Causes Of Irregular Periods Include: 2
- Eating disorders
- Excessive exercise
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Elevated levels of the hormone prolactin, which is made by the pituitary gland to help the body produce milk
- Late-onset congenital adrenal hyperplasia
- Hormonal birth control
- Hormone-containing intrauterine devices
- Scarring within the uterine cavity
- Medications, such as those to treat epilepsy or mental health problems
How Is Abnormal Menstruation Diagnosed
If any aspect of your menstrual cycle has changed, you should keep an accurate record of when your period begins and ends, including the amount of flow and whether you pass large blood clots. Keep track of any other symptoms, such as bleeding between periods and menstrual cramps or pain.
Your doctor will ask you about your menstrual cycle and medical history. He or she will perform a physical examination, including a pelvic exam and sometimes a Pap test. The doctor might also order certain tests, including the following:
- Blood tests to rule out anemia or other medical disorders.
- Vaginal cultures, to look for infections.
- A pelvic ultrasound exam to check for uterine fibroids, polyps or an ovarian cyst.
- An endometrial biopsy, in which a sample of tissue is removed from the lining of the uterus, to diagnose endometriosis, hormonal imbalance, or cancerous cells. Endometriosis or other conditions may also be diagnosed using a procedure called a laparoscopy, in which the doctor makes a tiny incision in the abdomen and then inserts a thin tube with a light attached to view the uterus and ovaries.
Causes Of Irregular Periods And What You Can Do To Help Yourself
One thing thats bound to make any of us tense is coming up to and passing by the date we know we should get our period, without anything happening at all. But this doesnt have to mean that anything bad is happening, and some of the most common causes of irregular periods are things that you can take care of in your own time.
Below weve set out a friendly, helpful guide on irregular periods. This includes what they are, the main causes of them, how a period returns after delivery of a baby, and how a lack of exercise could all be affecting your monthly cycle. Weve even given a few quick tips on how you can get your flow back to the way it was before!
We also suggest talking to your doctor before doing anything else if youre ever worried about symptoms youre having.
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Known as prolactinoma, this small, benign growth in the brain’s pituitary gland is fairly common, especially in women, and most won’t experience symptoms. But if the tumor starts to secrete the hormone prolactin, it can affect other hormones that cause your period to skip or stop. It also results in a milky discharge from your breasts, since prolactin is the same hormone that causes you to lactate post-baby, explains Dweck, as well as vision changes. If you aren’t nursing, check in with your doctor, who may order a blood test and brain imaging. In many cases, medications can shrink the tumor and regulate your period.
If your BMI dips below 19 or if you’re working out like a maniac, your period might go MIA. “Preventing ovulation is your body’s way of reacting to ‘terrible stress’i.e., starvation,” explains Dweck. “I explain it as nature’s way of preventing you from getting pregnant if you’re under distress.” Your doctor will work with you to reach a healthy weight as well as check for any other issues that could be affecting your cycle.
“We’re not talking a stressful day at work,” says Dweck. “This is more going off to college, or losing a family member.” Check in with your doctor, and take steps to manage your stress yoga, meditation, talking to a therapist.
Sometimes, abnormal growths in your uterus can cause your period to go wacko. These include:
When Will My Period Return
Your first period after miscarriage will be unpredictable. Menstruation will definitely look different than before a heavier flow, some spotting, or nothing at allas your body recovers.
Just know that your cycle should return to normal within two months, although it can also happen sooner, says Dr. Zev Williams, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Program for Early and Recurrent Pregnancy Loss at Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. During this timeframe, the uterine lining should go back to its pre-pregnancy state, and your levels of pregnancy hormone hCG will also drop.
Also note that if your cycle was irregular before, you can count on an unpredictable cycle after recovering from a miscarriage too. But if your periods came like clockwork before the pregnancy, but they remain unpredictable a few months after a miscarriage, contact your OBGYN. She may give you progesterone to clean out your uterine lining, or put you on birth-control pills to regulate your cycle.
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The Menstrual Cycle Accompanies Women For Roughly Half Their Lives Starting With Their First Period During Adolescence All The Way Through The Stabilization Of Menopause Thats Close To 40 Years Of Living With Visits From Aunt Flow
Periods can come with different symptoms and discomforts. We’ve all heard of PMS or experienced at least one symptom of PMS. Emotional upsets, cramps, bloating, PCOS and irregular periods are some issues that many women experience related to their period. Here’s a look at what can cause irregular periods and what can be done to bring them back on track.
Having irregular periods can be unsettling especially when one wants to start a family and is trying to conceive. It can come from hormonal imbalances to underlying causes, and should be evaluated by your doctor or health practitioner.
You Have An Sti Or Another Infection
Sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea and chlamydia can cause unexpected bleeding between periods, according to Rosser.
“It can be due to other infections that we may not even usually test for,” she added. Pelvic inflammatory disease which can be caused by STIs or other types of bacterial infections could also be at fault.
