A woman's menstrual cycle typically occurs every 28 to 32 days and lasts three to six days, but each woman is different and may have her own version of "normal." Irregular menstruation occurs when a woman cannot predict the approximate time of her period because it either happens too early or too late, usually with no rhyme or reason. It is important to see a doctor to determine the causes of irregular menstruation.
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When young girls first get their period, it may take a few years for their hormones to level out. The same principle applies when a woman enters perimenopause or menopause.
Sometimes the progesterone in birth control pills, implants or intrauterine devices can cause fluctuations in the menstrual cycle.
Athletes who exercise excessively in high performance situations may cease to have periods all together or have light ones intermittently.
Excessive or sudden weight loss can cause irregular periods, throwing hormones out of balance. Obesity also plays a factor in menstrual problems, as can eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia.
Problems with the reproductive system, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, tumours and fibroids, can cause irregular periods, as can pregnancy.
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