October 22, 2020 | By: Premom Team
Do you know when your last menstrual period began or how long it lasted? If not, it might be time to start paying attention.
What Is a Menstrual Cycle?
The menstrual cycle is the monthly series of changes a woman's body goes through in preparation for the possibility of pregnancy. Every month, one of the ovaries releases an egg — a process called ovulation. At the same time, hormonal changes prepare the uterus for pregnancy. If ovulation takes place and the egg isn't fertilized, the lining of the uterus sheds through the vagina. This is a menstrual period.
What’s an Irregular Period?
In order to identify whether you have regular or irregular periods, you need to know some basics about them. The full menstrual cycle length is counted from the first day of your period to the day before the next period and isn't the same for every woman.
Average menstrual cycles are 21-35 days with menstruation lasting 3-7 days.
If your period falls into one of the situations below, you may have an irregular period.
- Unusual Menstrual Cycle Length: If you have a cycle of less than 21 days or a cycle of more than 35 days.
- Amenorrhea: or absence of a period. Missing cycles several months in a row can indicate an irregular period.
- Variety in Number of Bleeding Days: More than 3 cycles have gone by with varying lengths of bleeding days in each.
- Varying Heaviness of Flow: Record the heaviness of your flow. Does it seem lighter or heavier than usual? How often do you need to change your tampon/pad?
- Excessive Heavy Bleeding: bleeding is so heavy that you must change your tampon or pad more than once per hour
- Abnormal Bleeding: Bleeding or spotting between periods for several months in a row.
- Pain: Painful periods or pain in between periods that is not typical to your cycles.
If anything out of the ordinary comes up during your menstrual cycle and throws off your usual flow for longer than a couple of months, you may want to talk to your doctor to rule out more serious conditions.
The Bigger Picture
An easy way to keep track of your period is to start keeping a log of your menstrual cycle with Premom. Begin by tracking your start date every month for several months in a row to identify the regularity of your periods. Now that you know some of the key signs to look for during your menstrual cycle, you will gain clues about possible irregularities, and you’re ready to experience total confidence for a happier, healthier period!