Changes in your period and irregular menstruation can be caused by many different factors. That’s why it’s best to turn to a specialist to rule out major problems and get diagnosed.
The menstrual cycle is a biological and hormonal process women go through that is involved in many physical and mental aspects of health.
Generally, it occurs every 28 days. It usually lasts 3 to 6 days, depending on the hormonal activity in each individual’s body.
During each cycle, a series of changes happens that play a direct role in sexual and fertility issues, though many try to ignore it.
In addition, these appear in different forms at different stages of life. That’s because hormone production varies considerably between puberty and menopause.
Still, it’s essential to understand how to interpret irregularities when they come up, as they can indicate health problems or hormonal disorders.
Having your period come early or very late can be the key to detecting other abnormalities.
And although there’s no reason to assume something serious is wrong, it’s important to pay attention to avoid complications.
Many who have irregular periods don’t understand why. That’s why we’ve taken this opportunity to compile the 6 most common reasons why your period is irregular.
1. Thyroid problems
Disorders related to thyroid gland activity are the main triggers of irregular periods.
Given that this organ produces important hormones, thyroid imbalances are linked to at least 15% of amenorrea cases, or irregular periods.
Some consider it the “master gland” because it works to control the endocrine system, the metabolism, and sexual activity.
2. Ending use of birth control
Oral contraceptives are designed for birth control and to prevent a woman from getting pregnant.
These pills keep estrogen levels high. The body interprets this as pregnancy, which prevents fertilization.
After taking them for 21 days, there is a week of “rest” when you have a completely regular period.
The problem is that many times, irregularities show up when you stop taking these pills. There may even be no menstruation at all due to the hormonal changes.
It’s estimated that 29% of women who stop taking the pill after regular use have no period for up to 3 months.
3. High intensity workouts
High intensity exercise can influence changes in the adrenal glands, thyroids, and pituitary glands, which usually appear along with menstrual changes.
For example, women who run marathons or compete in other athletic endeavors stop getting their period for a month or two because of the changes in hormonal activity.
Actually, 81% of female bodybuilders have had irregular periods at some time in their lives.
4. Hormonal imbalances
Hormonal imbalances, like those caused by Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), are a common cause of menstrual cycle irregularities.
This condition alters the levels of sex hormones, including estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
As a result, menstrual cycles are altered as well, and in turn produce other symptoms like abnormal body hair growth, acne, and sudden weight changes.
Another hormonal issue it causes is called “premature menopause,” or in other words, menopause that starts before age 40.
In this case, irregular periods are joined by:
- Vaginal dryness
- Night sweating
- Constant mood swings
5. Allergies and food sensitivities
Food intolerance and allergies have a lot to do with the appearance of irregularities in the menstrual cycle.
They almost always compromise adrenal gland activity, which increases stress and imbalances in sex hormones.
We recommend: How does stress affect women?
6. Nutritional deficiencies
Nutritional deficiencies also affect the proper functioning of the thyroid and adrenal glands.
A diet poor in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and probiotics can increase levels of cortisol and lead to disorders like hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue.
High cortisol levels do not just increase stress, however. They also inhibit the activity of many important hormones, including those in charge of sexual activity.
At the first sign of menstrual irregularity, it’s crucial to make sure you eat a wide variety of highly nutritious food.
Overall, it’s very important to know the factors associated with menstrual irregularity in order to treat them appropriately.
In addition, it’s a good idea to see a doctor to check hormone levels more precisely, as well.
Principal image courtesy of wikiHow.com