There is a wide range of what is considered to be “normal” when referring to a woman’s period or menstrual cycle. Since most women know what their typical cycle is like, the term “irregular” may refer to a change in what’s normal for them. Having irregular periods can be a signal that something in your body is not quite right, which can be an early sign of potential fertility problems in some women. Any persistent or concerning changes to your “normal” period may warrant a visit to your gynecologist or a fertility specialist at NCCRM fertility center. But before you frantically call to schedule that appointment, here are some things to consider if you are concerned about having irregular periods:
What Is An Irregular Period?
Irregular periods typically refer to the number of days between cycles counting from day one of your period to day one of the next period. Day one is traditionally the first day of actual flow, and we have found at NCCRM fertility center that it is normal to have anywhere between 21 and 35 days between periods. Simply put, your period is considered irregular if:
- It comes more frequently than every 21 days.
- The length of your cycles varies greatly, even if they are typically within the typical range of 21 to 35 days.
- You go 35 days or more between periods.
It can also be normal for your cycles to vary by a few days from month to month. For example, your cycle could be 33 days one month and 35 days the next. This is very common and should not be cause for concern. While irregular cycles can be a sign of a possible fertility problem, having regular cycles does not guarantee that your fertility is perfect. There are many causes of female and male fertility, and only some affect menstruation.
Reasons For Occasional Irregular Periods
There are many factors that can influence an individual’s menstrual cycle. Healthy individuals can experience a missed or irregular period if they:
- Are breastfeeding, which in the early days may cause lactation amenorrhea or a total lack of periods.
- Are pregnant.
- Are traveling, especially if their sleep pattern is interrupted or they are out of their normal time zone.
- Are under a lot of stress.
- Experience illness.
- Are participating in excessive exercise with rapid weight loss.
- Are overweight or underweight.
Other Period Irregularities
Even though the phrase “irregular periods” refers to cycle length, this is not the only aspect of your period that can go awry. You can have normal cycle lengths but still experience:
- Abnormal spotting.
- Extreme mood swings.
- Menstrual bleeding that lasts longer than eight days.
- Other abnormal period symptoms.
- Severe cramps.
- Too heavy or too light bleeding.
NCCRM Fertility Center
If your periods are regular but you still have not been able to conceive, your fertility specialist at NCCRM might have specific recommendations for you to try, or they may want you to come in for fertility testing. If you are worried about any aspect of your menstrual cycle or have questions about your period, fertility, or reproductive health, contact NCCRM fertility center today to schedule a consultation. We look forward to working with you!