When Do You Call It an Irregular Menstrual Cycle?

Irregular and long menstrual cycles are often associated with hormonal imbalance, improper dietary habits, smoking, and other lifestyle practices that lead to uterus and reproductive issues. But, a recent paper published in the BMJ Medical Journal reveals that women with irregular and long menstrual cycles could have a shorter life span compared to those who have regular and short menstrual cycles (less than 40 days). 

The study involved over 79,000 women participants in the age of 38 who had no history of diabetes, or any other cardiovascular diseases. The research continued for around 24 years, where the scientists studied the premature death risk of their participants. At the end of the research, it was concluded that women who had had irregular periods and long menstrual cycles during the age 18-22 and 29-46 had a shorter life span of less than 70 years whereas the participants with regular menstrual cycles lived longer. The researchers also observed that the death risk was high from hormone disruptions, uterus and ovarian cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes. 

However, there is no evidence that women with irregular and long menstrual cycles will die sooner. The study is just to bring to light the importance of proper medical attention to those who suffer from irregular menstrual cycles which may cause mood swings, excess bleeding, bloating, obesity, and most importantly fertility issues. Not all women with irregular cycles have fertility issues. But, the chances of conception becomes less when ovulation doesn’t occur as per the cycle. It is also paramount to check for a condition called PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome-the presence of fluid-filled sacs in the ovary) when there is a prolonged issue of irregular menstrual cycles. 

Ways to Regulate Irregular Menstrual Cycle

Gynecologists advise that women who have experienced prolonged issues with their monthly cycles should get a complete medical assessment done to rule out possibilities of ovary and uterus related problems. Proper dietary habits, adequate water consumption, good sleep, and an active lifestyle are the few changes that’d be advised to correct PCOS or irregular menstrual cycles. 

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I'm Vannessa, a certified masters in curating unique diet plans specializing in nutrition, weight management, stress management etc. I was formerly a member of Healthline's dedicated research team and was recognized as one of their top writers for a decade.I am also actively participating in several health forums, including MomMD and MedHelp.I'm passionate about helping people achieve optimal health through strength training, mindfulness techniques. My articles and guides offer a blend of research and practical strategies to support your specific needs. Let's work together to unlock your full potential for a healthier life.I postgraduated my degree in Advanced Food Safety from Queen's University Belfast. (https://www.qub.ac.uk/)