Irregular periods. Causes and symptoms of irregular menstrual cycles.

The fact is that women's cycles are rarely perfect, by the book, and menstruation comes, like clockwork. Most women experience subtle deviations in the length of their menstrual cycles, and this is perfectly normal. However, when do we talk about irregular menstrual cycles? What are their characteristics? What can be their causes? And above all, when do irregular menstrual cycles require medical consultation?

Irregular periods - when can it be determined that cycles are irregular?

Irregular menstrual cycles can be found over a period of 6 months, during which a woman's periods occur infrequently, frequently or unpredictably. It's a situation where a woman doesn't really know when to expect her next period. Irregular cycles are often those that are outside the norm of 21-35 days. They are also cycles that vary in length by more than 7-9 days. For example, one cycle is 28 days long and the next is 39 days long.

Of course, you don't have to analyze this yourself and calculate whether your cycles fit the above definitions. The OvuFriend app will do it for you, because it analyzes your menstrual cycles very carefully, and if it detects in them, for example, just problems with the regularity of your periods, it informs you about this, and can also suggest consulting a doctor.

Importantly, the OvuFriend app effectively determines fertile days and ovulation even with irregular, complicated and difficult to interpret cycles. This is especially important when trying to have a baby, when it is crucial to pinpoint the most fertile days during the menstrual cycle and thus increase the chances of getting pregnant.

Irregular periods - the most common causes of irregular menstrual cycles.


Irregular menstrual cycles can be related to the stage of life a woman is currently in. These include:

  • First periods / start of menstruation,
  • Pre-menopause period,
  • Postpartum / Breastfeeding,
  • Recurrent miscarriages,
  • Discontinuation of hormonal contraception.
In the above situations, the lack of regularity in menstrual cycles is usually a temporary period and is associated with hormonal changes that occur in the female body. The body adapts to the new situation and usually after a few months everything returns to normal, and the regularity of menstrual cycles improves significantly. However, if, despite the passage of time, cycles remain irregular, or there are other unusual or worrisome symptoms, it is best to talk to a doctor.  
Lifestyle-related causes of irregular menstrual cycles:
  • Stress,
  • Sleep problems,
  • Shift work (especially night shifts),
  • Rapid weight loss,
  • Excessive physical exercise,
  • Frequent, long-distance travel,
  • Use of certain medications,
  • An unhealthy diet, especially one that involves a caloric deficit and failure to supply essential nutrients to the body.

Causes of irregular menstrual cycles related to physical factors, diseases and disorders:

  • PCOS, or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome,
  • Diabetes,
  • Thyroid diseases (hypothyroidism / hyperthyroidism),
  • Uterine polyps,
  • Uterine myomas,
  • Intimate infections,
  • Early menopause,
  • Benign tumors within the reproductive organs,
  • Cancers.

Irregular periods - when to see a doctor? 

While irregularity of menstrual cycles resulting from a situation where a woman is pre-menopausal, has stopped taking birth control pills, or has given birth to a child, is unlikely to be of concern, as the body has to adapt to the new situation and this can be considered a transitional stage. On the other hand, irregularity of cycles, which can result from disease processes, hormonal disorders or unhealthy lifestyles, can have very negative consequences, both short and long-term. The endocrine system affects not only female fertility, but also the circulatory system, healthy sleep, proper metabolism and much more.

Problems with irregular menstrual cycles should therefore not be underestimated. If you are not at any of the stages mentioned above (menopause, post-pregnancy, or post-contraception), it is worth seeing a doctor to determine the cause of problems with irregularity in cycles. Your doctor should order tests, make a diagnosis and implement appropriate treatment tailored to the cause of your problems with irregularity in cycles.

If you monitor your menstrual cycles in the OvuFriend app, it's a great idea to show them to your doctor during your visit. Your menstrual cycles and their lengths, but also your mood, symptoms, possible spotting, or complaints, are a lot of valuable information for the specialist. It is a comprehensive supplement to your medical history. This information can help the doctor decide where to start diagnosing problems with irregular cycles. The app can also suggest specifically which symptoms and parameters in your cycle are worth consulting with your doctor during your visit. For example, if, in addition to irregular cycles, you develop characteristic symptoms for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, this is what the app will tell you. This can prove to be a very helpful hint that it is in the direction of PCOS that you should start diagnostics. This is a huge time saver for both you and the specialist, who will know exactly what tests to order first.

Don't have the OvuFriend app? Download from GooglePlay or the AppStore.

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