Irregular menstrual cycles:
Periods may become shorter, longer, heavier, or lighter, and the timing between cycles may vary. The fluctuations in hormone levels during perimenopause can disrupt the regularity of menstrual cycles. Some women may experience a decrease in the frequency of periods, while others may have periods that occur more frequently. The length and flow of periods can also change, with some women experiencing heavier or lighter bleeding than usual.
One common characteristic of irregular menstrual cycles during perimenopause is the unpredictability of periods. A woman may have several months of regular cycles, only to have a period arrive earlier or later than expected. Alternatively, periods may occur more sporadically, with longer intervals between them.
Additionally, skipping periods altogether or experiencing anovulatory cycles (cycles without ovulation) can occur during perimenopause. This can lead to irregular bleeding patterns, such as spotting or light flow, or a complete absence of periods for several months.
The irregularity of menstrual cycles during perimenopause can make it challenging to predict when periods will occur or track fertility. It is important for women in this stage to use contraception if they do not wish to conceive, as ovulation can still occur even with irregular cycles.
It’s worth noting that irregular periods can also be influenced by other factors such as stress, certain medical conditions, or medications. If you are unsure whether your irregular cycles are due to perimenopause or another underlying cause, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis.