Menstrual Irregularities

What are menstrual irregularities?

For some women, the menstrual cycle is not always a regular cycle, with their periods being early or late, and varying in terms of how heavy or light they are each time and how long they last.


Your IPSA clinic menstrual irregularity consultation

At your IPSA clinic, a female IPSA practitioner will see you for your menstrual irregularity consultation. Working with you, with a holistic approach to your treatment, she will run through your medical history with you, discussing your lifestyle choices and any relevant family history. The peaceful and totally confidential setting allows for a thorough examination to be undertaken, and if your IPSA doctor believes that there may be any underlying disorder responsible for your irregular periods, then further investigations will be discussed with you and offered to you (including full blood tests) so that your IPSA doctor can find the underlying reason for your irregular cycle.


Treating irregular periods at your IPSA clinic

During puberty and prior to the menopause, irregular periods are common, and treatment is not usually appropriate. However, following your consultation, if treatment is required, then the treatment that you will be offered by your IPSA practitioner will depend on the cause of your period irregularity.


The average menstrual cycle

Menstrual cycles can last for anywhere between 24 and 35 days, with the average cycle being 28 days.

Following puberty, the majority of women will develop a fairly regular menstrual cycle, where the length of time between their periods is the same.

The average duration for menstrual bleeding is five days.


Women’s health: Causes of irregular periods


The balance of your hormones can be upset by various lifestyle factors, leading to irregular bleeding. The factors that may upset this balance include:

  • Stress
  • Excessive weight gain/loss
  • Extreme exercise



Spotting or bleeding in-between periods can be linked to either an intrauterine system (IUS) or use of the contraceptive pill.

Heavy periods and painful period cramps can be caused by intrauterine devices (IUDs), although IUD use has not been linked to irregular periods.


Polycystic ovary syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a disorder where small, fluid-filled sacs called cysts form in the ovaries.

PCOS symptoms include:

  • Light periods
  • Irregular periods
  • Periods stopping

These symptoms develop in PCOS women because ovulation may take place less frequently than normal.


Gynaecological problems

Womb or ovary problems, early miscarriages and unsuspected pregnancies can also lead to irregular bleeding.


Thyroid disorders

Although rare, thyroid disorders can cause irregular periods. The thyroid gland is found in the neck. It works by producing hormones, which maintain the body’s metabolism.

A blood test, taken by your IPSA practitioner, can be used to assess your thyroid hormone levels.
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