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Why Do I Have an Irregular Cycle?

Turn to our doctors if you’re tired of living with an irregular cycle

Turn to our doctors if you’re tired of living with an irregular cyclePeriods are like fingerprints because no two are the same. Some women may have cramping and a heavier flow, while others have a lighter, cramp-free period. While differences like these are normal for a period, some things are not. For example, having a menstrual cycle that occurs less than every 21 days or more than every 35 days can indicate a problem. So can having very light or very heavy periods.

If this sounds like your menstrual cycle, we can help. Our Austin infertility doctors can figure out why you have abnormal periods and provide treatments to get you on track.

How do you know if you have an irregular cycle?

A woman’s period typically occurs every 28 days. However, a normal menstrual cycle can be anywhere from 21 days to 35 days. Anything outside of this range could suggest a problem. Additionally, the following issues suggest an irregular period:

  • Missing three or more periods in a row
  • A flow that’s very heavy or very light
  • Bleeding between periods or after sex
  • Periods that are longer than seven days
  • Periods that come with intense pain and problems like nausea or vomiting

Why do some women have irregular periods?

Several different conditions can cause an irregular cycle, and some of them can also cause problems with ovulation and fertility. Here are the most common causes of irregular periods:

  • Endometriosis can cause abnormal bleeding, painful periods and pain during sex. This condition is also a common cause of female infertility.
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease comes with symptoms like heavy vaginal discharge, irregular periods, pelvic pain, fever, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can lead to irregular or absent periods and ovulation. It can also cause symptoms like weight gain, acne, excessive hair growth and infertility.
  • Uterine polyps or fibroids are growths that occur in the uterine lining (polyps) or in the uterine wall (fibroids). These growths can cause heavy bleeding and pain during periods.

Stress and certain lifestyle factors can also cause irregular cycles. Some examples include gaining or losing a significant amount of weight, illnesses, excessive exercise and starting or stopping birth control pills.

How can our doctors regulate your menstrual cycle?

The first step in overcoming an irregular cycle is figuring out what’s causing it. Our Austin infertility doctors will take your medical history and perform a physical exam before ordering diagnostic testing. Some common tests include bloodwork, an ultrasound and a hysteroscopy.

Based on your test results and family-building goals, your doctor will design a customized treatment plan for you. For example, minimally invasive surgery is often a good option if you have endometriosis, while medications can help you ovulate if you have PCOS.

If you’d like to get help for irregular periods and ovulation, you’ve come to the right place. Contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our renowned fertility doctors.

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