What causes irregular periods?
Painful or irregular periods, what is an irregular period, what causes irregular periods, why is my period irregular? In this article, you will learn 11 causes of irregular periods, irregular periods symptoms.
Every woman is different — including her periods. Some happen like clockwork. Some are hit or miss and unpredictable.
On average, a woman gets her period every 24 to 38 days. A period usually lasts about 2 to 8 days.
Most women experience an irregular period or abnormal flow from time to time. In fact, research has proven that about thirty percent of ladies battle this problem.
Causes of irregular periods every woman should know about
Is your period irregular, and you want to know the things that trigger it? Here are the causes of irregular menstruation all women should know about:
STD’s, STI’s, yeast infections or sicknesses like thyroid disorders can result in irregular periods when the blood levels of the thyroid hormone go so low or very high.
Stress is another common cause of irregular periods. This is because Cortisol, the stress hormone, has a direct effect on how much the 2 intercourse hormones, estrogen, and progesterone, are produced by the body.
3. Polycystic ovary syndrome
This is a medical condition that triggers small cysts to form on ovaries, which can hinder normal ovulation. Ladies that battle Polycystic ovary syndrome deal with this problem in their menstrual cycles.
Excessive workout affects menstrual flow as well. This is because, when you burn excess energy during exercise, you will have nothing left that your body can use when it is that time of the month.
A rampant reason for a late or missing period is the kind of meals you consume. The weight you are carrying is also key here. If you consume too many unhealthy carbs. Or if you have gained excessive weight, it makes your body produce varying levels of specific hormones that can shift when you ovulate.
6. Birth control pills
Most birth control pills contain a combination of the hormones estrogen and progestin (some contain progestin alone). The pills prevent pregnancy by keeping the ovaries from releasing eggs. Going on or off birth control pills can affect menstruation.
Some women have irregular or missed periods for up to six months after discontinuing birth control pills. This is an important consideration when you are planning on conception and becoming pregnant. Women who take birth control pills that contain progestin may only have bleeding between periods.
7. Uterine polyps or fibroids
Uterine polyps are small benign (noncancerous) growths in the lining of the uterus. Also uterine fibroids are tumors that attach to the wall of the uterus. There may be one or several fibroids that range from as small as an apple seed to the size of a grapefruit.
These tumors are usually benign, but they may cause heavy bleeding and pain during periods. If the fibroids are large, they might put pressure on the bladder or rectum, causing discomfort.
The endometrial tissue that lines the uterus breaks down every month and is discharged with the menstrual flow. Endometriosis occurs when the endometrial tissue starts to grow outside the uterus.
Often, the endometrial tissue attaches itself to the ovaries or fallopian tubes; it sometimes grows on the intestines or other organs in the lower digestive tract and in the area between your rectum and uterus.
Endometriosis may cause abnormal bleeding, cramps or pain before and during periods, and painful intercourse.
9. Pelvic inflammatory disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a bacterial infection that affects the female reproductive system. Bacteria may enter the vagina via sexual contact and then spread to the uterus and upper genital tract.
Bacteria might also enter the reproductive tract via gynecologic procedures or through childbirth, miscarriage, or abortion. Symptoms of PID include a heavy vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odor, irregular periods, pain in the pelvic and lower abdominal areas, fever, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
10. Polycystic ovary syndrome
In polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the ovaries make large amounts of androgens, which are male hormones. Small fluid-filled sacs (cysts) may form in the ovaries. These can often be seen on an ultrasound.
The hormonal changes can prevent eggs from maturing, and so ovulation may not take place consistently. Sometimes a woman with polycystic ovary syndrome will have irregular periods or stop menstruating completely.
In addition, the condition is associated with obesity, infertility and hirsutism (excessive hair growth and acne). So this condition may be caused by a hormonal imbalance although the exact cause is unknown.
Treatment of PCOS depends on whether a woman desires pregnancy. If pregnancy is not a goal, then weight loss, oral contraceptive pills, and the medication Metformin® (an insulin sensitizer used in diabetes) can regulate a woman’s cycles. So if pregnancy is desired, ovulation-stimulating medications can be tried.
11. Premature ovarian insufficiency
This condition occurs in women under the age of 40 whose ovaries do not function normally. The menstrual cycle stops, similar to menopause. This can occur in patients who are being treated for cancer with chemotherapy and radiation, or if you have a family history of premature ovarian insufficiency or certain chromosomal abnormalities. So if this condition occurs, see your physician.