Why are you having irregular periods or menstrual cramps?

Why are you having irregular periods or menstrual cramps?

Why are you having irregular periods or menstrual cramps?

blüüm
women's health
Feb 24, 2021
Why are you having irregular periods or menstrual cramps?

Every woman has their own period problems. Minor irregularities in your period are perfectly normal but missed periods and intense abdominal pain may be signs of more serious issues.  Periods can be an indicator of your overall health, it is important to learn about period symptoms and why they occur. blüüm will share with you why you might be having symptoms of irregular periods or abdominal pain.

What is considered an irregular period?

Not everyone’s cycle will be 28 days, neither will every cycle be exactly the same. The average cycle lasts for about 21-35 days. 


An irregular period cycle can be defined as:


  • Menstrual cycle of fewer than 21 days 
  • Menstrual cycle of more than 35 days
  • Cycle lengths that vary more than 20 days are considered irregular periods


Irregular periods are normal and common for teenage girls and perimenopausal women.


What is considered an irregular period?

Causes of irregular period

Extreme stress and sudden lifestyle changes are common causes of irregular periods. If you have just started working the overnight shift or an intense workout regime then that might be the cause of some irregularity in the initial phase of the lifestyle change. Extreme eating habits, obesity and eating disorders may also be causing factors. Tracking habits like sleeping hours, food & water intake and mood can be a way to identify these possible underlying causes. 


Medications and medical conditions may also be causes of irregular periods. Some medicines like steroids and anti-depressants may affect menstrual cycles. Thyroid issues are commonly linked with irregular periods, a 2015 study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology of India shows 44% of women with menstrual disorders also had thyroid issues. Irregular periods may also be symptoms of Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) and Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).


When to call a doctor

Occasional irregularities in your menstrual cycle may not be something to be too worried about. However, if you have prolonged irregular cycles, then it might be time to consult your doctor. You should contact your doctor if you suddenly experience multiple irregular periods including cycles of less than 24 days or more than 38 days, or your periods suddenly stop for more than 90 days and that you're not pregnant.

Causes of menstrual cramps (abdominal pain)

Causes of menstrual cramps (abdominal pain)

Most women have experienced some degree of menstrual cramps (abdominal pain) during their period, this pain is known as primary dysmenorrhea. This pain occurs due to the uterus contracting to help the uterine lining leave the body. For most women, the pain eases with age and can be combated with simple over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs. 

Who has a higher risk of period pain?

Some women are at higher risk of period pain, these factors include:

  • Period started before age 11
  • Heavy periods
  • Smokers
  • High levels of stress

Secondary dysmenorrhea is a period pain caused by an underlying gynecologic disorder and in contrast to the regular period pain, it usually gets more serious with time and age. Also, it lasts longer than the average menstrual cramp. Some conditions that may result in great abdominal pain include Endometriosis (when cells similar to the layer of tissue that normally covers the inside of the uterus, grow outside the uterus.), Uterine fibroids (non-cancerous tumours in the uterus) and Ovarian cysts. 


During the first few months of usage, an intrauterine device IUD may lead to increased abdominal pain during menstruation. An IUD is inserted into the uterus through the cervical canal. Pain is a normal symptom of the opening of the cervix. For some women, abdominal pain and discomfort only lasts for a few hours, but in general, any pain should subside entirely within the first 3-6 months. 

When to call a doctor

Most women have some degree of abdominal pain during their menstruation cycle. However, it might be time to give your doctor a call when over-the-counter painkillers aren’t helping to relieve the pain and period pain is refraining you from normal daily activities. Abdominal pain occurring in between periods and blood flow with large blood clots are also signs to call a professional.

Healthy habits for your period


Healthy habits for your period

Lifestyle changes are the first step into a healthier period. Some good habits for regular cycles and less pain include:

  • Stop smoking
  • Reduce alcohol consumption
  • Reduce caffeine consumption
  • Have a healthy balanced diet
  • Sufficient and regular sleep
  • Regular destressing
  • Regular exercise

An annual health check-up is also an important habit for a healthy reproductive system and overall well-being. blüüm woman includes two insurance plans that both provide free annual health check-up, including Cigna HealthFirst Elite Medical Plan and Cigna HealthSecure Lady Care Plan. An annual check-up is essential to detect any potential health risks at an early stage. The plans also provide protection against the costs associated with hospitalization, pregnancy, psychiatric treatment or critical illness. Along with one-stop health management services through our app, women can take care of both physical and mental wellbeing at any time. Learn more about blüüm woman here.


Information provided in this article is for reference only, and should not be treated as medical advice. Users should seek personal medical advice from a physician.

women's health
Feb 24, 2021
blüüm
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