What are irregular periods? What is a normal period? How do women know if they are experiencing irregular periods or just simple fluctuations in their cycle? By reading the following article you will get an idea of what irregular periods are and how they affect menopausal women.
What Should I Know about Irregular Periods?
Irregular periods are any deviation from a woman's regular menstrual cycle. They are typically one of the earliest signs of menopause and appearing when a woman reaches her 40s or 50s. These irregularities may cause some concern in women, but they are a natural and excepted part of the transition into menopause.
Regular periods can be defined as bleeding that occurs for roughly five consecutive days and a cycle that lasts an average of 28 days. Cycles that are between 25 and 31 days are well within the “normal” range. Usually, women discharge between two and eight tablespoons of blood during each period. While this is the usual textbook definition of normal periods, each woman – especially those in their 40s or 50s – knows how her body usually functions and what is regular for her.
Irregular periods are any deviations in period duration, intervals, or amount of blood that women experience.
What Causes Irregular Periods?
Several factors can cause irregular periods, but for women who are experiencing menopause, irregular periods are most likely caused by the hormone fluctuations that drive menopause, but may also be caused by a number of other factors. Women who suspect that their irregular periods are caused by one of the following should seek a doctor's opinion.
Causes of irregular periods include:
Excessive alcohol, caffeine, or drug consumption
Weight gain or weight loss
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Treatments for Irregular Periods
For women who want to learn more about irregular periods and how to manage them, treatments for menstrual irregularities can greatly relieve this menopause symptom. Lifestyle changes, alternative treatments, and medications can ease problematic irregular periods.
For the majority of women entering the natural menopausal transition, medical advice is not necessary; however you should consult your doctor before taking any treatment. Some women believe that a healthy lifestyle changes and natural treatments can relieve irregular periods.
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Identifying your irregular period during menopause: 10 signs you may need a doctor's attention