9 Reasons for irregular periods
Women normally have 11-13 periods in a year. In a normal cycle, a period happens every 28 days. Some have a longer cycle and some a bit shorter. Irregular periods is a term to refer to missed periods for long stretches of time more than 40 days or frequent periods in a month. Pregnancy is the time when the female doesn’t have her period. A girl after she attains menarche around 10 years has a fertile phase till she reaches menopause in the late forties or early fifties. The pre-menopause stage which may begin as early as 10 years before menopause is also a reason for irregularity in periods. This irregularity is attributed to hormone changes in the body. Most women experience some kind of irregularity in their lifetime. Some irregularities remain for a short phase while others exist for longer time frame and can be the cause or symptom for other problems.
The common reasons for irregular periods are:
- Eating disorders: A healthy and balanced diet often keeps everything normal including the periods. However, today, we tend to stuff ourselves with junk food and miss out on essential nutrients in a meal and excess of things that hamper our health. Some have severe forms of eating disorders like Anorexia and Bulimia . In the first type, the woman will eat next to nothing being over conscious about her weight and will starve herself while in the second, she is obsessed with food and can’t put a stop on loading herself with her favorite goodies and then tries to over exercise or purge the food.
- Emotional Stress: Stress at home or work also affects the body. With certain hormones being more active in a stressed individual, the periods become irregular. Some of this stress may be from really silly matters. A little support from the family can correct such irregular periods. However, severe forms of stress may border depression and will need more therapies and medication to get the body and mind back on normal track.
- Uncontrolled diabetes: Diabetes is a lifestyle disorder which has no known cure and has to be managed well to live a quality life. Diabetes is essentially glucose impairment and high levels of glucose in the body often lead to amenorrhea, a condition of missed periods for long stretches of time. This also become a reason for infertility as ovulation is also not proper.
- Hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism: The thyroid gland controls a whole lot of function in the human body. A problem with this gland often means less menstrual flow or absence of periods. Hyperthyroidism in which more of Thyroxin is secreted makes the individual hyper active with inability to sleep which causes irritability and stress. Hypothyroidism during pregnancy can lead to many complications and increases the risk of having a mentally challenged child.
- Excess Physical Exercise: Too much exercise or physical strain is another common reason. Sportswomen often face the condition of irregular periods due to this. It is more common in endurance athletes.
- Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome(PCOS): Many women have PCOS and the problems associated with it include irregular periods and infertility. PCOS creates hormone imbalance in women that can affect ovulation. Cysts, polyps and fibroids all create problems in the flow of the blood and cause irregularities. Even scar tissue from an earlier surgery can create problems like in Asherman’s syndrome .
- Cancer: Leukemia often causes excessive bleeding. In certain types of uterine cancer, women have vaginal bleeding that is not part of a period. Chemotherapy and other strong medication taken may create irregularities in the menstrual cycle and may lead to ovarian failure.
- Infections and STDs: Infections in the vagina and Sexually transmitted diseases can be the cause for irregular periods or excessive bleeding. It is better to practice safe sex with condoms to prevent such infections. Once infected, antibiotics can be used to treat and the women can be healthy once again. In some cases, the partner too has to be treated as the infection causing agent may lie dormant in the man.
- Birth control & Strong Medications: High doses of chemicals in strong medications are another reason for irregular period or excessive bleeding. In some women, medicines taken for birth control can also lead to fewer periods in course of time and eventually to infertility.
- November 07, 2016
- Nattura Biocare Private Limited