Can you remember when your last period was and how long it lasted? If not, it may be time to take notice starting with tracking your menstrual cycle and identifying important changes. While irregular cycles are sometimes nothing to worry about, they can sometimes signal health problems that you and your gynecologist should be aware of.
A menstrual cycle is a series of changes that a woman’s body goes through monthly preparing for the possibility of pregnancy. Every month, the ovaries release an egg in a process called ovulation. At the same time, hormonal changes in the body prepare the uterus for pregnancy. If ovulation occurs but the egg goes unfertilized, the lining of the uterus sheds out of the vagina. This entire process is called a menstrual cycle.
Menstrual cycles can occur every 21 to 35 days and last from two to seven days.
Comparing your menstrual cycle to another woman’s will not give you an accurate sense of what’s regular or irregular; it’s comparing your own cycles that will confirm regularity. Does your cycle come about the same time and length each month or is it somewhat inconsistent? Is your cycle light or heavy? Painful or painless? Do they last two days or seven? What we refer to as “normal” is what’s normal for you.
Bear in mind that the use of some methods of contraception, such as birth control pills and intrauterine devices (IUDs), can alter your menstrual cycle. Your gynecologist can give you a better sense of what to expect.
To figure out what a normal menstrual cycle looks like for you, you should start keeping track of it. There are countless apps on the market that allow you to track your cycle on your phone or you can use a calendar. Start by tracking the start date several months in a row to get a sense of the regularity of your menstrual cycles. You can also make a note of the following:
If you have concerns about your irregular periods, the most important thing to do is to schedule an appointment with us at Tidewater Physicians for Women. Our caring physicians offer comprehensive gynecological services and will be able to find treatment to regulate your menstrual cycles or for any underlying problems that could be causing your irregular menstrual cycles. Please give us a call 757-461-3890 or use our contact page if you have any questions!
828 Healthy Way Unit 330
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
844 Kempsville Road #208
Norfolk, VA 23502