Long menstrual cycles or oligomenorrhea are a common occurrence. The medical term is oligomenorrhea.
In fact most women will at least one episode of an irregular cycle during their menstruation years.
Some however have these regularly due to some medical condition.
Fortunately, the most common causes are rarely very serious. In fact, many of them require just lifestyle adjustment.
In this article, I discuss briefly the medical definition and common causes of long menstrual cycles.
A little background information on the characteristics of normal cycle regularity will be helpful to understand the definition of oligomenorrhea. The acceptable normal length of the menstrual cycle should be within 21 to 35 days. This range also gives a range of 9 to 17 menstrual cycles each year. For example, if your cycles are 30 days, you will have about 12 cycles each year( 366/30=12). The longer the cycle length, the less menstrual cycles will occur in a 12 month period. That is a woman having her periods every 34 days will have about 10 to 11 periods each year( 366/12=10.7).
What then is oligomenorrhea? It is simply having less frequent menses because of a long cycle length more than 35 days. If a woman's periods come every 45 days, she will have only about 8 menstrual cycles in a year. Therefor when the length of the menstrual cycle is above normal( 35 days),it leads to oligomenorrhea( oligo- means small or few).
Another loose meaning of the term oligomenorrhea is its application to the volume of the menstrual blood. Some writers and many women have used it to refer to light menstruation. Others use the more appropriate medical term hypomenorrhea.
The causes of oligomenorrhea are generally similar to the common causes of irregular periods. These include stress, excessive exercise, pelvic diseases and much more.
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