.

Footsteps To Fertility Centre

Irregular Periods Treatment

Irregular periods are common but you shouldn’t accept them as normal. At Footsteps To Fertility Centre, our trusted fertility specialist advises that we should pay more attention to our lifestyle. The amount of sleep you get, eating habits and stress level all play an important role in your attempt to get pregnant. Another important thing you can do is to take good care of your health and emotional well-being.

Irregular periods are often a highly treatable condition. Understanding the causes of irregular periods and how you can help to restore cycle regularity can help as you embark on your trying to conceive adventure.

To increase the number of your ovulation period, doctors often prescribe medication and fertility drugs. These drugs induce ovulation that can result into multiple gestations in some women.

Timing intercourse around ovulation can increase your chances for pregnancy since you’ll need to have sex during your fertile window to conceive.

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Treatments for patients with irregular cycles

Treatments for menstrual irregularities often vary based on the type of irregularity and certain lifestyle factors, such as whether a woman is planning to get pregnant.

Treatment for menstrual irregularities include:

  • Treatments for an underlying disorder that is causing the menstrual problem, such as counseling and nutritional therapy for an eating disorder.

  • Oral contraceptives

  • Use of various nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications

  • If the cause is structural or if medical management is ineffective, then gynecologic surgery is recommended. It involves minimally invasive surgical techniques such as surgical removal of polyps or uterine fibroids, uterine artery embolization, endometrial ablation and hysterectomy. They provide a faster recovery and fewer complications than traditional open surgery. These approaches also preserve fertility.

You can count on the extensive experience of the team at Footsteps To Fertility Centre to identify the cause and effectively treat irregular periods.

If you have any questions about your menstrual periods, feel free to contact us or schedule an appointment online.

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