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Irregular periods are a common phenomenon in most girls or women but for a short period of time. If this tends to continue, it can get very exhausting, uncomfortable, and probably even dangerous. Regular periods on time are a sure sign of good health. You need to be aware that a menstrual cycle is of 28 days. Normally, irregular periods are when the time of the first day keeps changing, or even if they are heavier or lighter than normal.
As mentioned, irregular periods, once in a while, are fine but if this continues, you know it is time to consult your health care provider.
Here are some basic reasons why periods can get irregular.
Stress during the month
Not many are aware that stress can be one major cause of irregular periods. Stress is the culprit of multiple ailments and thus, it is advisable to ensure you do not take stress come what may. The cortisol hormone is produced by the body when you are anxious or stressed out. This tends to interfere with ovulation over a long period of time. Normally, major stress factors can lead to periods being missed.
One early sign of pregnancy is a missed period. There is a possibility of slight bleeding even if you are confirmed pregnant. Missing 1 or 2 periods completely is a definite indication of pregnancy. The best way to find this out is to take the pregnancy test.
If you start taking birth control pills with progestin or estrogen, there are chances of irregular periods. This, normally, happens, when you start taking them or stop them. The periods tend to get regular only after around six months. Some of the OTC medications are also responsible for irregular periods.
Changes in the Body Weight
The menstrual cycle is disrupted if you lose or gain weight rapidly. Being underweight or even over-weight not only disrupts the period cycle but can also lead to the stopping of the periods. This can get tough for those women who are trying to get pregnant. This is due to hormones.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) is when the ovaries make a good amount of hormones that are male. This prevents the release of eggs. Due to this, a woman can go through a complete cessation of the periods or irregular periods. The symptoms of PCOS can be treated with the help of medications.
Tumors that attach to the uterus are known as uterine fibroids. They are, most of the time, non-cancerous. These fibroids lead to heavy bleeding or even painful bleeding. If this bleeding is really heavy, it needs to be removed surgically by professionals as; otherwise, this leads to anemia. Large fibroids are really big and tend to put pressure on other organs and also the bladder.
Abnormal periods can also be due to cervical or uterine cancer. It is advisable to get screened for cervical cancer after the age of 21 years. Cancer is normally present not only with irregular periods but also with other symptoms.
How to Track Periods
As known, life is not simple and most women are really busy managing too many things. This means, periods are the last thing on their mind. Why not use a simple calendar to mark the start of your periods? This is easy and does not require any time. You can also use any of the apps that are available on your phone.
When to check with the Doctor?
It is important to consult your doctor if your period lasts for more than 7 days, or is accompanied by severe pain. Other symptoms that indicate that you need to consult your doctor are nausea, extremely heavy bleeding, and fever during this time.
The cause of irregular periods is diagnosed in different ways. This can include blood tests, imaging, or conducting a pelvic exam.
Treating Irregular Periods
There are different ways in which irregular periods are treated due to the many causes. After the doctor has ruled out pregnancy, you might be asked to reduce stress, change your lifestyle, and maintain a balanced weight, medications, surgery or hormone therapy.