Frequent periods or polymenorrhea might be frustrating and cumbersome to handle.However, it is hardly a symptom of a terrible disease as many woman often think it is.
One of the most frequent questions I receive regarding this topic is “how frequent is frequent!” And then follows “what might be causing this?” We will therefore consider together the correct definition of frequent menstruation as well as the most common causes and treatment options available.
An understanding of the length of the menstrual cycle is basic to grasping what frequent menstruation or periods is. The average length of the cycle is 28 days. Yes, look at the word average again. Many woman, especially teenage girls get stuck with this textbook length. Keep in mind that no single number of days is the right cycle length for every woman.
The most important feature to know is the range of the normal cycle lengths, which is 21 to 35 days. If your cycle length is within this range, and that is what you have every month, then that is what is normal for you.
If your cycle is 21 days, then in 365days of the year, you will have about 17 periods ( 365/21=17). Similarly, if your cycle is 35 days, you will have 13 periods in a year.( 365/35= 13). We therefore expect that women with normal cycle length between 21 to 35 days should have 13 to 17 periods a year.
When the cycle length is less than 21 days, that is shorter than normal, the woman will have periods more frequently than expected. A woman with a cycle length of 17 days will have 21 periods ( 365/17=21). They have periods more frequently than expected. This is frequent periods. Therefore by definition, frequent periods describes menses that occur at an interval less than 21 days. The medical name is polymenorrhea, meaning many( poly-) menstrual cycles.
An opposite condition occurs when there are fewer than the expected number of periods in a year. Those with cycles more than 35 days will have less than 13 periods in a year.This is called oligomenorrhea.
The causes of polymenorrhea overlap with many of the causes of abnormal uterine bleeding or irregular periods. Common, simple causes include stress, excessive exercise, medications or perimenopause. More serious causes include diseases of the pelvic organs especially those with hormonal disturbances like polycystic ovarian disease.
Two causes worth mentioning are
It should be understood that there is no specific treatment directed at increasing the cycle length to stop polymenorrhea. The most important step in managing this condition is the correct identification of the cause and institution of specific targeted therapy.
Polymenorrhea, except that which is associated with menarche should not be treated at home. This might delay proper and prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
It is advisable that you seek medical evaluation to exclude
potential structural problems before ascribing it to trivial causes such
The best advice to someone with irregular periods with no apparent medical illness is to relax, eat healthy, main good body weight and exercise moderately.
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