Irregular Menstruation (Heavy Bleeding, Prolonged Periods)

What causes Irregular Periods?

A regular monthly cycle indicates a healthy reproductive system in women. That is why missing periods can be worrying. When you miss your periods, there can be multiple things crossing your mind like: Is this normal? When is this normal? What causes irregular periods? When should I be seeing a doctor?

If you are struggling with this and want to figure things out, we may have some answers for you.

What is a regular Menstruation Cycle?

First, understand what is a regular menstrual cycle. Usually, most women have their periods every 28 days which lasts for about 4 to 7 days. A few women can also have their period every 21 days or every 35 days. This is termed as a “normal cycle.” It is quite normal to have a shorter or longer menstrual cycle or at times, heavier or lighter flow for a few years. This happens before menopause or just after the puberty kicks in because the hormones are slightly off balance.

If you are someone who has missed or is missing periods for more than three months, it could be indicative of some underlying issues; hence it should be notified to your healthcare specialist at the earliest.

What cause Irregular Periods?

The potential causes of irregular or missed periods are:

  • 1. Hormonal Influences: During your lifecycle, you go through puberty, pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and eventually menopause. This cycle of life has a direct impact on your hormonal levels.During puberty, the estrogen and progesterone (female hormones) are slightly off balance; hence irregular periods are common at this time.

    Contraceptives like the contraceptive pill and intrauterine device (IUD) results in irregular periods since they cause small bleeds in between periods.

    During pregnancy and breastfeeding, there are no irregular periods but missing periods for nine months as the menstruation ceases.

    On the onset of menopause, irregular periods are common as the fluctuation in the hormonal level is quite dominant here. A woman will no longer have periods after the menopause.

    2. Certain Health Complications
    Thyroid

    The butterfly-shaped gland located at the front of the neck is responsible for producing hormones that regulate the metabolism. An overactive thyroid gland or an underactive thyroid gland can also result in irregular periods.

    Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

    PCOS is a condition where small cysts are formed in the ovaries. A woman with PCOS generally has higher levels of testosterone (the male hormone) causing a hormonal imbalance and resulting in irregular periods.

    Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

    PID is a condition where the female reproductive system gets infected. This can result in irregular periods.

    Endometriosis

    It is a condition where the tissue lining the inside of the uterus (known as the endometrium) grows outside, generally in the pelvic cavity, ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder, ureters, bowel and rectum. These endometrial cells shed during periods and the blood gets stuck in the surrounding tissue causing a blockage which results in irregular periods.

    3. Medication

    Drugs like antiepileptics and antipsychotics can also result in irregular periods.

    4. Lifestyle

    Following a lifestyle can also result in hormonal imbalance which can directly affect the menstrual cycle resulting in irregular periods. Some of them are:

    • Obesity: Excessive weight gain results in extra estrogen level which can influence your menstrual cycle negatively. That is why if your body mass index (BMI) is 30 or more we suggest you lose those extra pounds.
    • Poor nutrition: Woman with poor nutrition and extreme weight loss can have irregular periods since it influences the hypothalamus (the master gland).
    • Excessive exercise: Hypothalamus or the master gland controls and regulates the production of hormones in the body. Excessive physical exercises can impact the gland negatively. This can cause a hormonal imbalance which results in irregular periods.
    • Stress: Mental stress, trauma, and disorders can cause malfunctioning of the hypothalamus which can result in irregular periods.

    Why Motherhood?

    If you have more queries or need to consult a specialist, come to Motherhood.

    The team of experts at Motherhood is respected for the diverse knowledge, excellence in the field and their years of experience in women’s surgical health care. Our gynaecologists listen and understand your problems to provide a suitable solution after thorough diagnosis that will help you achieve the best possible results and quality of life.

    With our experienced staff, state-of-the-art infrastructure and well-equipped laboratory services, we are certain that we will cater to all your needs and provide you a safe and effective comprehensive solution. Our experts will recommend you treatment options after careful examination and even collaborate with experts from other fields of expertise like urogynaecology, gynaecologic oncology and reproductive endocrinology if required, to ensure you receive the best multi-disciplinary care. Call us now or send us an inquiry!

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