Are There Any Symptoms You Should Discuss With Your Doctor
Keeping tabs on how frequently your period comes is an important part of understanding your cycle health, but should you be worried if your cycle isnt coming like clockwork on the same day every month? Not necessarily like we mentioned earlier, some variation in cycle length is normal and not cause for concern. In fact, only about 20% of people will have cycles that are identical in length from one month to the next. But how long your cycle lasts isnt the only factor to pay attention to.
How Are Irregular Periods Treated
If irregular periods are bothering you or making it difficult for you to conceive, speak to your doctor to find out if theres a way to get them back on track. It could be as easy as lowering your stress levels or cutting back on intense exercising .
If your irregular periods are hormone-related, your doctor may suggest treating an underlying thyroid condition or using hormone therapies like birth control pills or certain types of IUDs that regulate your menstrual cycle. If youre trying to get pregnant, sometimes getting on the right birth control for a little while can get your cycle back on track so that its easier to tell when youre ovulating, which is a big step in helping you conceive, although this may not be successful.
If none of those work and youre trying to get pregnant, your doctor may prescribe a fertility drug like letrozole , clomiphene or injectable fertility meds to induce ovulation, but you should have a complete fertility evaluation before starting any of these drugs.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
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Known as prolactinoma, this small, benign growth in the brain’s pituitary gland is fairly common, especially in women, and most won’t experience symptoms. But if the tumor starts to secrete the hormone prolactin, it can affect other hormones that cause your period to skip or stop. It also results in a milky discharge from your breasts, since prolactin is the same hormone that causes you to lactate post-baby, explains Dweck, as well as vision changes. If you aren’t nursing, check in with your doctor, who may order a blood test and brain imaging. In many cases, medications can shrink the tumor and regulate your period.
If your BMI dips below 19 or if you’re working out like a maniac, your period might go MIA. “Preventing ovulation is your body’s way of reacting to ‘terrible stress’i.e., starvation,” explains Dweck. “I explain it as nature’s way of preventing you from getting pregnant if you’re under distress.” Your doctor will work with you to reach a healthy weight as well as check for any other issues that could be affecting your cycle.
“We’re not talking a stressful day at work,” says Dweck. “This is more going off to college, or losing a family member.” Check in with your doctor, and take steps to manage your stress yoga, meditation, talking to a therapist.
Sometimes, abnormal growths in your uterus can cause your period to go wacko. These include:
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Obesity can up your risk of irregular bleeding, says Shepherd. “Fat tissue produces a form of estrogen, which may increase the endometrial lining,” she explains, which then sheds at times other than your period. Your doctor might check your thyroid, and she may suggest an IUD to get your period back in line. If you’re obese, she can also help you come up with a weight-loss strategy, including changes to your diet, exercise, and possibly weight-loss surgery.
All forms of birth control, including the Pill, implant, and Depo shot, can cause what’s known as breakthrough bleeding between periods at first. “These outside hormones are trying to regulate or minimize your cycle, and they’re fighting against the normal hormones given off by your ovaries. It’s your body trying to balance the two,” says Shepherd. She suggests waiting 12 weeks to see if things work themselves out. If not, your doctor may recommend a different higher-dose birth control or recommend another method altogether, like the patch or IUD. She may also test for STDs or check for improper IUD placement, if you have one, since both can cause irregular bleeding.
If you have an IUD, keep in mind that many women have littleif anybleeding for the long haul, says Shepherd, and it when it does show up it may be irregular. That’s a perfectly fine effect.
Watch men answer questions about birth control :
What Can Cause Missed Periods
The most common reasons for missing periods are being pregnant, using hormone contraceptives and menopause.
Periods are often irregular during the first few years after your periods start, and again in the years before the menopause. They can happen more or less often, or be lighter or heavier, than usual.
