Common Causes of Irregular Periods
Irregular periods refer to when the length of a woman’s menstrual cycle keeps changing. There can be many reasons for variation in the duration of the cycle ranging from hormonal imbalances to other underlying health conditions.
While occasional variations can happen to anyone, if the problem persists over a long period of time, please consult the best Gynecologist in Lahore or your area at the earliest.
Some of the most common causes of irregular periods include the following:
1. Hormonal Birth Control
Hormonal birth control pills and hormone-containing intrauterine devices (IUDs) can cause irregular bleeding. Moreover, birth control pills may cause spotting between periods and result in much lighter periods.An IUD can cause heavy bleeding.
Prolactin is a hormone responsible for the production of breast milk. This hormone suppresses the reproductive hormones, resulting in very light to no periods while breastfeeding. Periods resume shortly after one stops breastfeeding.
The transitional phase before entering menopause is known as perimenopause. It usually begins in the 40s, but can occur earlier as well. Signs and symptoms of perimenopause may last for 4 to 8 years, beginning with changes to the menstrual cycle. During this time, the fluctuations in estrogen levels can cause the menstrual cycles to get longer or shorter.
Other signs and symptoms of perimenopause include hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, difficulty sleeping, and vaginal dryness.
4. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
One of the most common signs of the hormonal disorder PCOS is irregular periods. PCOS can also cause infertility, excess facial and body hair, male-pattern baldness, weight gain or obesity, missed periods, or heavy bleeding.
5. Thyroid Problems
Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, can cause longer, heavier periods and increased cramps. On the other hand, hyperthyroidism can cause shorter, lighter periods.
6. Uterine Fibroids
Fibroids are muscular tumors that develop in the walls of the uterus and can cause heavy and painful periods.
Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue lining the uterus grows outside the uterus. It causes very painful menstrual cramps, heavy bleeding, prolonged periods, as well as bleeding between periods.
Another very common cause of irregular periods is obesity. Obesity impacts the hormonal levels of the body and thus also causes irregularity in periods.
9. Extreme Weight Loss
Excessive weight loss can cause a woman’s period to stop. This is because insufficient consumption of calories can interfere with the production of the hormones needed for ovulation.
10. Excessive Exercise
Intense or excessive exercise can interfere with the hormones responsible for menstruation. Research suggests that female athletes and women who participate in intensive training and physical activities, such as ballet dancers, often develop amenorrhea (missed or stopped periods).
Studies show how stress can interfere with the menstrual cycle by temporarily interfering with the part of the brain that controls the hormones that regulate the cycle.
Certain medications such as hormone replacement therapy, antidepressants, and chemotherapy drugs can also interfere with the menstrual cycle.
13. Cervical and Endometrial Cancer
Cervical and endometrial cancers can result in changes to the menstrual cycle, bleeding between periods, and heavy periods.
If you are facing signs and symptoms of irregular periods, do not take it lightly and discuss your queries with the best Gynecologist in Islamabad or your city.