A typical menstruation period should last between four and seven days and occur about every 28 days. However, many women experience oligomenorrhea, or irregular periods, which will require the help of a gynecologist to determine the cause. In the following guide, take a look at why irregular periods occur and when you should seek a doctor’s help.
What Causes Irregular Periods?
An irregular period is when menstruation occurs later or earlier than normal or lasts longer than the usual four to seven days. This can have a number of causes.
Hormones such as estrogen and progesterone as well as follicle-stimulating hormones regulate menstruation, so when these are disrupted, it can cause occasional irregular periods. For example, hormone production can be affected by the onset of puberty, pregnancy and childbirth, breastfeeding, and the use of hormonal birth control medications. Hormonal imbalances can also cause polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which may lead to irregular menstruation.
Alternatively, there are several medical conditions that can interrupt menstruation and ovulation, such as undiagnosed diabetes and endometriosis. Eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia can deprive the body of the nutrients it needs to produce period-regulating hormones. In addition, weight loss, stress, and medications like antiepileptics and antipsychotics can cause irregular menstruation.
When to Seek a Gynecologist’s Help
Occasional irregular periods are common but usually not cause for concern. After puberty, most women experience menstruation regularly and for predictable lengths of time. However, if you frequently experience irregular periods and you’re not taking medication or birth control, nor experiencing lifestyle or health changes, see a gynecologist. Consult a doctor if your period comes more frequently than every 21 days, if you haven’t had a period for 90 days, or if bleeding persists for over a week.
If you’re concerned about irregular periods, contact the gynecologists at Greece OB-GYN LLP in Rochester, NY. For over 30 years, they’ve offered patients throughout the area a full range of obstetric and gynecological services, including menstrual health exams, screenings, medical advice, and more. They’re also proud to welcome Dr. Zoila Velastegui, now accepting new patients, to their team. They also now have evening hours. Call (585) 225-6680 to schedule an appointment, and visit their website to learn more about their services.