Irregular periods aren’t always an indication of a problem, but it’s better to consult a doctor for advice.
You can have irregular periods if the length of your menstrual cycle keeps changing, and your periods might come late or early. The average period between the menstrual cycle is 28 days, but it’s normal for it to be a bit longer or shorter. Post puberty, women develop a regular cycle with the same length of period, but it’s not common to vary by a few days.
Irregular periods causes
There are multiple reasons for irregular periods, but some common causes are:
- Post puberty, your periods may be irregular for the first couple of years
- Starting of menopause
- Early pregnancy
- Some hormonal contraception
- Extreme weight gain or loss
- Excessive stress or exercise
- Certain medical conditions like thyroid problems or polycystic ovary syndrome
When to consult a doctor?
Probably, you don’t require medical advice if you are having a slight change in periods or still going through puberty but consult a doctor if:
- Your period abruptly becomes irregular, and you are under 45.
- You have your period less often than every 35 days or more often than every 21 days.
- Your period lasts longer than seven days.
- You have irregular periods and struggle to get pregnant.
There may be nothing wrong, but it’s better to get a doctor’s advice to ensure the reason. A doctor might refer you to a gynaecologist if you need specific tests or treatments.
Reviewed by – Dr. Priyanka, MBBS MD Microbiology
Page last reviewed: 23 JUNE 2022