Irregular Menstrual Cycle = A Few Different Causes
An irregular menstrual cycle is just plain annoying! You can get your period unexpectedly when you’re out somewhere and not have any pads or tampons with you. You can never really predict when you’ll get it, so it can be difficult to plan things likes dates or sporting activities. It’s really terrible never knowing when the unexpected will happen.
An irregular menstrual cycle can happen for the a few of the following reasons. This is not an exhaustive list and of course you should always consult your doctor instead of relying on the Internet for medical advice!
Our bodies are effected by stress more than we might expect. Stress can cause our hormones to get all out of whack which can leader to an irregular menstrual cycle. At other times, simply different thoughts or emotions can cause an irregular cycle, including worrying about pregnancy. Some women experience irregular periods in a particularly stressful time in their life such as losing a job, divorce, etc.
#2: New Cycles
Young women who are having their period for the first time can have an irregular menstrual cycle for the first few months or year. It usually just takes time to work itself out and will get more regular as the body matures.
#3: Dietary Problems
Eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia can cause an irregular menstrual cycle, as the body basically goes into survival mode so the menstrual cycle becomes irregular.
#4: Too Much Exercise
It’s a well-known phenomenon that some women, particularly long-distance athletes have irregular menstrual cycles. Some even have cycles that stop altogether. For some women, it’s not a problem while other should stop exercising so much. The best advice in this case would be to see your doctor.
Some recreational, or prescription drugs can cause an irregular menstrual cycle.
Things like cancer treatments or thyroid conditions (to name only two—there are many!) can cause an irregular menstrual cycle.
There are a myriad of other reasons why a women might have an irregular menstrual cycle and it can be permanent or temporary. See your doctor to figure out what’s happening in your particular case.
How to Handle an Irregular Menstrual Cycle
Now that you know some of the common causes of an irregular menstrual cycle, here’s some advice on how to handle it, depending on the cause of the condition.
#1: Stop Whatever is Causing It
If the cause of the irregular period is something like drugs or too much exercise, it would be necessary to stop, or reduce that in order to encourage your body to start menstruating more regularly. If the cause is stress, you’ll have to figure out ways to reduce this in your life.
It’s always recommended that women with irregular menstrual cycles see a doctor for testing, in order to rule out any serious underlying conditions or illnesses.
#2: Wait a Few Months
When a woman starts her period for the first time, it’s often irregular. It’s often necessary to just wait a few months or even a year or two in order for things to become regular. In the case of starting a new medication, give your body time to adjust as well.
#3: Use a Menstrual Cup
If you don’t have any serious conditions that are causing irregular periods, but it’s a temporary problem, consider using a menstrual cup in between periods. Menstrual cups are an eco-friendly, affordable alternative to pads and tampons. It’s able to be worn even when you’re not menstruating and doesn’t come with any risk of toxic shock syndrome such as with tampons. They’re comfortable and can worn even between periods for some added protection for those who have irregular cycles. Priced at around $30 per menstrual cup, they can be used for years. This makes menstrual cups a much safer alternative than wearing tampons between periods, as well as a much more economical choice than pads.
You can easily get a menstrual cup on Amazon. See: Top 10 Menstrual Cups for advice on choosing the best one for you and your body type.
#4: Use a Reusable Menstrual Pad
Reusable cloth menstrual pads are an affordable, eco-friendly alternative to disposable sanitary pads. They can be worn between periods in order to offer a bit of extra protection. Check out these Lunapads Reusable Panty Liners for one that will work well and last for years.