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problems with my cycle
jamie7571 posted:
I am 35 years old and for the last like 4 months my periods have been messed up. I have been going like 43 days between my periods. I am now on my period and its 12 days and counting. Its a light to medium cycle. Im not sure what this means?
Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP responded:
Dear Jamie: Given that the normal cycle is supposed to be between 21-35 days apart and seven days or less of flow, The most common reason for a menstrual pattern like you have described is not having an ovulation every month. In a normal cycle, estrogen is produced all month. Estrogen is responsible for building up the lining of your uterus so you have something to shed each month. The good news is that you have enough estrogen to make a lining that does shed every month.

In a normal cycle, progesterone production increases following ovulation and release of an egg.. Progesterone "stabilizes" the uterine lining in preparation for a possible implantation of a new pregnancy. If you are not pregnant that month the levels of estrogen and progesterone fall, triggering the release of the uterine lining—your period.

So, if you do not ovulate, the estrogen build up of the lining continues, but without the usual ovulation associated progesterone. Thus, the hormone levels don't decline, and the lining stays up inside the uterus—as a missed/late period. Alternatively, the built up lining can begin to shed under its own weight creating erratic bleeding patterns which are usually "too-light" and/ or super heavy and prolonged.

There can be many causes for changes in ovulations: low thyroid, pituitary problems, ovarian cysts, physical stressors (eg sudden increases in exercise, crash dieting), emotional stressors (problems with partners, money worries), increased body weight, anorexia, rotating shifts at work, etc. While it is true that cycle changes slowly begin around age 35, you are about a decade "too young" for perimenopause. Thus, my best GUESS is that one of these other reasons is a possible culprit.

Since it has been happening for the past four months I would urge you to check in with your GYN or clinic--especially if you are having pelvic pain (eg ovarian cyst), or prolonged bleeding (eg 12 days this month).

jamie7571 replied to Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP's response:
thank you for your help. i do have a appt this week with my female doctor.

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