When we think about the length of a woman’s monthly cycle, we often focus on that magic number of 28 days. While it is true that many women do have a 28-day cycle, the fact of the matter is that some women have longer cycles, or shorter cycles, than 28 days. Some women may have an irregular cycle, in which the length of her cycle will vary from one month to the next.
There are any number of possible causes of an irregular cycle. If you have an irregular cycle on a long-term basis, it can be caused by things like a thyroid condition, or another physical condition that affects your hormonal balance in one way or another. If your irregular cycle is accompanied by prolonged bleeding or severe pain, it could be indicative that there is a serious problem, and you should contact your health care provider.
If you have had one or two irregular cycles, there are some things to consider as possible causes. It could be that an illness has thrown your system off, and that you will be back to a regular cycle once the illness subsides. It can be that stress is causing an interruption in your cycle, whether it is causing you to miss a period altogether or just delaying it. Problems with your diet, from anorexia to poor nutritional choices can also cause you to have an irregular cycle. Strenuous exercise might affect your cycle, as well. There are any number of prescription medications that can interfere with your cycle also. Even sexual activity can, especially if it is infrequent, impact your cycle.
If you have always had an irregular cycle, it may just be that your body works in that particular way. If you have started having irregular cycles after never having had them before, you should speak with your health care provider. Your health care provider may be able to help you diagnose and/or treat the possible causes that could be behind your irregular cycle.