Causes of irregular periods/menstruation in women

by Asima Butt
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Causes of irregular periods in a woman


What is menstruation?


Menstruation is the natural reproductive cycle that involves the formation of oocyte and preparing the uterus for pregnancy. When fertilization or implantation doesn’t take place, then it results in discharge of the blood along with other material from uterus through vagina. This whole process is mainly regulated by two hormones estrogen and progesterone.

Bleeding become possible because of contractions of uterus and sometimes it even cause pain in lower abdomen area which is also called dysmenorrhea. Sometimes it is mild in some women while sometimes dysmenorrhea is very severe in some women.

A women usually start menstruating between the age of 12-14 but it may vary in some region as it is also common to get it earlier. If a girl doesn’t get here period till the age of 16 then they probably should consult the doctor.


Irregular periods:


Normally menstruation cycle is of 21-38 days and it varies in each individual. But if your cycle is constant and you get your period after estimated time, then you can consider your period cycle normal. But when it is not like one time you had the cycle of 28 days but then it changed to 40 days or more or keep changing.



Causes for irregular period:


Usually there are many causes that results in disturbance in hormonal balance and that lead to the irregular period. Some of the caused are mentioned below:


Less or low activity of thyroid gland:


This is one of the main cause which results in disturbed or no periods at all in some women. Hyperthyroidism is the condition which results in over activity of thyroid gland. because of this, you usually get less bleeding, weight loss and very short menstruation cycle. In case of hypothyroidism you may experience excessive bleeding, longer menstruation cycle and bad dysmenorrhea. Both conditions results in irregular periods in a woman.


Weight gain or loss:


If you suddenly gain weight or lose it for any reason that also disturb the equilibrium of body and hormones. You might gain or lose weight because of some underlying health condition or you might be simply dieting or eating a lot. Whatever the reason might be but it can affect the regularity of your menstruation cycle.


Polycystic ovaries:


It is another major reason for irregularity in menstruation cycle. Polycystic ovaries is actually a syndrome which cause small and multiple cyst on each ovaries that hinders many normal functions of ovaries. It can cause infertility or late conception, obesity, difficulty in losing weight and thick hair growth on face or other part of the body.




Another major reason you might have missed your periods is because of pregnancy. In pregnancy, you do not get periods at all or even after breastfeeding. Pregnancy means that fertilization has taken place and now there is not need for discharge of all the preparation of uterus from vagina. Now this blood and material is going to be used for nourishment of implanted zygote. You better get you urine tested one week after you missed periods date.


Gynecological problems:


You might get irregularity in your periods if you have some underlying condition relates to your reproductive system which include:

Endometriosis: which is usually caused by growth of inner line of uterus outside of the uterus. This can lead to heavy or prolonged bleeding, severe dysmenorrhea, painful intercourse, gastrointestinal problems and infertility.Or you might also get disturbance in period because of other gynecological problem like uterine or cervical cancer etc.



Breastfeeding is a natural birth control system in a woman’s body. Which causes production of certain hormones which suppress menstruation for weeks, months or even a year. it also depends on how long you have been breastfeeding.


Birth control pills, injection and contraceptive devices:


These all method which are used to inhibit the process to get pregnant for a while can also disturb or delay your periods for quite some time. Or you may get less or no period at all for some months. It is a normal side effect of using these birth control pills, injections and IUD.


stress can play with your hormones badly and it is another main reason for having irregular periods. Stress hormone which is cortisol can disturb the normal balance of progesterone and estrogen level that are responsible for regulation of normal cycle.



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