Although it may be due to stress issues, if we present irregularities in our menstrual cycle it is important to go to the gynecologist to examine us and give us a diagnosis.
When a woman considers that she has an irregular menstrual cycle, there are usually many factors involved and they are not always known or immediately identified. Often times, it is considered that there is a single trigger, although the reality is that it is a set.
Although each case is different, there are certain indications of what is normal and what is not. For example, the normal thing is that the cycles are of 28 to 30 days and that, after the menarche(first menstruation), there are variations.
Similarly, a menstruation considered normal lasts between 3 and 7 days. A variation greater than 10 days is considered an anomaly. The same happens with cycles that are advanced or delayed more than 5 days.
An irregular menstrual cycle can have a hormonal origin but it can be influenced by other variables related to the woman’s lifestyle.
Signs of an irregular menstrual cycle
Obviously, in order to detect irregularities, a woman must know the details of her menstrual cycle. For example, how many days it lasts, how much bleeding is common for you, common symptoms, and even your mood. There are 6 signs that can help detect an irregular menstrual cycle. Let’s delve into them below.
1. Smell of ‘fish’
The presence of unpleasant odors indicates that something is not right. And the famous ‘fishy’ smell is a characteristic smell of the reproduction of bacteria in the vaginal area. Therefore, it is related to infections.
An infection can be a cause of menstrual irregularity and it can be complicated if it is not treated properly in time. Hence the importance of going as soon as possible to the gynecologist for an evaluation.
2. Delays or advances
A normal menstrual cycle lasts between 28 and 32 days.
- In adult women, it is considered early when it occurs every 24 days. And in adolescents it is considered irregular if it is every 21 days.
- If, on the contrary, the cycle occurs every 35 days(or more) it is a significant delay, in adult women. For adolescent girls, it is considered a delay when it occurs every 45 days or more.
3. Long term duration
The duration of menstruation is also an important variable. The normal thing is that it lasts from 3 to 5 days. In some cases, it is extended to 7 days.
When menstruation lasts for more than a week, you should visit a specialist, as there may be a physical disorder that influences it.
On the other hand, if the woman has bleeding outside the menstruation, whether abundant or not, it is necessary to go to the gynecologist for an evaluation.
4. Heavy menstruation
Every woman who knows her body and knows how much blood she normally loses during menstruation. However, when you consider that this increase, it is important that you tell the specialist as soon as possible.
- The need for constant changes of sanitary napkins can be seen as increased flow.
- Usually a woman changes 3-4 times a day.
Other associated symptoms
In some women, abdominal and headaches are common during the menstrual cycle. Now, if the headache does turn into a migraine, this may be a sign that there is something else to pay attention to.
On the other hand, if the muscular discomfort intensifies, there is fever, vomiting and radical changes of mood take place, it is necessary to go immediately to the gynecologist.
Possible causes of an irregular menstrual cycle
- Hormonal disorders are the most common cause of alterations in the menstrual cycle. Also, polycystic ovarian syndrome(PCOS) and ovulation problems.
- Another cause of an irregular menstrual cycle can be an eating disorder.
- Excess physical activity can also cause irregularity or even absence of menstruation. This is very common in female athletes.
- The stress chronic anxiety and depression may also be behind an irregular menstrual cycle.
- The use of hormonal contraceptives is also considered triggers for menstrual disorders.