In the first two or three years after the start of menstruation, it’s common for teenagers to experience irregular periods. You may have a normal period one month, and not have another one for two months. You might have two periods in one month. Irregular periods in teenagers is normal, and it’s due to your fluctuating hormones. For many girls, their periods will even out and become more regular.
There are, however, some women who never, ever establish a normal menstrual pattern. They may suffer from irregular periods (the medical term is oligomenorrhea) all of their reproductive life. These women never know what day their period will arrive, and this can be a huge inconvenience for these women. Ovulation is difficult for these women to predict as well.
Once you reach your 40s, you may start to have irregular cycles due to Perimenopause – this refers to the five (or more) years before menopause (the official end of your periods). Women who are going through perimenopause can suffer from irregular periods. One month, their period might arrive on day 30 of their cycle. The next month, it arrives 21 days later. And the following month, their period doesn’t arrive until 43 days after the last one. In addition to this period problem, women going through perimenopause may experience hot flashes, mood swings, sleeping difficulty and anxiety.
If Perimenopause isn’t the cause of your menstrual problems, it’s possible that your irregular periods are due to stress, extreme weight loss or gain, the use of medications (especially ones that affect your central nervous system – such as antipsychotics and antidepressants), thyroid problems and other endocrine disorders, polycystic ovary disease, and other hormonal problems.
Ensure you take a balanced diet and avoid stress or the use of unprescribed drugs. If you feel very worried about your condition, see a doctor.
Do you experience irregular periods? Share your experiences with us.