What are irregular periods?

When your periods vary in the length of time between periods, they're referred to as ‘irregular’ and can often cause some concern. However, this may happen naturally for lots of reasons. For instance, periods are often irregular when you first start having your periods due to your hormone levels going up and down. The same thing happens when you’re nearing the end of your menstrual life. In both cases, there’s really nothing to be worried about.

How do I know?

How do I know if I just have irregular periods or it's something more serious?

When it's regular, your menstrual cycle is between 21 and 34 days in total with your period lasting 2 – 5 days of this (but could be up to 10).

Irregular periods categories

If you don’t fit into this pattern, your periods are described as irregular. More specifically, irregular periods are categorised as the following:

  • Bleeding between periods or after having sex
  • Period occurs less than 9 times a year
  • Menstrual cycle lasts less than 21 days

Disrupted menstrual cycle

Your menstrual cycle can be disrupted by the following;

  • Change of contraception
  • Severe dieting
  • Excessive exercise
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome

As we’re all unique, slight differences are perfectly normal. However if you're at all concerned, go and see your doctor so they can help to identify what’s causing it. In the meantime, wearing a liner is a good way of having some light protection and will make you feel more secure.