Missing your period date can be stressful, especially when you are not expecting a pregnancy. Your menstrual cycle works like a clock. Most women get their periods after 28 days of their last cycle, while others may have them between 21 to 40 days of their menstrual cycle.
Some women might get their periods later than usual. It is nothing to worry about it when it happens occasionally. Though, if your periods are showing up at unexpected times or you are not getting your periods at all, you may need to consult the Best gynecologist in Lahore to determine the cause.
Table of Contents
What are irregular periods?
Most women are aware of their period dates and know when to expect it, though that may not happen according to expectations always. Common signs of irregular periods are constantly changing period dates, more or less than usual bleeding, and significant variation in how long your periods last.
It leaves you guessing when to expect your period and can be a hassle. It needs an examination from a Gynecologist in Karachi to determine the cause and get treatment.
Reasons for irregular periods
There can be many reasons why your period is late. Sometimes, it can be natural, like menopause or pregnancy. At other times, it can occur due to reasons too. Here are a few reasons why you may be experiencing irregular periods:
The first stage of menopause – perimenopause, usually occurs a few years before menopause. Your estrogen levels start to fluctuate and cause disruptions in your menstrual cycle. Menopause usually occurs when women are in their 40s, so be cautious of its symptoms if you are nearing menopause.
Perimenopause can decrease the frequency of periods, and they stop altogether once you hit menopause. Other symptoms of perimenopause are night sweats, hot flashes, sleeping difficulty, mood swings, and vaginal dryness. Even though it is a natural cause, being aware of it can help you cope better.
Your periods may stop once you conceive. So if you suspect a pregnancy or are planning to get pregnant, you may want to take a pregnancy test to check if you are not getting your periods due to pregnancy.
If you are sexually active and using contraceptives, pregnancy can still occur as no contraceptive method is fully effective. You should talk to your doctor if you consistently get a negative result.
3. Birth control pills
Taking birth control pills can affect your menstrual cycle as they work by preventing ovulation. Hormonal birth control pills contain the hormones progesterone and estrogen that keep the ovaries from releasing eggs. When you stop taking these pills, your cycle may become irregular for the next few months.
They also thin the uterus lining, which does not leave much to shed, and you may not get your period. It is generally safe to use these methods, but a better approach is to consult your doctor before going on or off birth control pills. Other contraception methods, including an intrauterine device (IUD), implants, and injections, can also disturb your menstrual cycle.
Stress is a contributory factor for many diseases. It is essential to manage your stress levels to avoid critical illnesses. Stress also releases hormones such as cortisol which can interfere with other hormones and cause irregular periods. Being under stress for an extended time can disturb your menstrual cycle by causing longer or shorter periods. It can also lead to a missed period.
Eliminating stress from your life can improve your quality of life and keep you away from many health issues. If your stress level is too high, you can consult a therapist for stress. You can also lower stress levels by exercising, meditating, and doing yoga. Getting enough sleep can also help relieve stress.
5. Weight loss
Excessive weight loss can also be a reason behind irregular periods. People with eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia, can reduce weight. Low body weight, specifically lower than your minimum body mass index, can disrupt your period cycle as your body does not have enough fat to get a period.
Treating the eating disorder and gaining a healthy weight can regulate your period. Strenuous exercise and intense sports can also lead to an irregular menstrual cycle.
6. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is becoming a common problem for women in Pakistan, and missed periods are the most obvious sign of it. PCOS happens when cysts develop in your ovaries due to hormone imbalance.
Women with PCOS have high levels of a male sex hormone known as androgen, which can halt ovulation, leading to irregular or missed periods. It can also lead to difficulty getting pregnant, excess hair growth, obesity, acne, or hair thinning.
7. Other hormonal issues
Hormone imbalances can cause irregular periods. These hormonal issues can occur due to conditions that affect hormones. Hormones like thyroid hormones or prolactin can make you miss your period.
Other conditions that can cause irregular periods are diabetes, medications, and even tumors. Fluctuating hormones can also occur during puberty, postpartum, breastfeeding, and menopause.
8. Uterine fibroids
Uterine fibroids, cancerous or non-cancerous, can lead to irregular periods. They occur due to the growth of connective tissues and muscle cells around the uterus. There can be more than one fibroid attached to your uterus wall.
Women with uterine fibroids may experience irregular menstruation and heavy bleeding during their periods. Too much blood loss due to fibroids can cause anemia. Uterine fibroids may also present with other signs, such as pelvic pain, pain during sex, and back and leg pain.
Endometriosis is a condition that happens when the tissue lining inside your uterus starts to grow outside. Endometriosis can cause heavy bleeding during mensuration and increase duration.
The uterus lining sheds when you get your period, but if you have endometriosis, it may stay in your body and cause inflammation. It can also make your periods more painful and lead to fertility problems
10. Chronic illness
Serious diseases, such as celiac disease, Cushing syndrome, cervical cancer, and endometrial cancer, can also make your period cycle irregular.
Diabetes without treatment can also lead to irregular periods. Those suffering from endometrial or cervical cancer may also face unusual bleeding that may seem like a period. As vaginal bleeding can indicate these cancers, you should get it checked.
How to track your period?
Keeping track of your menstrual cycle can make it easier to notice any instability in your period cycle. Tracking your period can also help detect pregnancy by letting you know that your period is late. It may also help trace the cause of any irregularities in your menstrual cycle.
There are many ways to track your period. Keeping a journal or calendar for marking your period dates can help you keep tabs on your period date. Nowadays, many period-tracking apps have also made it easier to track your period. You have to input the date of your period, and the app will automatically update you when your next date is near.
The goal is not only to track when you are having your periods. You should also know how long your period typically lasts. It should range between two to seven days. If you notice that your period is occurring earlier or later than usual, you should rule out causes like pregnancy, stress, and menopause. Irregular periods may happen sometimes. If it is happening more than it should, consult a doctor at your earliest.
Irregular periods happen when you are getting your period later or earlier than usual or are experiencing too much or too less bleeding. Periods mainly occur after 21 to 40 days of your cycle. If you have regular periods generally but occasionally face irregular periods, you should not worry. Though if you see too many irregularities, it is best to consult a doctor to figure out their cause.
There are several reasons why women experience irregular periods. Pregnancy and menopause are natural causes that may be unavoidable. Other reasons for irregular periods, such as stress, chronic diseases, eating disorders, and hormonal issues, can be resolved after treatment.
They can also be an early sign of some types of cancer, so you should take period irregularities seriously. Treating the cause of irregular periods can help normalize your cycle and get your periods back to normal.
You can identify changes in your period cycle by tracking them. Keep an eye on the starting date of your period. You should also check the level of bleeding, as heavy bleeding during periods may signify a health issue. You can track your periods by counting the days from your last period to the next period. You should also check the duration and intensity of the periods. If something is off, consult a specialist doctor through oladoc.com.