Periods can also be irregular as a result of imbalanced hormones. There are a number of reasons why hormonal imbalance may occur. This can be due to a sudden change in weight , which may occur with a change in your exercise levels or with a change in your eating patterns. Interestingly, for some women losing weight and starting exercise may make your periods come back more regularly.
Stress and being unwell can also cause you to miss a period, particularly when the stress occurs in the interval between a period and when you would normally ovulate.
Women who have eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia, also will stop having regular periods usually associated with a change in weight.
When hormones become imbalanced, periods can stop altogether. This is called amenorrhea or no periods. Regular periods can return with lifestyle changes, although this can take some time and be difficult. Your doctor can help you find a specialist to support you through these changes.
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Why Do Some Menstrual Periods Become Irregular
There are many variables that can affect the length and timing of your menstrual cycle. Some are correctable, but others can signal significant medical issues.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome This metabolic and hormonal disorder occurs when the ovaries or adrenal glands overproduce the male hormones and the body has insulin resistance. Studies have shown that 87 percent of women with irregular menstrual cycles have PCOS.
- Thyroid or pituitary disorders Hypothyroidism , hyperthyroidism , and hyperprolactinemia can all affect menstrual regularity, says Dr. Lynn. One study found that 44 percent of study participants with irregular periods also had thyroid problems.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease An inflammation of the female reproductive system, PID is usually caused by sexually transmitted infections.
Period Problem: Irregular Periods
Your periods are considered irregular if your menstrual cycle is shorter or longer than average. This means that the time from the first day of your last period up to the start of your next period is less than 24 days or more than 38 days.
Your periods can also be irregular if your cycle length varies by more than 20 days from month to month.10 An example would be your cycle jumping from a normal 25-day cycle to a 46-day cycle the next month and then back to a 25-day cycle the following month.
Irregular periods are normal for teenage girls and perimenopausal women. Teen girls periods may be irregular for the first few years before becoming more regular. During the transition to menopause, called perimenopause, menstrual cycles may become more irregular over time.
Causes of irregular periods include:
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How To Deal With Periods Every Two Weeks
There are wholesome habits that can help women manage having a period every two weeks. They include:
Staying hydrated to flush the body properly
Keeping a period calendar with the exact dates of your periods to help you make sense of your menstrual patterns
Carrying sanitary pads and tampons with you at all times so as not to be caught off guard in public
Trying gentle, regular exercises, such as calisthenics, long walks, or stretching routines. Restorative yoga can also relieve muscle tension and cramping as well as greatly help with premenstrual syndrome .
However, some women who receive a period every other week for an extended period of time without reprieve may want to consider treatment for long-term effectiveness.
What Causes Periods Every Two Weeks
Frequent menstruation can have a number of underlying roots, including hormonal and other causes. They include the following:
Getting a period every two weeks is commonly caused by imbalanced levels of estrogen and progesterone. This frequently occurs during menopause as the ovaries transition into their non-fertile stage, causing drastic fluctuations of key reproductive hormones.
Polymenorrhea can also be caused by various medical conditions as well as certain lifestyle habits, such as the following:
Drastic weight loss
Going off or starting a new type of hormonal contraception
Obesity, especially if related to polycystic ovary syndrome
Benign uterine abnormalities, such as endometriosis and uterine fibroids
Certain types of cancer
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Treatments For Periods Every Two Weeks
A woman can approach her periods occurring every two weeks with a variety of treatments, ranging from natural to more conventional ones.
Naturally and effectively treating irregular periods revolves around fixing the hormonal imbalance largely at fault for their occurrences, starting with an optimized diet rich in the plant-based estrogens as well as iron to replenish what’s been lost from the extra bleeding.
For improved results, pair lifestyle changes with alternative medicine proven to work with the body to equilibrate reproductive hormones.
Conventional methods, on the other hand, often involve birth control prescriptions to solve getting a period every other week quickly. However, their usage should first be discussed with a doctor as they are considered more risky than natural measures, and symptoms may prove more hindersome.
