Irregular menses – Causes and treatment

Irregular menses mean that menstruation does not follow a regular routine every four weeks. All women do not have the same length of their natural menstrual cycle (the time between the first day you have menstruation and the time the next menstruation begins), and many have a little irregular menstruation every now and then.

Irregular menses are usually counted as for 21 days or over 35 days between menses. If you want to keep track of your period, it can be good to enter it in a calendar. There are also different apps for the mobile where you can register it. When you note your period, it is easier to detect if it is, for example, irregular. Irregular menses can occur for a variety of reasons, and in most cases, it corrects on its own.

Irregular periods can make it more difficult to get pregnant. The reason is that it becomes difficult to know exactly when ovulation occurs. At ovulation, you are the most fertile and have the greatest chance of being with children.

Causes of irregular menses

Some common causes of irregular menses are:

  • Stress
  • That you have just begun to get your period
  • Contraceptive
  • Slimming and other weight changes
  • That you were just pregnant
  • Approaching menopause
  • Hormonal imbalance


Different types of stress can make a period become irregular. This can be about stress stops associated with, for example, work, studies or private life. Also, environmental changes that move, travel and the like can trigger stress reactions in the body that affect the menstrual cycle.

Just started getting menses

It is common to have irregular menstruation when you are just starting to get your period. The reason is that ovulation often does not get started. Irregular menses in the beginning usually correct on their own when ovulation has started and the menstrual cycle has stabilized.


In most cases, contraceptives such as birth control pills help to keep your period regular. However, it can become irregular if you forget to take a dose, or if you have recently stopped taking a contraceptive.

Slimming and other weight changes

Weight loss programs, diets and other severe weight loss can disrupt the menstrual cycle and lead to irregular menstruation. Intensive exercise can be another factor affecting the menstrual cycle. Overweight can also lead to irregular or absent menstruation.

After pregnancy

It may take a while before the period returns to normal after pregnancy and breastfeeding. Irregular or absent menstruation during the first period after birth is not uncommon. It usually becomes normal again after stopping breastfeeding and the hormones have returned to balance.


As you get closer to menopause, you start to get more irregular. Menopause is the period when menstruation ceases, and irregular and absent menstruation may be part of the transition. Some have problems during the period, while others feel much like usual. It is common for men to become irregular when they are over 40 years of age.

Hormonal imbalance

Hormonal imbalance can lead to irregular or absent menses. One may have too much testosterone, male sex hormone, in the body which leads to problems. Polycystic ovarian syndrome, causes you to have too much testosterone in the body and can lead to problems with the period.

Treatment of irregular menses

One way to deal with irregular menses is contraceptives containing hormones. This type of contraceptive, such as birth control pills or birth control patches, can cause the period to become completely regular or disappear completely. If you use a contraceptive that makes your period irregular, you can try switching to another to see if it works better.

When the period is irregular due to external factors such as stress, anxiety and environmental changes, it usually becomes good again after it has calmed down. The same usually applies after pregnancy and breastfeeding; The body’s hormones need time to get back in order and return to a regular menstrual cycle.

If you have hormonal imbalance as a result of PCOS, the causes and symptoms of PCOS are treated with eg weight loss (if motivated) and drugs with different hormones.

When should you seek care?

Seek care at a health care center:

  • In case of problems caused by irregular menses
  • If you get menstrual bleeding after a year without menstruation at menopause
  • In case of missing men for over six months (no hormonal contraceptive)
  • If you want to get pregnant and have irregular menstruation

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