Everyone’s menstrual cycle is unique, and the characteristics of your period will surely change throughout your life. However, there are some characteristics of “normal” periods that can help us know about our overall health.
Your Menstrual Cycle
When we talk about the length of your menstrual cycle, we’re talking about the first day of your period until the first day of your next period. Normally, the length of a biological woman’s menstrual cycle is 25 to 30 days. However, this can be as short as 21 days or as long as 35 days. Women’s periods typically last between 2 and 7 days.
Not only is everyone’s cycle length different, but your own menstrual cycle will fluctuate over time. Some months, your cycle will be longer than usual. During other months, it may be shorter; and that’s okay!
What If My Period Is Irregular?
If you miss a period completely, that it one of the tell-tale signs that you may be pregnant (congrats if you are!). However, there are many other reasons that you could miss a period, such as:
- hormonal birth control
- taking the morning after pill
- malnourishment (poor nutrition and/or diet)
- onset of menopause
If your period comes unusually early or late, is heavier or lighter than usually, or is unpredictable, it may be a sign of a health condition (such as PCOS). It is important to address menstrual irregularities as soon as possible. Even if you are not actively trying to conceive, the cause of your irregular period could be impacting other parts of your body.
When Are The Signs That I Should See A Doctor?
At the end of the day, consistency is king! If you consistently have a shorter or longer menstrual cycle, that may just be how your body operates. However, it’s always a good idea to check in with your doctor and your hormones to make sure that your body is working the way that it is supposed to.