Click on the following link to find out how to effectively treat irregular periods every two weeks to be able to finally enjoy a hormonally balanced life.
- ACOG. . Abnormal uterine bleeding. Retrieved January 14, 2020 from
Causes Of Irregular Periods Include: 2
- Eating disorders
- Excessive exercise
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Elevated levels of the hormone prolactin, which is made by the pituitary gland to help the body produce milk
- Late-onset congenital adrenal hyperplasia
- Hormonal birth control
- Hormone-containing intrauterine devices
- Scarring within the uterine cavity
- Medications, such as those to treat epilepsy or mental health problems
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Skipped a periodor got a weird flow? Pregnancy might seem obvious, but it’s not always. “We like to rule pregnancy-related issues out very early when a patient comes in with erratic bleeding,” says Dweck. “There are people who get what seems to be a ‘regular’ period even though they’re pregnant and everything is fine.” Other times, bleeding can be linked to more serious issues, like miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. So if you’re think there might be a chance egg and sperm met, see your doctor.
The months to years that lead up to menopause are marked with erratic, heavy, or light bleeding and spotting, combined with hot flashes, night sweats, and moodiness. “Some women might go six months without their period, then start bleeding again. That’s part of perimenopause,” says Dweck. If you’re having any of these symptoms, check in with your doctor, who might suggest medications, surgery, or lifestyle changes to help with symptoms.
If you’re experiencing any other signs of thyroid issuesincluding feeling super tired, depressed, and forgetful or irritable, nervous, and weak , and have unexplained weight gain or losstalk to your doctor. Most thyroid issues are completely treatable with the right medication, which will also put your period right back on track, says Dweck.
Why Does Menopause Cause Irregular Periods
In order to understand why the time leading up to menopause causes your body to have irregular periods, you need to have an understanding of the hormones that affect your periods in the first place.
Put simply, your menstrual cycle is regulated by progesterone and estrogen. Normally, the levels of progesterone and estrogen will rise and fall in a consistent pattern when you are experiencing your usual menstrual cycle.
*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.
Typically, you would experience ovulation around the middle of your cycle and then have your period roughly two weeks later. It is during perimenopause, though, that this otherwise regular pattern starts to shift, leading to symptoms like spotting and periods that no longer occur in the same pattern.
Your levels of progesterone and estrogen decline as you get older and as you reach menopause, but these hormones will fluctuate along the way, leading to periods that are irregular. One month, your period might be light and short, while the next month, it might be heavy and long.
You might skip one or more periods, and the length of time between each period might change as well from one month to the next. This all happens because your hormone levels are in a state of flux.
Consulting with your doctor once you start experiencing these symptoms is a good idea, as he or she will be able to diagnose you and determine if you are truly in perimenopause or if there is another reason for your irregular periods.
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Birth Control Can Make Your Period Irregular At First
Hormonal contraceptives like birth control pills and the hormonal intrauterine device work to prevent pregnancy by interfering with the natural fluctuation of hormones in your cycle that form eggs and ovarian follicles. This interference is what prevents you from getting pregnant.
Some hormonal contraceptives, like the hormonal IUD, also prevent pregnancy by thinning the lining of your uterus, known as the endometrium, so an egg cant attach to it.
A thin endometrium means your body doesnt need to shed it as often or at all, so your period may become much lighter or stop altogether, Zhang says.
Spotting or bleeding between periods can happen when you start using a new method of hormonal birth control, Zhang says. Plus, some people choose to use birth control in a way that suppresses their period entirely, like taking birth control pills continuously , which can also result in spotting until your body gets used to the new routine.
But if you have spotting or bleeding between periods that doesnt go away within a few months, or if theres a sudden change in your cycle, thats worth noting, Zhang says.
If youre on an IUD and you dont get your period, if all of a sudden you have heavy bleeding or have irregular bleeding, that is something to ask your doctor about, she says.