Oligomenorrhea is a medical term which generally refers to irregular or infrequent menstrual periods with intervals of more than 35 days – however, the duration may vary from one person to another.
Your menstrual cycle can be disturbed if you change your method of contraception or you have an imbalance of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone.
It is not unusual to have a hormone imbalance for a few years after puberty and before the menopause and this can cause your menstrual cycle to become longer or shorter. Your periods may also become lighter or heavier as well.
If your irregular menstrual periods are caused by these age-related factors mentioned above, you will not usually need to see your Doctor or take any medication to correct it.
Below are the likely causes of irregular menstrual periods;
The following lifestyle factors can upset your balance of hormones and cause irregular bleeding:
- extreme weight loss or weight gain
- excessive exercise
- stress ( click here to read about how stress affects women fertility)
An intrauterine system (IUS) or contraceptive pill may cause spotting between periods.
An intrauterine device (IUD) doesn’t cause irregular periods, but can cause heavy bleeding or painful bleeding.
Small bleeds, known as breakthrough bleeds, are common when the contraceptive pill is first used. They are usually lighter and shorter than normal periods, and usually stop within the first few months.
Polycystic OvarianSyndrome (PCOS) occurs when very small cysts (small, fluid-filled sacs) develop in the ovaries.
The usual symptoms of PCOS are irregular or light periods, or no periods at all. This is because, in women with PCOS, ovulation (the release of an egg) may not take place as often as normal. Also, the production of hormones may be unbalanced, and you could have higher levels of testosterone than normal (this is a male hormone that women normally have a small amount of).
Read more about polycystic ovary syndrome here.
- Gynaecological problems
Irregular bleeding can also be due to unsuspected pregnancy, early miscarriage or problems with the womb or ovaries. Your Doctor may refer you to a gynaecologist (specialist in diseases of the female reproductive system) if further investigation and treatment will be needed.
- Thyroid disorders
A thyroid disorder is another possible but rare cause of irregular periods (the thyroid gland, found in the neck, produces hormones that maintain the body’s metabolism). Your Doctor may test for a thyroid problem by running a blood test to check levels of thyroid hormones in your blood.
If you are suffering from irregular menstrual periods, click here to read about a natural way to get back your menses and improve your fertility..
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