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Does your period date keep changing? This is what it indicates

In case you have irregular periods, it’s time to watch out for certain signs and symptoms to get treatment without delay.
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Know the likely reasons behind your irregular periods. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Dr Sangeeta Gomes Updated: 30 Oct 2023, 13:09 pm IST
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Menstrual cycles are dynamic and can vary for several reasons. The length of the cycle, the heaviness of the flow, and your menstrual symptoms can all change. The main cause of irregular periods is the fluctuation in the levels of hormones called estrogen and progesterone. So, if you see your period dates changing every now and then and experience irregular periods, there could be certain reasons behind it.

What are the reasons for irregular periods?

1. Pregnancy and life stage:

As you enter different stages of your life and experience events like pregnancy, your cycle will vary. It can also change during the postpartum period, perimenopause (the stage before menopause), after having a miscarriage or abortion, etc.

2. Contraceptives and certain medications:

Contraceptives or birth control methods like IUDs, emergency contraception, or other birth control pills fluctuate the hormone levels and cause changes in the cycle. If you are on any medications due to health reasons, your periods can be affected.

3. Health conditions:

Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), uterine fibroids or polyps, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, premature ovarian insufficiency, under or overactive thyroid, etc, may see variations in their menstrual cycle date.

4. Lifestyle factors:

If you have gained or lost weight suddenly, this could affect your periods. Any change in exercise routine, increase in stress, consumption of alcohol or smoking cigarettes could lead to irregular menstruation.

Avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

How can you regulate your irregular periods?

A few measures can be taken to regulate your periods:

1. Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy body weight:

A good lifestyle is essential to regulate your cycle. Take up a moderate exercise routine and eat a balanced diet, consisting of nutritious food. If you need to lose weight, you must do it gradually and not over-exercise.

2. Manage your stress:

Stress reduction and relaxation are very important when it comes to regularizing periods. Practice meditation or yoga. Make sure you get proper sleep.

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3. Consult a doctor:

Someone qualified may be able to prescribe certain medications if needed. You must take them as directed.

Are irregular periods a cause for concern?

It is important to remember that no one has a perfectly regular cycle that comes on the same day every month. Slight variations in timing and also symptoms are quite normal. Clinically, a cycle is considered regular when the majority of your periods are within the following range:

* Adolescents: The range of a normal cycle (the gap between two periods) is 21-45 days;
* Adults: 24 to 38 days (this can vary up to 7 to 9 days);
* The periods should last lesser than 8 days.

There  can be numerous factors affecting your periods date. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

The last word

There is no need to worry if you have slight variations. However, learning what your average cycle looks like is important. If you notice your cycle repeatedly getting irregular, this could be an indication of underlying abnormalities or conditions like PCOS, fibroids, endometriosis, thyroid conditions, etc. It is therefore essential to get a medical opinion to detect or rule out any serious health condition.

Consult your doctor who can determine the cause and guide you on the necessary steps to be taken to regularize your periods.

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About the Author

Dr Sangeeta Gomes is a senior obstetrician, gynaecologist, and an infertility specialist. She completed her MBBS from Gandhi Medical College, Hyderabad in the year 1994 and her MD in Obstetrics and Gynaecology from Osmania Medical College, Hyderabad in 1998. She has an experience of 28 years. She has a wide range of experience in the field of Pre-and Post Delivery Care, Instrumental Delivery, and High-Risk Pregnancy Care which includes twins pregnancy, pregnancy with a bicornuate uterus, breech presentation, transverse lie, fibroid complicating pregnancy, and placenta previa. She is specialised in Infertility Evaluation and Treatment. She is also specialised in teenage problems, hormonal imbalance, DNC, cervical cerclage, open abdominal surgery, laparoscopic surgery, and peri and post-menopausal problems. She has good expertise in previous cesarean cases and gynecological surgeries. She is a consultant obstetrician, gynaecologist and infertility specialist at Motherhood Hospitals. ...Read More

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