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Irregular Periods : Possible Causes of a Missed Period

Periods are the shedding of the lining of the womb which is no longer needed in the body. It is the beginning of a woman’s reproductive years which includes bleeding from the vagina every month. A period is part of the woman’s menstrual cycle which is a clear indication of proper functioning of the body. Women have a period approximately every 28 days; however, it can vary from person to person ranging from a 24-day to a 35-day cycle. 

Facts about Periods

1.) Periods usually start during puberty normally at the age starting from 8 years to 15 years. 
2.) Menstruation will end with menopause, usually between the age of 45 and 55 years.
3.) Symptoms of  PMS i.e premenstrual syndrome include bloating, irritability, and breast tenderness.
4.) A number of women suffer from irregular periods due to a number of reasons which we will discuss below. 

Possible causes of Irregular Periods 

Thyroid Disorder

The thyroid gland is a gland which regulates many of the body’s functions such as metabolism, growth and body temperature. A very common symptom of the thyroid is swelling at the base of your neck.  According to a study, thyroid disorders can cause irregular periods. Hypothyroidism does not produce enough thyroid hormones which results in irregular menstrual cycles, cycles that may be long or absent. However, hyperthyroidism can cause shorter, lighter periods

Endometriosis

Edometriosis is a condition when the tissue which lines inside your uterus grows outside the uterus which result in cysts called endometriomas. It leads to severe period pain and a shorter amount of time in between cycles.  Endometriosis affects 1 in 10 women of reproductive age. Other symptoms of endometriosis are gastrointestinal pain, painful bowel movements, pain during and after intercourse and infertility.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common health problem. Every other woman is suffering from PCOS. In PCOS, the body makes a higher amount of androgens than the normal amount. The effects of PCOS on the ovaries can stop a woman’s body ovulation process. Missing of periods and having heavy bleeding on getting your menstrual cycle is a clear indication that you have PCOS. PCOS also causes male-pattern baldness, weight gain or obesity and excess facial and body hair. 

Peri-menopause

Perimenopause is the transition phase just before you enter menopause. In a normal cycle, estrogen and progesterone levels rise and fall in a consistent pattern during your menstrual cycle, whereas the perimenopause phase do not have a consistent pattern. It usually begins in your 40s, but in a few cases, it can occur earlier. The symptoms of perimenopause can be felt with the beginning of the changes of the menstrual cycle. Other signs and symptoms of perimenopause include hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, difficulty sleeping and vaginal dryness.

Pregnancy

If you miss your period and experience spotting instead of a period is a sign of pregnancy. Morning sickness, nausea, sensitivity to smells, breast tingling or tenderness, fatigue are the symptoms of early pregnancy. 

Breastfeeding

Breast-feeding can cause in delaying your periods. Prolactin is the primary hormone which is responsible for breast milk production. It’s produced by the pituitary gland, which is located in the brain. Prolactin also prevents menstruation, you may have a very light period or no period at all. As prolactin levels slow down, your cycle returns, despite the fact that you’re still breastfeeding.

Stress

Too much of stress brings out a change in the release of gonadotrophin. Gonadotrophin is released from GnRH neurons within the hypothalamus. This hormone interferes with ovulation and regular menstruation. Once your stress levels are lowered, the production in the hormone gets normal which will take the time of only a few months or more for your cycles to become regular again. 

Overweight

Obesity is the most known reason which causes menstrual irregularity. According to the study, it is found that being overweight brings out a change in hormone and insulin levels, which can interfere with your menstrual cycle. Being overweight produces an excess amount of oestrogen which is one of the hormones that regulate the reproductive system in women. Estrogen is responsible for the growth of the uterine lining, which sheds during periods, hence resulting in an irregular period.

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