What causes irregular periods? | Check out these 7 likely causes
Irregular periods occur when ovulation does not happen as it should or when it is different from a normal period. This can lead to infrequent, missed or heavy bleeding. What are the main causes of irregular periods?
It’s fairly usual to have irregular periods sometimes. However, if a woman’s menstrual cycle is unusually long or short, varies from month to month, or misses periods frequently, there may be an undiagnosed health problem.
In this article, we will be looking at the major causes of irregular periods. Some of these causes are more serious than others. However, there is no cause for alarm as we will also discuss how to handle them.
- 1 Major causes of irregular periods include
- 2 When should you see a doctor?
- 3 How to reduce the risk of irregular periods
Major causes of irregular periods include
This is the first thought that comes to mind when a lady misses her period. A pregnant lady will not stop seeing her period from the first month of pregnancy. There might be other symptoms such as vomiting, dizziness, morning sickness, nausea and sensitivity to smell.
If you have missed your period by more than 15 days and have any or all of these symptoms, it may be time for a quick pregnancy test.
You won’t need to go to a hospital to get a pregnancy test or visit a big store next to you and get a pregnancy test kit. If it comes out positive, you will need to talk to your doctor for the next step.
Birth control pill.
Birth control pills can also be one of the major causes of irregular periods, and they might also cause severe mental cramps. If you take the pill and have missed two or more periods in a row, contact your doctor immediately to discuss alternative contraception options.
Weight gain or loss
If you gain or lose too much weight, your body may stop ovulating, especially if you lose more than 10 kilograms. This happens because fat tissue produces estrogen, which helps regulate your menstrual cycle by telling your brain when to release an egg during each cycle. There will be no period if there isn’t enough estrogen in your body to tell your brain that it’s time for your period.
Premature ovarian insufficiency
This disease affects women under the age of 40 who have ovaries that do not work correctly. The menstrual cycle comes to an end, just like menopause. This can happen in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy treatment or if you have a family background of premature ovarian insufficiency or some chromosomal disorders. Consult your doctor if this condition occurs.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
PCOS is a common hormonal problem affecting females as young as 11 years old. It is one of the major causes of irregular periods because it affects hormone levels and causes cysts on one or both ovaries (testes).
It’s usually diagnosed when there are no signs of ovulation for at least six months after having unprotected sex once a month. The condition can lead to infertility if left untreated.
Breastfeeding may also be a contributing factor to irregular periods. Prolactin is a hormone that helps with breastmilk production. It can also prevent ovulation, especially in women who exclusively breastfeed their babies for the first few months of their lives. This suggests that a woman’s period may not occur during this period.
The scientific term for this situation is lactational amenorrhea. It is not hazardous. Periods usually resume soon after a person starts breastfeeding less frequently or discontinues breastfeeding.
If you are under 35, you should rule this out. However, if you are in your 40s or 50s, there could be a chance that you have hit menopause. Menopause is a stage where there is a natural reduction in reproduction hormones. When women hit menopause, they stop menstruating.
When should you see a doctor?
Irregular periods are a familiar issue for women, particularly teens and those in their twenties. In most instances, irregular periods don’t have major causes. However, you should see a doctor if you have skipped more than two periods. If your periods last longer than 8 days, or if you have periods that occur more frequently than every three weeks, you should also see your doctor.
How to reduce the risk of irregular periods
Exercise relieves stress and keeps your system in balance, which aids in the stabilization of menstrual cycles. Regular exercise also aids in the maintenance of a healthy weight, which reduces the likelihood of irregular periods.
However, please take care not to overdo it. Excessive exercise, which causes rapid weight loss, can also contribute to irregular periods.
Consume nutritious foods.
Fruits and vegetables provide the nutrients required for a healthy reproductive system. To avoid hormonal changes that can cause menstrual problems, limit your intake of red meat, margarine, cheese, and other high-fat foods.
Quit smoking and drinking.
Smoking increases the risk of irregular periods by causing hormonal changes in your body. It can also lead to an increased risk of cancer, heart disease and stroke.
Reduce caffeine intake.
Caffeine is known to affect hormone levels in women. Drinking more than 300 mg (about four cups) of coffee or other caffeinated beverages per day can cause irregular periods or make them stop.