Menstruation or periods are the monthly cycle of bleeding. It occurs at puberty in women due to hormonal changes ad continues up till menopause. In medical terms, irregular periods is also known as “Oligomenorrhea”. Periods can be regular or they can be irregular.
The regularity and irregularity of periods can be measured by keeping a count of the number of days between the end of one menstrual phase and the beginning of another one. The normal estimated duration is of 28 days but it varies greatly between 20 to 35 days in different women. Regular periods are those which occur after the same number of days for every cycle, that is, at almost regular intervals.
What are Irregular Periods?
Irregular periods can occur early between the cycles or can occur late. It may start after 21 days (a short one) or after 36 days (a long one) of last menstrual bleeding. Irregular periods are not only concerned with the days but also any type of abnormality as compared to the usual menstrual cycle. It can be a period associated with heavy or scant bleeding too. Irregular form of period can also result in a missed menstrual cycle or a prolonged one.
Reasons for Irregular Periods
Irregular periods are not uncommon. They may be the result of many normal factors while sometimes may be accompanied by underlying complications. Following are mentioned some general reasons for irregular periods. These factors affect the hormonal levels, cause changes in them and hence, affect the regularity of periods.
Poly cystic Ovary Syndrome
PCOS or Poly cystic ovarian syndrome is quite familiar complication. About 10% of women all over the world are suffering from poly cystic ovarian syndrome. PCOS interferes with regular ovolution by causing cysts in the ovaries, which leads to irregular periods.
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The common symptoms of PCOS are weight gain, excessive hair growth, high blood pressure, dandruff, infertility and acne. If you find any of the symptoms, then an immediate evaluation of a doctor is recommended. Ignoring the symptoms may cause ovarian cancer, heart diseases and endometriosis.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel disease is also related to the irregular periods. It causes inflammation in the lower intestine which is accompanied by the symptoms like weight gain, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Inflammatory bowel disease can become serious and required surgery and hospitalization also, if untreated. Consult your doctor immediately, if you find any of the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease.
After achieving puberty, the periods can occur irregularly initially. Regular periods develop with progressing years.
Lots of hormonal changes occurs, when a women approaches menopause. Changes in her hormonal levels can result in irregular form of menses.
During pregnancy the body produces different and vast level of hormones. Pregnancy symptom onsets resulting end of the periods.
The most common cause of irregular period is stress. Any women facing tensions, fatigue, nervousness, anxiousness or emotional stresses may experience irregularity of periods.
Consuming alcohol regularly interferes or disturbs the metabolism of hormones. As a result of which you may end up with irregular or missed periods.
It can also stand out to be one of the reasons for irregular periods. Athletic women can experience irregular periods due to intense exercise. Sudden weight gain and weight loss is also the reason of irregular periods.
Proper diet intake plays quite an important part in maintaining a regular form of menstrual cycle. Poor diet intake, being underweight or over weight can affect the hormonal levels. Eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia can result in irregular periods.
Medications regarding birth control are also known to affect the regularity of periods. Our body needs some time to adjust the hormones that are being delivered by birth control pills. Irregular periods are considered to be normal and are not found uncommon.
The above mentioned reasons for irregular periods are some of the normal factors. Although there may be rarely present an underlying complication which produces irregular periods. Poly cystic Ovary Syndrome, a disease which includes growth of cysts on the ovaries and hence, interrupts with the normal ovulation. Inflammatory bowel disease can also be an underlying complication of Irregular periods. Genital warts, cervical cancer are also the reason of irregular periods.
Treatment of irregular periods is easy as long as it is not due to any underlying disease. To bring your menstrual cycle back to normal, try to reduce stress levels. Although, exercising is quite important, still one must be careful as to not to over-exercise. Take good care of your diet. If you suffer from any kind of eating disorder, seek medical help.
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