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Ways To Prevent Irregular Periods
- Try to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. If you want to lose weight, do it gradually and with the help of professionals. Exercise moderately and eat nutrient-dense foods.
- If youre an athlete, try to cut back on very long or intense workouts.
- Try relaxation techniques to help with stress and with getting enough sleep.
- Take prescribed birth control correctly. If you are forgetting to take a daily birth control pill, ask your doctor if you should switch to the patch, vaginal ring, implant, or an IUD like Mirena.
- Use condoms to prevent STDs.
- See a doctor for regular check-ups and dont hesitate to bring up any questions or concerns you may have.
How Can I Regulate My Menstrual Cycle
You can try to regulate your menstrual cycle with some at-home remedies.
First, use the Flo app to track your periods and symptoms each month. Even if your period is irregular, you may be able to detect some symptom patterns and be better prepared.
Some other suggestions include:
- Practice yoga. Yoga can help relieve stress. You dont have to be an expert to do it successfully. Check out some beginner poses and concentrate on breathing and relaxing to help you de-stress. Feeling less stressed overall can help make your periods arrival more predictable.
- Maintain a healthy weight. If youre overweight or obese, you may experience heavier periods. If youre severely underweight, you may experience irregular menstruation as well. Its important to eat a balanced diet and maintain a healthy weight.
- Exercise regularly, but dont overdo it. Exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight, which in turn can help make your periods more regular. But remember, too much exercise can have an adverse effect and make your periods more irregular. Aim for at least 30 minutes a day, three times a week.
- Ginger Theres some evidence to suggest that daily ginger supplements may help reduce the amount of blood lost during periods. It may also help relieve PMS symptoms.
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Can I Have Irregular Periods After The Delivery Of A Baby
Its completely possible for you to have irregular periods after the delivery of a baby, especially if youre breastfeeding. This is because the hormones that support breastfeeding can also cause the body to delay ovulation.
Its also natural and nothing to be worried about if you find that your periods are heavier after pregnancy and childbirth, or theres more or less cramping than usual, or there are small blood clots in your flow.
If anything has changed after the birth that concerns you, or you have any more questions about periods after pregnancy, you should always talk to your midwife, health visitor, or your GP. Theyll provide the professional care and understanding you need at a time when you could be feeling that little bit more sensitive.
Cause #: High Stress Levels
When youre under a lot of stress for an extended period of time, your body makes an effort to conserve energy as a sort of fight or flight response. As a result, it will prevent ovulation because this is a process that your body sees as secondary when compared to survival. Several factors could contribute to this experiencing a traumatic event, restricting your eating, and exercising an excessive amount could cause irregularity . The body gives priority to producing stress hormones that will help you survive in a crisis, so sex hormone production takes a backseat.
When estrogen level falls below normal, you arent able to build up the uterine lining so as a result, you dont get your period.
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Addressing Irregular Periods Get Started Today
Help restore regular periods with three simple adjustments to your diet:
- Cut back on sugar and starches diets high in sugars and starches may lead to insulin imbalances that affect estrogen and progesterone levels, and worsen polycystic ovary syndrome .
- Eat adequate protein protein helps your body detoxify and metabolize hormones.
- Get enough vitamins and minerals good hormonal balance depends on adequate intake of B vitamins, magnesium and vitamin C . Vitamins E and A, the mineral zinc, and essential fatty acids are also important. Add a high-quality multi-vitamin/mineral formula every day to ensure youre taking in these key nutrients.
You may not be able to eliminate all the stressors in your life but you can achieve a healthy balance with relaxation practices like yoga and meditation, regular exercise, plenty of sleep, and good, consistent nutrition. Your endocrine system is extremely sensitive to disruption, but its also resilient and will respond quickly to healthy lifestyle and diet changes.
A positive outlook can have a major impact as well dont discount the power of believing you can improve your health and well-being. Make sure you schedule regular checkups, including an annual physical exam, especially if your periods dont get back to normal.
Kahn A. What causes dysfunctional uterine bleeding? August 7, 2012. Healthline Web site.
Hudson T. Womens Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. Lincolnwood, IL: Keats Publishing 1999.
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Obesity can up your risk of irregular bleeding, says Shepherd. “Fat tissue produces a form of estrogen, which may increase the endometrial lining,” she explains, which then sheds at times other than your period. Your doctor might check your thyroid, and she may suggest an IUD to get your period back in line. If you’re obese, she can also help you come up with a weight-loss strategy, including changes to your diet, exercise, and possibly weight-loss surgery.
All forms of birth control, including the Pill, implant, and Depo shot, can cause what’s known as breakthrough bleeding between periods at first. “These outside hormones are trying to regulate or minimize your cycle, and they’re fighting against the normal hormones given off by your ovaries. It’s your body trying to balance the two,” says Shepherd. She suggests waiting 12 weeks to see if things work themselves out. If not, your doctor may recommend a different higher-dose birth control or recommend another method altogether, like the patch or IUD. She may also test for STDs or check for improper IUD placement, if you have one, since both can cause irregular bleeding.
