Every woman experiences irregular periods sometime or the other. For some, it is a one time thing whereas for others, it can last a long time. Any kind of irregularity is a big concern. It is very important to know about the causes of irregular periods, and is even more important to know what this cycle signifies. Every woman has a unique cycle, for some it may last 28 days, while for others, it can last 35 days. Some women experience a light flow or some spotting, others experience a heavy flow. A typical period lasts about 3 to 7 days. Irregularity is characterized by a missed or a late/early period. Also, if a woman has unusually heavy or scanty bleeding or two periods in a cycle, it is termed as irregular.
The causes are many and not all are worrisome. We know that hormones regulate menstrual cycles, so anything that interferes with the hormones causes a hormonal imbalance, which leads to irregular menstruation.
- Stress is one of the common reasons. It is one of the main culprits for this problem. If you have been worried, over worked, or angry before your time, chances are that you will experience a changed menstrual cycle.
- Sudden weight gain or weight loss can also result to this. Diet plays a very vital role.
- Another potential reason is excessive exercise. This causes a sudden decrease in body fat, which in turn leads to a missed cycle or very scanty spotting.
- Girls who have just begun menstruation, experience irregularity for up to one year or more. Missed cycles after menarche are nothing to worry about, it's part of the normal body process.
- In some women, the onset of menopause can lead them to experience this problem. This too is perfectly natural and there is no reason to be worried.
- Pregnancy can be another reason. So, if you missed a cycle after sexual intercourse, its best to first rule out pregnancy. To prevent unplanned pregnancy, it is wise to use contraceptives. There can be changes in the menstrual cycle after pregnancy.
- Excessive consumption of alcohol and smoking are also considered as potential reasons. Drug abusers also experience a changed menstrual cycle. Also, changes in the routine of consumption of oral contraceptives can be one of the reasons.
- Certain STDs also show irregular periods as a symptom.
- Medical conditions, like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and uterine abnormalities are other reasons, these require medical attention. Another such condition is inflammatory bowel disease.
One thing that all women should do is maintain a chart to keep a track of their menstrual cycle, by doing this they can ascertain if a pattern is visible. This can help you calm your worries and rule out any silly worries. If there is a serious problem like excessive bleeding for a long time, severe menstrual cramps, etc., then consult your physician. Maintaining a healthy diet will keep you fit and will also help regulate your hormones.
If you exercise excessively, change your workout routine and reduce the intensity of the workout. If you are suffering from an eating disorder, get yourself treated for the same. Try to live a stress free life. If you are stressed, meditate or do some activity that you enjoy to cope with stress. Get regular health checkups done and consult a physician if you suspect something serious.
By now, you must have realized that irregular periods cause unnecessary stress in some situations and one doesn't need to worry every time. So, keep a track of your diet and live a healthy life. Remember, worrying about this problem can also lead to it!
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.