A woman has irregular periods if there is a difference of several days in how long it takes between her periods and the difference in how long her bleeding lasts. 

(read more about the woman's cycle here. Link What is the menstrual cycle and when is the cycle regular and irregular)

Irregular periods are most often due to hormonal disorders and can be a symptom of, for example, PCO (polycystic ovary syndrome), sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, stress, menopause, lack of ovulation and contraception. This also means that pregnancy can be difficult if you have an irregular cycle i.e., duration from the first day of menstruation from to the last day before the next menstruation, so it is a good idea to consult a doctor if the cycle is shorter than 21 days or longer than 35 days over a longer period. The same is the case if, without explanation, spotting begins to appear or if menstruation suddenly becomes significantly heavier than normal.

What happens at the doctor?

Before going to the doctor, it may be a good idea to have written down the duration of the most recent cycles to be as specific as possible. The doctor will typically ask about the following, which one can also prepare for:

How long have you had irregular periods?

How often do you bleed?

How much do you bleed?

Do you bleed during or after intercourse?

Do you have other abdominal problems such as itching or altered discharge?

Do you have any diseases?

Do you use medication / supplements and which ones?

Do you have symptoms of menopause?

After talking to the doctor, he or she will typically do a gynecological examination as well as an ultrasound scan to see if, for example, there are signs of inflammation and to take bacterial and cell samples. Typically, the doctor will also take blood samples to check, among other things, whether there are hormonal disorders that affect your hormone balance, egg maturation and ovulation.

What can the doctor do?

Often, irregular cycles are due to diseases such as metabolic problems, muscle knots, chlamydia, PCO or cell changes that the doctor can treat with medication, binocular surgery or cell scraping. Stimulation hormone therapy may also be needed to promote ovulation.

If the irregular cycle continues, and you spend more than a year getting pregnant as a single woman or as a couple, fertility treatment can also be an option.

What can you do yourself?

Depending on the cause of the irregular cycle, you also can do something yourself. If you are underweight, the hormones can be stopped, and here weight gain and more nutrition can have a positive effect. Obesity can also cause hormonal disorders, and here a weight loss can conversely have an impact in terms of making the cycle more regular.

Finally, stress or excessive exercise can also cause ovulation and menstruation to be absent. So regular exercise without exaggeration, a normal BMI and as little stress as possible can also have a positive effect.

If you want to check if you are about to go through menopause, try our fertility test for women here (link) You can also try to check when - or if - you have ovulation using ovulation test (link)

Source: sundhed.dk, Netdoktor.dk