The onset of the menstrual cycle marks the puberty of the girl child. The typical menstrual cycle happens every 28- 30 days and may last upto 5-7 days. It is common to have irregular periods one to two years immediately after puberty because the body might require time to settle into the rhythm. Similarly, you can expect irregular periods a year or so before menopause. But, some women may have irregular periods and irregular flow which could range from too heavy to scant, all of which indicates an underlying problem and to determine the cause for it would be the best way to get it rectified either by using medicines or making lifestyle changes.
Definition Of Irregular Periods
The simple definition for irregular period goes like this. You can consider yourself to have an irregular cycle if the starting and stopping of your period are different each month. However, there may slight differences once or twice in the year, about which you do not have to bother. But, if it is a common phenomenon, it is better to analyze the causes and take remedial action
Common Causes For Irregular Periods
The most common causes for irregular periods and how learning about them could help you deal with the menstrual cycle and related problems are as follows
The Thyroid gland controls the metabolism of the body. The malfunction of the Thyroid will result in hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. Primary Hyperthyroidism is believed to be one of the main causes of Irregular periods. Similarly, thyroid malfunction can inhibit the production of sex hormones and other hormones such as cortisol and estrogen which may halt ovulation and result in Irregular periods.
Smoking whether passive or active can influence your period cycle. Inactive smokers, studies have shown that irregularity of the cycle in Bulimia nervosa is due to cigarette smoking, depression as well as fluctuations in body weight. Women who smoke are also likely to suffer from premenstrual symptoms.
The Toxins in the alcohol may affect the tissues of the body. Some of them may even be permanent in nature. Likewise, alcohol may also disturb the hormonal balance and thereby result in the disturbance of the menstrual cycles.
Working in shifts
Nutritious food, exercise,and good sleep are elements of healthy living. Our body has a clock of its own and this is called the circadian rhythm. When this circadian cycle is upset due to working in a shift system, it could result in irregular periods is what a study published in BMC Women’s health.
The food grains fruits and vegetables we eat are loaded with pesticides. It is important to clean them well and use them. Despite cleaning you might be exposed to pesticides. These pesticides can mimic hormones and hinder the proper functioning of the endocrine system. This, in turn, will affect the menstrual cycle.
Having a balanced meal that is rich in proteins, vitamins and carbohydrates are essential for good health and to carry-out the day to day activities without getting stressed. Lack of nutrition can bring about hormonal changes that may result in irregular periods
Over-exercising, as well as no exercise at all, can both be the reason for irregular periods. In case of over exercising the high level of energy expenditure as well as low body fat can lead to missed periods.
PCOS- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
This is a specific condition that results in theirregular period as a number of tiny cysts in the ovary hinders the ovulation process. Acne, weight gain and hair growth are the signs of PCOS.
Low body fat
Fat is essential for a number of activities in the body. That is why you should not starve your body off fat. Low fat may affect the ovulation process and would result in irregular periods.
Use of contraceptives
Excessive use of contraceptive pills can affect the menstrual cycles as most of the medicines hinder the ovulation process. Contraceptives especially those of intra uterine nature can affect the menstrual cycle.
Undiagnosed gluten sensitivity or celiac diseases could result in nutrition deficiencies which may add up to the chronic stress of the adrenal glands as well as affect the gut health. It also affects hormone production resulting in irregular periods.
Some of the problems may be temporary and the problem could be rectified with appropriate remedial action. But sometimes the results might be of a chronic nature and would require the determination of the cause and some treatment for prolonged periods.