Irregular period (menstruation) is an abnormal variation in time of your menstrual cycle. A normal period last 28 days, minus or plus 7 days. A period is considered irregular when it is late, early or missed. An irregular period is a sign of menopause, but most women experience irregular period due to an imbalance in their hormone during pre-menopause and puberty.
In this post, you will learn the 10 main causes of irregular periods in women.
- Chronic Stress:
This is due to the emotional pressure experienced for a long period. When not properly managed, chronic stress can distort your hormone balance, thereby causing irregular period. It takes one abnormal stressful event to have irregular period.
Irregular periods can happen to you when you are approaching menopause. This happens when the reproductive hormone in you declines. The average age of menopause is 51 but can begin as early as 30yrs or as late as 60yrs. You should visit a doctor to ascertain if menopause is the cause of your irregular period. You should also know that during early puberty, the menstrual cycle may not be on the same schedule every month.
- Birth Control Pills
Some birth control pills can make your period lighter or wreak havoc to your hormone balance. Birth control pills (also called oral contraceptive pills) affect your hormone by preventing eggs from leaving the ovaries. Inconsistency in your hormone balance caused by these pills may result to irregular period.
- Extreme Exercise
Exercise is an important part of maintaining good health. However, too much exercise can throw your hormonal cycle off balance. It is common for too much exercise to cause irregular period. Excessive training can diminish estrogens and body fat, resulting in irregular periods. It is very important not to over exercise.
Lack of sufficient nutrients in the body can cause hormone imbalance. Eating a healthy diet like fresh fruits and vegetable is very important to your health and helps to maintain a normal menstrual cycle. According to the Women’s Health Resource, ‘foods low in fibre and saturated fat can result in irregular period’.
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
This is a health problem that can affect a woman’s hormone level. In PCOS, the ovary makes a large quantity of androgens which are male hormones. These changes in hormone can prevent eggs from maturing. The cause of PCOS is yet unknown, but it is believed to be genetic. PCOS is the result of lack of ovulation and abnormal menstrual cycle in women.
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
This is a bacteria causing infection to the wombs linen. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, about 1 million women in the US suffer from Pelvic Inflammatory disease and about 1 in 8 sexually active girls will have PID before they reach 30yrs. This bacterial infection can affect a woman reproductive system thereby causing irregular periods.
- Premature Ovarian Insufficiency:
This happens when your ovary stops working before age 40. Premature Ovarian Failure affects 1 in 100 women below 40 years of age. Most times, defects in the pituitary and ovarian gland can cause hormone imbalance. Premature Ovarian insufficiency may also be related to insulin resistance which is caused by lack of proper diet.
- Smoking and Alcohol Addiction:
Women who smoke usually have shorter or irregular periods than those who don’t smoke. Smoking may alter your level of estrogens, testosterone and other hormones responsible for the normal menstrual cycle. According to National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, frequent alcohol intake can cause irregular periods. Alcohol may increase the level of estrogens and testosterone in your body hence causing abnormal hormone fluctuation. Researchers are not sure how much alcohol can disrupt your menstrual period, but sticking to a prescribed drinking guideline or avoiding it totally can help you prevent irregular periods.
- Weight Gain
Excess weight gain can affect your hormone balance. With excess weight gain, your body starts producing extra testosterone which can prevent ovulation. It is important you watch your weight.
Most women don’t get their menstrual period at the same time and days as their previous cycle, but you need to watch out for signs of irregular periods. It is important to see a doctor if you are sexually active and have missed a period. With this list, you can sure know the major causes of irregular period.