Different women have different menstrual cycles. Some women get theirs like clockwork, while some have less predictable periods. A regular menstrual cycle is between 21 days and 35 days, lasting for 4- 7 days. However, some women experience cycles longer than 35days and a period that lasts longer than 7days. This group is said to have irregular periods. To know your menstrual cycle, count from the first day of your last period to the first day of your next period. Several factors cause irregular periods, ranging from hormonal imbalances to other underlying conditions. Here are the possible causes of irregular menses.
Emotional stress interferes with your menstrual cycle. This is because stress and anxiety affect the part of the brain that controls hormones and regulates your menstrual cycle. Therefore, managing your stress is an excellent way to self-manage irregular periods treatment.
Use of Hormonal Contraceptives
Some women may experience longer than their regular periods when they start using contraceptive pills. However, their menses normalize after a few months. And just like the pill, Intrauterine hormonal devices (IUDs) can cause irregular periods. This is because of the birth control pill and the spotting light bleeding, while the hormonal IUD causes heavy bleeding before things normalize. However, there have been instances where women have experienced heavy bleeding that has forced them to stop using the said contraception.
Underlying Medical Condition
Endometriosis is a condition that occurs when the uterine lining grows outside the uterus. It causes heavy and prolonged bleeding and bleeding in between your menses. The surest way to diagnose endometriosis is through exploratory surgery. Endometriosis has no known cure; however, hormonal therapy and medication can help manage the symptoms. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) – PCOS is a hormonal disorder that causes ovaries to enlarge with small cysts. Women suffering from PCOS may experience heavy bleeding or miss their periods altogether.
Uterine Polyps or Fibroids – Fibroids are non-cancerous muscular tumors that grow in the uterus. Fibroids are known to cause irregular, heavy, and painful menses and can easily lead to anemia.
Cervical and Endometrial cancers – Several types of malignancies develop in the cells forming the inner lining of the uterus. They are the common causes of cancers of the female reproductive system. Endometrial cancers can lead to an irregular or heavy period.
Perimenopause is the transition phase before menopause. It usually starts in the 40s, but it can happen earlier. As a result, most women may experience signs and symptoms lasting for 4 to 8years. Change in a woman’s menstrual cycle characterizes the onset of this phase. Due to the fluctuating estrogen levels, the menstrual cycle may be shorter or longer during this time.
Eating Disorders and Extreme Weight Changes
Anorexia and bulimia eating disorders can also contribute to irregular periods. Hormones needed for ovulation are affected if you don’t eat the required calories, causing changes in your monthly cycle. Sudden loss of weight can also cause changes in your menstrual cycle.
Why do Irregular Periods Happen
Numerous things can cause irregular periods, some of which can be serious. Your doctor should determine what could be causing irregularities and how to get your period back on track. In addition, living a healthy lifestyle should help a great deal.