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WHY YOUR PERIOD IS IRREGULAR 

Every woman’s body is different. A typical menstrual cycle is around 28 days but can vary anywhere from 24 to 35 days. For some women it’s consistent, for others it is irregular and unpredictable. It could last longer or shorter. A period usually lasts about 2 to 8 days. The length could vary as it is influenced by several factors such as stress, heavy physical activity and other medical conditions. Do you have regular periods? If not,  does it need treatment? Do you know the cause? See your doctor if you haven’t already or find best online physician by searching online. You can book a tele-appointment with doctor in Lahore or any city in Pakistan by downloading the online doctor app My live doctors on your smartphone or mobile device. 

What do you mean by irregular periods?

You may have irregular periods the interval (number of days) between each period starts to change, the severity of bleeding may change i.e. you lose more or less blood during a period than usual or the number of days that your period lasts varies a lot. When a woman first begins to menstruate, it can take up to 2 years to establish a regular cycle. After puberty, most women's menstruation is regular. Women who have irregular periods tend to have some underlying hormonal problem or another medical condition that influences the menstrual cycle such as PCOS and thyroid problems. 

What causes irregular menstrual cycles?

There are many things that can cause irregular periods. Changes in your body can affect the levels of hormones (estrogen and progesterone) in your system. Fluctuation of hormones can disrupt the normal pattern of your period. That's why young girls going through puberty and women approaching menopause commonly have irregular periods. During puberty it may take around 2 years for the female sex hormones to achieve a balance. Menopause occurs when 12 months have passed since the last period.

Other factors that may cause irregular periods include:

  • Having an intrauterine device (IUD)
  • Changing birth control pills or using certain medications
  • Too much exercise
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). In PCOS, women do not ovulate every month. Other symptoms include weight gain, acne and excessive growth of facial hair. 
  • PID (pelvic inflammatory disease can also affect the menstrual cycle. It can be treated if caught early but if it spreads it can damage the uterus and fallopian tubes as well. 
  • Pregnancy or breastfeeding
  • Stress
  • Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) or underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate metabolism.
  • Thickening of or polyps on the uterine lining
  • Uterine fibroids

Note: Pregnancy is a natural cause of cessation of menstruation and breastfeeding is a common cause for irregular cycles as well. It may take up to a year or longer for regular cycles to begin again. 

Symptoms associated with irregular periods

Varying degrees of menstruation isn’t the only symptom of irregular menstrual cycles. Other symptoms linked with it are:

  • Excessive weight gain
  • Excessive weight loss
  • Emotional stress
  • Eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia

Strength training or endurance exercises can also affect the menstrual cycle. Sometimes irregular periods can indicate a more serious underlying problem such as infertility. 

If you think you have any of the above risk factors then see your doctor immediately. Discuss your health problems and work out a treatment plan that works for you. You can also find doctors online in any city across Pakistan and get expert medical advice on the go or from the comfort of your own home. So book a tele-appointment with doctor by downloading the My live doctors app on your smartphone or mobile device. 

Online doctors on telemedicine platforms such as this one work around the clock to serve individuals who may not have access to a medical facility in their region. Find best physician online to help you treat basic everyday health conditions such as the flu, headache and stomach ache without having to travel long distances. My live doctors provides access to qualified healthcare professionals and quality healthcare to individuals living in rural and remote areas of Pakistan. 

How do you treat irregular periods 

The treatment largely depends on the underlying condition. In fact most doctors will tell you don’t need treatment unless it’s bothering you, you want to conceive a child or you have some other medical condition that’s affecting your menstrual cycle. 

If you have a medical condition like PCOS or thyroid related issues, the goal would be to restore a hormonal harmony inside the body. Your doctor may prescribe birth control pills for PCOS and thyroid supplements in case of an underactive thyroid. 

If you are on birth control and you are having irregular periods 3 months after beginning it then talk to your doctor about alternative medication. 

There are certain lifestyle factors that your doctor may tell you about. For instance if you exercise a lot, it may affect your period. If you’re obese and lead a sedentary lifestyle chances are you will gain more weight because of it. Being overweight increases the likelihood of developing hormonal disorders. If you need a dietician to help you with a healthy diet plan then look up your doctor and find best doctor online at My live doctors. 

Hormonal therapy is also a popular method of treatment to restore and achieve a hormonal balance. Your doctor may prescribe birth control pill to help regulate estrogen and progesterone levels and to help streamline irregular periods. If you are trying to have a baby then other medication will be prescribed. 

If you experience the following signs or symptoms you should see a doctor immediately:

  • You miss three or more periods in a year.
  • Your menstrual cycle is shorter than 21 days
  • Your menstrual cycle is longer than 35 days.
  • You are bleeding more heavily than usual during your period.
  • You bleed for more than 7 days.
  • You have more pain than usual during a period.

If you can’t go to a doctor then find doctors online in any city across Pakistan. My live doctors isn’t just convenient, it is quick, efficient and lighter on the pocket too! For more information on women’s health, please visit www.mylivedoctors.com