Decoding Irregular Menses

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While irregular periods are a cause for worry, it might not be worth the sleepless nights

By Aretha Angcao

Your periods’s been a no-show for a week. Are you in a heap of trouble? While some women have menstrual periods that have the regularity of a watch, some menstrual periods are as erratic and unpredictable as their moods.

A normal menstrual cycle usually has a 28-35 day interval in between and each menstruation normally lasts for about three to five days. Should irregular menstrual periods be cause for alarm or are they more normal than we think?

According to online health magazine News Health Today, irregular periods, or oligomenorrhea, is caused by different factors, some less serious while others are causes for concern. The latter should be immediately checked by gynecologist.

Dr. Ma. Carmeriza Buñing, an OB-Gynecologist specializing in irregular periods said that are several factors that can cause irregular menstruation. One of them is age. Contrary to popular belief, menstrual periods don not occur regularly at the onset of puberty. While some girls experience irregular intervals after their first menses, it is only after a few years (two in most cases) that their menstrual cycles become more regular and less erratic. Similarly, women experience irregular menstruation three years before menopause.

Another factor is extreme weight loss or weight gain. Most doctors recommended weight loss to get back on track for overweight or obese women. In addition, eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia also effect the regularity of menstrual cycle.

Irregular menses could also be caused by irregularities in our hormones “Women who have PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, a condition which is characterized by having acne and excess androgen hormones, regularly experience irregular menstrual periods. Treatments include regular exercise to regulate weight and the use of contraceptive pills in some cases,” said Dr. Buñing.

While it is definitely a cause for concern, irregular menstrual cycles are more common than we think. Proper diet and regular exercise help women achieve regular menstrual cycles. Conditions such as PCOS are definitely treatable and manageable if brought to a gynaecologist. Here’s to worry-free and pain-free periods!

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