Irregular periods is one of the most common topics that I discuss when meeting with patients.
As we get started, it would help to define what a regular period is first.
What is a Normal Period?
If the start to the start date is somewhere between 21 and 35 days in between cycle, that’s considered a normal cycle.
It’s also normal for the period to last anywhere from 3 to 7 days.
So start date to start date of 21 to 35 days in between, lasting 3 to 7 days is what’s considered a normal period.
My Periods Are Unpredictable
It’s not uncommon for women to come in and say their periods are very unpredictable.
They don’t know when they’re going to start, and they’re often surprised by when they start. Or they can be happening very infrequently or way too frequently.
Either way, unpredictable periods can be a frustrating problem to deal with.
The most common cause of irregular periods is what we call anovulatory cycle.
In other words, the ovaries are not ovulating on a predictable basis.
What happens in a normal cycle is that once ovulation occurs and a woman does not become pregnant, then two weeks after ovulation is when the period starts.
So if the date of ovulation is unpredictable or is not happening, then the period itself also is unpredictable or is not happening.
Irregular Periods Are Very Common
This isn’t something for a woman to be overly concerned with. It’s actually a fairly common thing.
Sometimes we may end up doing blood work for thyroid disorders or for some other medical conditions that could be playing into a woman’s irregular period.
However, as long as a woman is having three or four periods a year, there really isn’t a risk in not having periods every month.
That being said, I totally understand that it is very inconvenient.
Birth Control for Irregular Periods
There are several things that I can do to help a woman to have more predictable periods. The simplest thing to do is to go on birth control pills (as long as they’re not trying to get pregnant).
Birth control pills are very effective to help control the timing of periods.