A regular menstrual cycle lasts 26 to 29 days. For some women menstrual cycles can range from 23 to 35 days while others menstruate only once or four times in a year. Two to three periods in a month have also been reported. Heavy bleeding and spotting during menstruation can be normal for some women. Some may menstruate regularly while others have never had a regular period. Menstrual cycles differ from woman to woman. Your cycle becomes irregular only when you notice a new irregular pattern in your cycle length.
If you period becomes irregular for a cycle or two and then returns to normal, there is probably nothing to worry about. Any irregularities including spotting and clotting are caused by hormonal imbalances. If you notice that your period does not regulate after 3 months you should have it checked.
Irregular periods may affect your chances of pregnancy. Predicting ovulation is hard when you have an irregular menstrual cycle. Ovulation may occur earlier than expected. It may even occur while you are still menstruating.
Commonly prescribed drugs for metrorrhagia are anti-inflammatories and oral contraceptives.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) block the formation of prostacyclin. Prostacyclin speeds up platelet aggregation and initiates blood clotting. This action may decrease menstrual blood flow. NSAIDs can be taken on the first 5 days of the menstrual cycle. Stomach irritation is a common NSAIDs side effect.
Combination oral contraceptive pills (COCPs) are used for excessive menstrual bleeding. They contain both estrogen and progestin. Common side effects are nausea, significant weight gain, breast tenderness and even breakthrough bleeding.
Natural medicine treatment
Alternatives to drugs, for irregular periods include herbs like Astralagus, Cotton root bark, Lady’s mantle, Rosemary, Dong Quai, Bayberries and Black haw bark .
Natural treatment for irregular periods has little to no side effects and is effective if administered properly. Herbal preparations can provide symptom relief as well as treat the cause. However never self-prescribe herbal remedies, always seek advice from a qualified naturopath.
Do you get irregular periods? Have you used natural treatments to regulate your cycle? Would love to hear your thoughts!
Abnormal Uterine Bleeding. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecology Education Pamphlet.17 February 2011
Iva Keene is co-founder and director of Natural-Fertility-Prescription.com. She has been a qualified, accredited Naturopathic Physician for over 13 years, holds a Bachelor's degree in Health Science and a Masters degree in Reproductive Medicine. Since founding NFP in 2008, Iva's articles, videos, guides and reports have reached over 1.3 million people. Iva has dedicated her professional life to supporting couples on their path to parenthood with scientifically grounded information, protocols and coaching around preconception care, natural infertility treatments and integrative reproductive health.