October 5, 2021
Causes of Irregular Menstrual Cycles
Menstruation can be stressful and painful for many people, and it can be even worse if you have irregular menstrual cycles.
Most periods last from four to seven days, as part of menstrual cycles that normally last from twenty-one to thirty-five days. Anything that falls outside this norm can be considered irregular. It would help if you also were concerned about new or severe symptoms during your period like a usually light or heavy menstrual flow, pain, cramps, nausea, and vomiting, as well as bleeding or spotting between periods, the following intercourse, or after menopause.
Read on to find out more about irregular menstrual cycles and their causes.
1. Lifestyle Factors
Changes in your life like a significant gain or loss in weight, a new diet or exercise routine, stress, and illness can affect your menstrual cycle.
2. Birth Control Pills
Starting or stopping the use of birth control pills can have a temporary effect on your menstrual cycle. Some people may experience irregular or absent periods for up to six months after going off the pill.
3. Uterine Polyps or Fibroids
Uterine polyps are small growths that appear on the lining of the uterus. These noncancerous tumors are typically benign but can lead to unpleasant effects like pain and heavy bleeding.
Endometriosis is a condition that develops when the endometrial tissue, which lines the inside of the uterus and is discharged through menstruation each month, starts to grow outside the uterus. This can cause symptoms like cramps and pains during periods, painful sexual intercourse, and abnormal bleeding.
5. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease is a bacterial infection that affects the vagina, uterus, and upper genital tract. It can be brought about as a side effect of gynecologic procedures, childbirth, miscarriage, or abortion. Symptoms include irregular periods, heavy and malodorous vaginal discharge, and pain in the pelvis and lower abdomen. Fever, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are also possible.
6. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Polycystic ovary syndrome occurs when the ovaries produce overly high androgens, a type of male hormone. As a result, small cysts form in the ovaries and can affect ovulation, leading to irregular or completely halted menstruation.
7. Premature Ovarian Insufficiency
This condition afflicts people under the age of forty and is marked by abnormal ovary functioning that stops the menstrual cycle entirely. Premature ovarian insufficiency may occur in cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy or genetic factors in others.
8. Other Causes
While the above are the most common causes of irregular menstrual periods, there may also be other underlying causes at fault. Some of the most dangerous include uterine or cervical cancer or complications related to pregnancy, such as an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage. The problem may not lie directly with the reproductive system but rather with conditions like bleeding disorders, pituitary disorders, or issues with the thyroid that cause hormonal imbalances.
If you are experiencing irregular menstrual periods, do not hesitate to get in contact with your medical provider.