Your periods cannot be always clockwise. Some women may experience their scheduled menstruation on every 28th day. But many others may experience unpredictable periods. “Around 30% of women experience irregular periods during their reproductive years,” says Dr Deeksha Tyagi, who is heading a team of fertility experts at the New Life India Clinic. Irregular period itself is not an issue. But the condition occasionally signals other health complications.
What is an Irregular Period?
A usual menstrual cycle should last 28 days (+) or (–) 7 days. If either the menstrual bleeding happens more frequent than every 21 days or lasts more than 8 days, it is deemed as irregular. Early, Late or Missed menstruation – all are signs of an Irregular Menstrual Cycle.
For ascertaining whether your menstruation cycle is irregular, begin counting from the last day of your previous menstruation. And, stop your counting on the first day of your next period. Repeat this exercise continuously for three months. “If you find a significant difference each month in the number of days from the stopping and beginning of your period, your menstrual cycle is irregular,” says Dr Deeksha Tyagi.
Causes of Irregular Periods
In several cases, irregular menstrual cycle is linked to Anovulation. When ovulation does not take place in a menstrual cycle, it is known as Anovulation. Anovulation happens because of severe hormonal imbalances. At times, an irregular period may be because of subtle hormone imbalances. In such a case, you may ovulate but the timing of ovulation varies each month. This happens because of the influence of your faulty lifestyle and the effect of some medical conditions on your menstrual cycle. Your irregular or missed periods may be because of:
Excessive workouts may upset your menstrual bleeding timings. Many a time, over-exercising may even stop your menstruation. That is the reason many athletes are found to be missing their periods.
For anything in life, one has to keep a balance. If you are on a weight losing binge and dieting or exercising excessively, you may have irregular menstrual cycle. Any kind of eating disorder or ailments will also place you have irregular menstruation.
Any kind of stress or even a short-lived anxiety has a direct impact on your hormonal balance. Sometimes, your hormonal balance may go awry even with a slight stress. Imagine how badly chronic stress may affect your hormonal balance and your reproductive system! The result is often missing your period or experiencing an irregular cycle.
If you have been taking birth controlling pills, known as the pill, you are prone to missing your periods. Besides, you may experience lighter periods. These pills may also affect the frequency of your periods. That means that your periods may be less or more frequent, and even sometimes, no periods at all.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, better known as PCOS ,may grow small cysts on their ovaries that interfere with regular ovulation. These cysts are usually not harmful but cause hormonal imbalance causing infertility in you. Besides, women with PCOS run higher risk of having diabetes and heart-related ailments.
Ailments, such as, Diabetes, Fibroids, Endometriosis or any kind of eating disorders may make your periods irregular. Besides, thyroid disorders may also cause irregular periods if your blood contains lesser or higher amount of thyroid hormone. Any kind of sexually transmitted disease may also cause irregular periods in you.
When teenagers begin having periods, their menstrual cycle may vary month-after-month. It takes time for the body to know the cycle pattern. Apart from teenage girls, women nearing menopause also experience missed, lighter and heavier periods.