Monday, October 17, 2011

Mrs Myrna Monday: Days in a Normal Menstrual Cycle and Causes of an Irregular Menstrual Cycle

Mrs. Myrna Mondays:
Where we answer all of the questions you have about your Lady Parts

Dear Mrs. Myrna, what's the low range when it comes to length of a menstrual cycle: and what can cause an irregular cycle?
Not So Sweet 17

Dear Not So Sweet 17,
An average cycle is 28 days long, but it is normal to have a cycle that is as short as 21 days or as long as 35.

Here are some causes for irregular menstrual cycles:
  • Pregnancy. This is the most common cause of a missed period, so if you might be pregnant treat yourself as if you are until you are able to confirm or deny. Pick up a home pregnancy test, if the test is negative and you are more than two weeks late on your period call up your CNM or ObGYN to set up an appointment.
  • Stress!
  • Fatigue
  • Caffeine
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Excessive weight loss or gain. While many of us know that a low body weight can cause us to miss a period, having a high body weight can have the same effect.
  • Increased exercise.
  • Illness
  • Travel
  • New Medications. If you have started a new medication and are experiencing an irregular period give a call to your CNM or ObGYN's office. Talk to the nurse and she can tell you if its a normal side effect or if you should come in for a visit.
  • Other causes include: breastfeeding, polycystic ovarian syndrome/estrogen dominance, poor nutrition, chemotherapy, hormonal imbalance, recent childbirth, miscarriage or uterine abnormalities (fibroids/cysts/polyps/endometriosis).
All this being said, if you've had an irregular period don't panic: its actually pretty common. One in five women will experience this. If it happens more than once or you go two weeks after the date your period put in a call to the nurse at your woman's health provider.

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