Irregular period? What could be the cause

Do you find yourself guessing when your next period will be, month after month? Or are you experiencing longer or shorter periods every other month? If so, you might have an irregular menstrual cycle. Here’s more.

What’s an irregular period?

An irregular period is when the length of your menstrual cycle falls outside of your regular cycle. Irregular periods can include abnormal uterine bleeding, such as:

Bleeding or spotting between periods.

Bleeding after sexual intercourse.

Heavy bleeding during your period.

Menstrual bleeding that lasts longer than normal.

Missing your period often.

Causes of irregular periods

Most of the time, irregular periods are part of the normal changes that can happen when you’re a teenager. As you get older, your cycle will probably settle into a recognizable pattern. Remember that it’s normal for your cycle to vary by a few days each time. Lifestyle changes such as stress, diet, exercise, and birth control can also affect our menstrual cycles. However, irregular periods can also indicate underlying health conditions. If you’re concerned, it may be a good idea to visit your healthcare provider.

Signs you need to see a healthcare provider

Regular periods that suddenly become irregular with no lifestyle changes/medications;

You stop getting your period;

Periods that last longer than 7 days, are heavy, or are coming more often than every 21 days;

Severe cramping or abdominal pain;

Bleeding in between your periods;

If your menstrual cycle has changed, you should keep an accurate record of when your period begins and ends, including the amount of flow and whether you pass any large blood clots. Keep track of any other symptoms, such as bleeding between periods and menstrual cramps or pain. Your healthcare provider will ask you about your menstrual cycle and medical history.

A healthcare provider will likely perform a physical examination, prescribe medication, or simply recommend lifestyle changes to help regulate your period.

Reach out to me for a list of youth friendly clinics and Unjani clinics which offer affordable youth friendly services.

Remember if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Messagea Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).