Women generally have 11 to 13 menstrual cycles every 12 months, but in your case it may be different. A little less or a little more of the same means that you are having irregular periods. Menstrual periods are often irregular in the first few years of menstruation as the hormones need some time to reach a balanced state. However, it can be irregular while you approach menopause, as well.
Women have a common misconception that regular period occurs every 28 days, however, in reality it completely depends upon the body and hormones of a woman. For some, the menstrual cycle may comprise of 20 days while for others it can be of 35 days as well. A regular period lasts for about 5 days but, anything between 3 to 7 days is considered perfectly normal.
What is an Irregular Period?
About 30% of the women suffer from irregular periods in their reproductive years. Any type of bleeding when compared to the usual menstrual cycle is considered to be irregular menstruation. Late period, early period, bleeding between periods, heavy bleeding, scanty bleeding and periods twice in a cycle are some common forms of irregular periods.
Causes of Irregular Periods
Irregular periods are the result of hormonal signals gone out of sync. Your body produces different hormones like progesterone, estrogen and others. These are kept within the hypothalamus, pituitary gland and the ovaries. In order to set off ovulation and menstruation, these glands need to communicate with each other via signals and the miscommunication among them triggers irregular periods.However, there are varied reasons for irregular menstruation to take place. Some of them include –
If you are pregnant, the body will need to produce several other hormones to bring in the pregnancy symptoms. This would put a stop to your periods for a stretch of time.
There is limited knowledge among women about periods and irregular cycles. Many do not know that stress is often responsible for irregular periods. Being anxious, fatigued or worried leads to hormonal imbalance, this ultimately results into irregular periods.
As mentioned earlier in this post, the first few cycles of a woman are often irregular in nature as the hormones try to adjust to the body. The periods may take up to 3 years to adjust to the body conditions and hence, normalize.
Menopause sets in a whole lot of hormonal changes in the body thus causing irregular periods.
Intense exercise results into fatigue, which further leads to irregular periods.
Extreme weight loss, sudden weight gain and a poor diet are often responsible for irregular menstruation. Women suffering from anorexia or bulimia nervosa are said to experience no periods or erratic periods.
Birth control pills which are also referred to as hormonal birth control pills, cause irregular menstruation as the body takes time to adjust to the new hormonal levels as delivered by the pill. The pills cause imbalance in the hormones thus causing the same.
Polycystic Ovary syndrome
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, popularly known as PCOS is a common complication among women and can be seen in as many as 10% of the modern day women. The process allows cysts to develop on the ovaries, thus causing interference in the ovulation. Excessive hair growth, dandruff, weight gain and high blood pressure are some of the symptoms of the same. If left untreated, this can result into other serious issues as heart disease, ovarian cancer and endometriosis.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory Bowel Disease is also directly responsible for irregular periods. It also causes diarrhea, abdominal pain and weight gain.
Excessive alcohol consumption disturbs the hormonal balance and thus results into irregular periods as well.
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