Are your periods unpredictable?
Do your periods vary when they come throughout the month?
Irregular periods may refer to the spacing of your periods or the amount that you bleed.
Some variation in periods is normal. So many women are on birth control pills with exactly 28 days cycles that women with a normal range of days of their cycle might feel that something is wrong. A cycle is counted from the first day of one period to the first day of the next period. The average menstrual cycle is 28 days long. Cycles can range anywhere from 21 to 35 days in adults and from 21 to 45 days in young teens. A "normal" period may last 2 to 7 days. When periods start in the early teens, they tend to be longer and less predictable.
If your cycle length is longer that 35 to 45 days, you should see us to determine why that is. In the early teens, it can be common as the body continues to mature. Another common reason for a long period of time from one menstrual cycle to the next is polycystic ovarian syndrome. Women with PCOS may only have a few periods in the entire year. Many women experience lengthening of their cycles again in perimenopause.
If you are bleeding more often than every 21 days, you should come in for an evaluation. You may have polyps or fibroids that are causing you to bleed.
Irregular periods may refer to how heavy your periods are. We will want to know how your periods have changed and if they have always been this heavy. We will ask you to quantify how heavy your periods are by asking how often you change a pad or a tampon, what size tampon or pad you use and how full it is when you change it. Are you having to get out of bed at night to change your pad? Are you soaking your sheets? All of this can be quite upsetting and we want you to tell us about it. It will help us develop an action plan tailored to you.
When you come to Ideal Gynecology, we will talk to you to find out how long this has been a problem, how it impacts your life, how important it is for you to do something about it. Some women just want to find out that nothing dangerous is happening to them. The women’s health specialist that you see will most likely do a physical exam. You may be asked to continue your evaluation at future visits with an ultrasound and possibly an endometrial biopsy.