Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A question about menstrual cycles

(accidentally posted this on new readers.. shit, sorry guys!)

Ok, this is one for the ladies.  For women not on the pill, implant or hormone releasing coil, how regular are your menstrual cycles?  Like, are they exactly 28 days? (or 26, or 30, or whatever).  I have been led to believe that by the time women have had a period for a few years they will be unerringly regular each month.

Now me, my cycle varies between 26, 28, 30 and more days (36 days was the last one).  It's not that I'm stressed, or eat badly or anything.  I've never ever been regular and I'm now 31 and haven't been on the pill for seven years.  Pretty much all my friends are on the pill and have an artificially imposed cycle I can't ask them, hence why I am opening this up to the general Internet.
I guess I'd like to know how normal this irregular cycle is and if I need to worry..
Anonymous comments are welcome, if you want to answer but don't want to identify yourself.


celticfeminist said...

I'm 38 and not been on the pill for years. My cycles sound about like yours - veering from about 29 days apart to 35 or 36 days. And I've always been that way. The irregularity doesn't seem overly affected by outside events, either, so I just assume it's the way my body works. And, unless you're having other symptoms - I'd assume that's just the way your body works, too. I'd run this question by your doctor the next time you're in, but I'd wager it's nothing much to worry about. Bodies are all different and run the spectrum of how they work, and I'd bet that like me, yours just has its own clock. :)

CraftyReader said...

I'm 36 and haven't ever been on hormonal bc. Mine is typically every 24 days, but it's weird--the older I get, the more irregular. Exercise (or maybe the fact that I'm starting to do more of it) plays a factor, for me.

And yeah, it doesn't sound like much to worry about; what celticfeminist says.

Feminist Avatar said...

Before my days of contraception, I used to have a cycle of 35 or so days and it wasn't particularly regular. It took me years as a panicking teenager to realise this- every 28 days I would be like 'WTF' for another week. Some medical conditions, like polycystic ovaries, can make you irregular - but if you have no other symptoms, I wouldn't worry about it (plus there ain't much they can do about a lot of the things that make you irregular but put you on the pill).

Feminist Avatar said...

Can I also say that after being used to 35 day cycles, the pill sucks! Far too many periods for my liking.

Shelly said...

This is no longer an issue for me -- Yay! -- but back when I did get these monthly visits, they were actually not monthly. For the first 10 years, my period would occur anywhere from 5-7 weeks. In my 20s and 30s, they occurred anywhere from 5-6 weeks. My 40s were a bit better, coming every 4 1/2-5 weeks, then every 4 1/2 weeks before stretching out again as I entered my 50s and menopause began.

I never took the pill, used a coil, etc. And I never got pregnant, either.

Every woman is different. There might be an average cycle, but that doesn't mean every woman is average. One's cycle is one's cycle. When you have a regular schedule and it deviates suddenly, you probably should have it checked, but not because your cycle isn't what someone says is should be. :)

Saranga said...

Thank you all. It's good to know I'm not abnormal and in all likelihood pretty healthy.

Now why the effing hell don't they make this clear in sex ed at school? Or in women's magazines?
Up until yesterday (and you lovely ladies answered my question!) I thought a regular period meant exactly every 26/28/30 whatever days. I could have spent last week not worried out of my head panicking about being pregnant.

So, a big THANK YOU to answering. It's really really appreciated. :)
Have a good rest of your week my dears :)

Shelly said...

Glad I could help. :)

SallyP said...

Heh. I'm 53, and going through all KINDS of interesting symptoms. I just want it to...stop! Man, I hate being old and fertile.

But seriously, yours sounds fairly regular. Weird things can set it off. Stress is one culprit, but who the heck really knows?