When it comes to the female reproductive system, everyone’s body is different. But once you get used to your “normal,” it’s easy to determine when something is off. If your menstrual cycle has been unpredictable, there may be an underlying medical issue to address. Use this guide to learn more about this situation, and how gynecologists can help regulate your periods.
A Brief Guide to Irregular Menstrual Cycles
What Is Irregularity?
For some women, irregularity refers to the weeks or months between periods. For others, it refers to the duration of the period itself, or the amount of blood lost. If any of these factors become erratic or delayed, you are dealing with an irregular menstrual cycle.
What Causes an Irregular Menstrual Cycle?
Often, irregularity is caused by the change of hormone levels, which bring on and stop your period, as well as the other parts of the menstrual cycle. Your hormone levels might be skewed by changing, starting, or stopping birth control pills, IUDs, or other medications. They may also be affected by your activities, such as the amount of exercise you get, or if your breastfeeding. Sometimes, periods are also delayed because of peaks in stress levels.
In some cases, irregular periods are symptoms of issues inside the reproductive system, such as the presence of cysts in the ovaries, or polyps in the uterus. Your thyroid, which is located near the base of the neck, is responsible for producing the thyroxine hormone. An over- or under-active thyroid could also affect your period.
What Are Some Ways to Regulate It?
Your gynecologist might suggest lowering your stress levels by identifying the source of your anxiety. They might also suggest exercising less, and keeping an eye on your weight.
If you’re dealing with cysts or polyps, they might recommend surgery to remove them. For hormone imbalances, your doctor could modify your birth control prescription or prescribe supplementary doses of the progestin hormone.
If you've been dealing with irregular menstrual cycles, reach out to Oswego County OB-GYN, PC of Fulton, NY. Since 1960, this women's health center has provided preventive services, such as annual breast and pelvic exams. Their gynecologists can also determine the source of your menstrual irregularity, and help regulate your hormones throughout the year. To learn more about their services, visit the website or call (315) 593-8393 to make an appointment.