Causes of Irregular Periods and Why You Should Be Concerned
Most women started their menstrual cycles (also known as a period) during that awkward stage in life known as puberty, more specifically, between the ages of eleven (11) and thirteen (13) and will expect a to receive a monthly visit from dear old Aunt Flo from then until that other awkward phase in a woman’s life; menopause.
When a woman first starts her menstrual cycle it is expected for it to be irregular for a few years, so it can catch its rhythm, sort to speak. However, if you are experiencing chronic irregular periods that should be cause for some concern there may be some underlying medical issues that may need to be addressed, but first let’s delve into some possible reasons for an irregular menstrual cycle.
Every woman is aware that her period is simply a shedding of the excess lining of your uterus. This lining is a natural cushion the body develops before ovulation so your baby can have added protection during pregnancy. So, it stands to reason that if your period has stopped or become irregular, you may be pregnant. If you cannot get to your gynecologist then of course defer to a home pregnancy test.
If you know that pregnancy is not the culprit, other causes include but are not limited to:
- emotional stress (stress can cause a multitude of health problems, so if you are under a lot of pressure, try ways to alleviate that stress and relax)
- eating disorders such as bulimia or anorexia nervosa (if you are suffering from an eating disorder, an irregular period is just one way, please seek the help of a counselor or doctor because an irregular period is your body’s way of telling you your actions are no healthy)
- increased exercise (for athletes, missed periods are relatively common)
- birth control means and other medications may cause irregular periods or no periods at all
- illegal drugs, and sickness
- polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and ovarian cysts may also be causes of an irregular period. These possible root causes can be rather serious, so they will be explained more in depth.
Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled pockets that develop on the surface of the ovaries or within them. Many women will develop this type of cyst at some point during their lifetimes and most ovarian cysts are harmless, painless, and disappear within a few months even without treatment.
However, if you exhibit these common symptoms that may mean the cysts have ruptured and may be cause for greater concern, you should seek medical attention immediately:
- irregular periods
- pelvic pain
- nausea and vomiting, or
- breast tenderness.
Polycystic ovary syndrome happens when a hormone imbalance disrupts regular ovulation, and if left untreated, is a serious cause of infertility as well as other major health problems like heart disease and diabetes. PCOS manifests itself in various symptoms, common among them are weight gain, irregular periods, acne, hair growth on the face as well as the body, and male-pattern type hair loss.
It is important to note that while there is no cure for PCOS it can be treated with a healthy diet, regular exercise, and medications. You doctor will also try to correct issues with weight, metabolism, and fixing reproductive hormone levels.
Filed under: General
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