Irregular periods is something that every woman experiences at some point in her life. As we know, the normal length of the menstrual cycle of women is 28 days. But it varies from woman to woman. Irregular menstruation can be marked when the length is more than 35 days or if the duration varies in this respect. Periods usually start during the puberty, when a girl is aged between 10-16 years and continues till the menopause, i.e. 45-55 years. Irregularities in the menstrual cycle can be marked anytime during the menstrual years and it can happen for a number of reasons. Here are the 14 causes of irregular periods and also the way you can identify them:
- Hormonal Birth Control Pills and Devices: There are certain hormonal birth control pills and hormone containing intrauterine devices (IUDs) that causes irregularities in the periods. Birth control pills might result in lighter periods and might also lead to spotting between periods.
- Breastfeeding: Prolactin is a hormone which is known for the production of breast milk. It might lead to the suppression of the reproductive hormones that results in very light periods or no periods for the matter.
- Perimenopause: This marks the transition phrase before one enters menopause. During this time, the fluctuating estrogen levels might lead to shorter or longer menstrual cycle. Other symptoms of perimenopause are, mood changes, hot flashes, night sweats etc.
- Pregnancy: Pregnancy might be the reason to make you miss a period or experience spotting. If you happen to notice that you have missed a period and you have had sex, make sure to go in for a pregnancy test at home right away.
- Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): PCOS leads to a lot of irregularities in the period cycle. If one has PCOS, then there might be heave bleeding or might miss periods for months as well. The other symptoms of PCOS are excessive body and facial hair, male pattern baldness, infertility etc.
- Uterine Fibroids: Fibroids are tiny tumors that are found to develop on the uterine wall. Most uterine fibroids are non-cancerous, but it might be the reason for irregular periods. You might experience painful periods if you have fibroids and uterine fibroids are known to cause heavy bleeding that might lead to anemia.
- Weight Issues: Obesity is another issue that has been linked to irregular periods. Being overweight affects the insulin levels and hormones that might lead to irregularities in the periods. Even sudden weight gain can lead to irregular periods. Consult your doctor in case of rapid weight gain as these are common signs of PCOS and hypothyroidism.
- Endometriosis: It is a condition in which the tissues that normally lines the uterus, grows outside of it. It affects 1 in 10 women belonging to the reproductive age for the matter. It can lead to heavy bleeding, painful cramps, bleeding between periods, prolonged periods etc.
- Thyroid Problems: A study that was conducted in 2015 has reported that 44 percent of women who faced menstrual irregularities had thyroid problems. Hypothyroidism might lead to heave bleeding and longer periods with increased cramps. Hyperthyroidism can lead to lighter or shorter periods and one might experience nervousness, heart palpitations, sudden weight loss etc.
- Too Much Of Exercise: Excessive exercise has been linked to the fact that it might interfere with the hormones that are responsible for menstruation. Intensive training or physical activities is known to give rise to the condition of amenorrhea which is stopped or missed periods.
- Eating Disorders And Excessive Weight Loss: Rapid weight loss can mess up the period cycle. Not getting enough share of calories can interfere with the production of the hormones that are needed for timely ovulation. So, make sure to see a doctor if you have lost weight suddenly without trying, you are underweight and you have eating disorders.
- Certain Medications: There are certain medications that might lead to irregularities in your period cycle. These medications include drugs like, anti-depressants, blood thinners, hormone replacement therapy etc. So, if you are on certain medicines and you have experienced irregularities in the periods, consult your doctor right away.
- Cervical And Endometrial Cancer: Endometrial or Cervical cancer can be responsible for causing changes to the menstrual cycle, along with bleeding between period cycles or heavy bleeding during periods. Bleeding after or during intercourse or unusual discharge are considered to be signs of these cancers.
- Stress: Stress is another important cause for irregularities in the periods. It interferes with that part of the brain which controls the hormones that are responsible for regulating the cycle. Research has shown that although stress temporality leads to irregular periods, but the menstrual cycle returns back to normal when the stress level decreases. Try out the different techniques that are there to help relieve stress at the earliest.
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