Irregular Periods: When should I be concerned?
Getting your period isn’t always the best experience, especially for the first time. The likelihood that the average woman knows the exact dates of her menstrual cycle is rare – and there are apps that can help with tracking. But on a broader scale, how can you tell if you fall into the ‘regular’ or ‘irregular’ categories when it comes to your period?
According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, menstruation is considered normal if your period occurs every 21 to 35 days. The regular length of bleeding is from two to seven days.
It can be difficult to know when it is time to see a physician for your period. Many factors can play a role in why you missed a month or two. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it may be time for a physician visit.
There are a variety of factors that can affect a woman’s period, but not all irregular periods are the same.
Some of the potential irregularities can be categorized into the following:
- Amenorrhea: a lack of a period for at least three menstrual cycles
- Oligomennorhea: periods that are more than 35 days apart
- Menorrhagia: heavy bleeding that lasts more than a week at a time during a cycle
There are many reasons for the above irregularities, from uterine fibroids to ovulation disorders. Instead of speculating and worrying, the best thing to do is talk to your doctor. Your physician can then determine, based on your symptoms, the correct tests to run to diagnose and fix the issue at hand.