If you have an IUD, keep in mind that many women have littleif anybleeding for the long haul, says Shepherd, and it when it does show up it may be irregular. That’s a perfectly fine effect.
Watch men answer questions about birth control :
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Period Problem: Heavy Bleeding
Heavy periods affect one in five American women each year.13 If you have heavy bleeding, your periods may be so painful and heavy that you find it hard to do normal activities such as going to work or school.
Causes of heavy bleeding include:
Some research has found that women with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome have a higher risk for heavy bleeding.15 Women with ME/CFS may experience a range of symptoms that can include fatigue , muscle and joint pain, and memory problems.
Principal Cause Of Irregular Periods
The menstrual cycle is controlled by the body’s hormones. Hormones are produced by the endocrine system, and the part of the endocrine system that produces the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone, which are involved with the menstrual cycle, is the ovaries. This means that irregular periods can be a reflection of a larger change happening in the body, such as menopause, pregnancy, or an underlying medical condition. Irregular periods are any deviation from what a woman normally experiences during her menstrual cycle. Symptoms can include a change in the frequency, duration, and flow of your periods.
Irregular periods commonly happen to women who are approaching menopause. If a woman is between her mid-40s and 50s and is experiencing irregular periods, it’s possible that she may be in perimenopause, the stage before menopause. During this time, a woman’s body is preparing to cease menstruation, and as a result, hormone levels fluctuate and periods become irregular.
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What Are Regular Periods
Most girls get their first period between the ages of 10 and 15, but some get it earlier and some later. The first period is known as menarche .
A girl’s monthly cycle is the number of days from the start of her period to the start of the next time she gets her period. You often hear this is a 28-day cycle. But 28 is just an average figure that doctors use. Cycle lengths vary some are 24 days, some are 34 days. And a girl may notice that her cycles are different lengths each month especially for the few years after she first starts getting her period.
Early in a girl’s cycle, her ovaries start preparing one egg. At the same time, the lining of the uterus becomes thick to prepare a nesting place for a fertilized egg in the event that the girl becomes pregnant.
About 2 weeks before a girl gets her period, the egg is released from the ovary . The egg travels through the fallopian tube into the uterus. If the egg isn’t fertilized by sperm, it starts to fall apart. Then the lining and egg leave a girl’s body as her period and the whole thing starts all over again that’s why we use the word “cycle.” The first day a girl’s period comes is Day 1 of her cycle.
It’s also normal for the number of days a girl has her period to vary. Sometimes a girl may bleed for 2 days, sometimes it may last a week. That’s because the level of hormones the body makes can be different from one cycle to the next, and this affects the amount and length of bleeding.
What About Irregular Spotting
Many of the things weve described above can also cause irregular spotting between periods, though the main cause is usually starting up a new hormonal contraceptive routine. Its common to spot for the first few months when you start any of the following:
- The combined oral contraceptive pill
- The progestogen-only contraceptive pill
- The contraceptive patch
- The contraceptive implant or injection
- The intrauterine system
You might also bleed a little bit in between your periods if you miss any of your pills, have a problem with a patch or vaginal ring, or are on the Pill but end up getting sick or having diarrhoea. Theres no need to panic, if any of these are the case!
You might also find that youve got irregular spotting between periods if:
- Youve recently taken the emergency contraceptive pill
- Youve had an injury to your vagina
- You have a sexually transmitted infection
- You have recently had an abortion
- Youve recently experienced a miscarriage
- Youve been having issues with your hormones
- Youve recently been under a lot of pressure and finding yourself stressed
- Youre experiencing vaginal dryness
- Your body has undergone changes to the neck of the womb
- You tend to get harmless uterine fibroids or polyps
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It Could Be A Sign Of Cancer
Disruption to your monthly cycle could be a sign of cervical, uterine, or endometrial cancer.
These cancers usually cause extra long or heavy periods, bleeding between periods, irregular discharge, and bleeding after sex. Post-menopausal bleeding is also a warning sign of reproductive cancer.
But remember, these symptoms can be caused by a bunch of less serious issues.
Keep up with your yearly pap smear and HPV test, and always keep your doctor in the loop about weird periods, unusual discharge, or pain during sex.
You know yourself best. if something seems strange for your body, say something.
- more than three missed periods in a row
- periods longer than a week
- heavy bleeding that soaks through one or more tampons or pads every hour
- periods less than 21 days apart or more than 35 days apart
- spotting between periods
- bleeding after sex or between periods
- unusual discharge accompanied by a fever
To get to the bottom of your wacky flow, youll need to talk to your doctor about:
- recent emotional trauma or distress
- mental health issues youre experiencing
- how many pads or tampons you go through in a day
- your sexual history
To reach a diagnosis, you might need to have: