Many women long to have children, which is why they rely on their monthly cycles to determine the best time to conceive. However, some women don’t have that ability to conceive easily – most likely due to irregular menstrual periods.
In fact, it is said that around 30 percent of women are reported to have irregular periods. A usual menstrual cycle lasts around an average of 28 days. On the other hand, a menstrual cycle is considered irregular if it arrives earlier than 28 days or the menstrual period itself lasts more than 8 days.
Although irregular periods are common among women, it may signify potential health complications if left untreated. Here are some things you need to know about irregular periods, what causes it, and how you can somehow reverse it.
What causes irregular periods?
Our health deserves some tender loving care, and that includes taking care of your reproductive health. That is why it is important to have a routine check-up with your OB/GYN to determine whether there are health issues causing your irregular periods.
As mentioned earlier, irregular periods are not something to be alarmed about as it is not really a fatal health issue. However, having an irregular menstrual period can be a sign of an underlying health issue that needs to be addressed immediately. Otherwise, it can affect your ability to conceive and may affect your overall health as well.
In normal cases, irregular periods are linked to a condition called anovulation, which happens when ovulation does not take place in your supposed menstrual cycle. One of the factors causing anovulation is due to hormonal imbalances. While you will still be technically (or rather, biologically) ovulating, the ovulation timing can be rather unpredictable every month.
Aside from hormonal imbalances – which are common among many women – there are other factors that can cause irregular periods. This includes the following:
Many female athletes actually suffer from irregular menstrual cycles due to the intensity of their training and sometimes their strict diet. Apparently, too much exercise and dieting can affect your menstrual cycle and wreak havoc with it. Likewise, having an eating disorder and malnourishment can also trigger irregular periods.
Aside from hair fall, many women may notice that their periods come late when they are stressed and experience anxiety over a course of a few months. These also cause hormonal imbalance and later on affect your menstrual cycle as well.
This is a medical condition that involves the occurrence of cysts on your ovaries which hampers with normal ovulation. This condition also causes irregular menstruation among women as well as the higher risk of other serious medical issues such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
While birth control pills are mostly effective enough to prevent unwanted pregnancies and can correct some reproductive health issues, they also have downsides. For one, it can make your monthly periods lighter or even cause delayed or missed periods as well.
The frequency of menstrual periods depends on the woman’s age. For example, teenage girls may experience varying menstrual periods per month. Likewise, women who are nearing menopausal stage can also experience delayed or missed periods.
The above-mentioned factors are often the culprits of having an irregular menstrual period among women. While these factors are common and should not be a cause of the alarm, some of them may be a precursor of a major health concern that needs to be addressed the soonest.
When to seek medical treatment for irregular periods
For example, PCOS affects a lot of women around the world that can also affect their ability to conceive. With that said, many experts advice women experiencing consistent irregular periods to seek medical help, as it can be due to PCOS or other health problems such as thyroid disorders.
How to prevent the occurrence of irregular periods
In general, having a healthy lifestyle can help reduce the risk of health problems. This also applies when you have an irregular period. Aside from having regular exercise and eating healthy foods, taking health supplements can also help. However, it is best to consult your OB-GYN before taking one.
If you think stress is causing your irregular menstrual cycle, try sitting back, breathe, and relax. Try relaxation techniques, yoga, and meditation for a better peace of mind. On the other hand, avoid spending too much time toiling in the gym or dieting too much – it can also trigger irregular periods. Meanwhile, if you think your birth control pills are causing the irregular menstrual cycle, it is also advisable to consult your OB-GYN for a better and safer alternative.
Having irregular periods is a common thing among women around the world. While it may not be a serious medical condition per se, it can be a symptom of an underlying health condition that should be treated immediately. That is why having a regular routine check-up with your OB-GYN is important not only for a better reproductive health but a sound health in general.