Reasons Why Your Period May Be Irregular
Your period is not always predictable. Some women have their menstrual cycle every 28 days, whereas others may have longer cycles, or no cycle at all. It isn’t always a problem, but sometimes, it can lead to a medical diagnosis. As with all things, it’s about being aware of your body and getting educated.
How do I know my cycle is irregular?
Irregular periods are defined as cycles that are more frequent than every 21 days, or last longer than 8 days. You may also be irregular if your period is missed, early, or late. To calculate your cycle, count from the last day of your last period to the first day of your next period, for three months. It may not be 21 days each time, women vary between 20 and 35 days, but the number of days should not really be outside of this range, or you may be irregular.
What Causes Irregular Periods?
Hormonal imbalances may be the reason for an irregular menstrual cycle. Also, a condition called anovulation may inhibit you from having a period regularly. Anovulation means that you did not ovulate during your cycle, usually due to the hormonal imbalance.
Other causes for irregular periods are:
- Birth Control Pill – It is not uncommon for the pill to make you miss a period or bleed less.
- Stress – It is crazy what the body can do with stress. Stress can create a hormonal imbalance, leading to a missed period.
- Extreme diet and/or exercise – If you are underweight, have an illness, or are practicing extreme dieting and exercising, this can lead to a missed period. Your body needs energy to have a menstrual cycle and if you are exercising to the extreme or not taking care of yourself, your body is using up or doesn’t have that energy.
- Age – When you are young, your body usually is irregular until your hormone levels balance out. When women age, toward menopause, periods may become irregular because of the lower hormone levels.
If you consistently have irregular periods, it is a good idea to see the doctor sooner rather than later.
- PCOS or Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Thyroid disorders
- Sexually transmitted diseases
Being irregular is probably not a big deal, a lot of women are. Getting a period tracking app is a great place to start, and always schedule regular checkups with your doctor. Remember, it’s your body, so listen to it and treat it well!