Period Irregularities & How To Spot Them
While taking about periods we know what a regular period means and what an irregular period means. Not all menstruators are the same. We all have different bodies, hormones and most importantly different schedules!
Having irregularities in your period isn’t always the result of a major issue. They may also be experienced due to a disturbance in schedule, eating habits, and more. In this article, I’m going to clear your thoughts a little more about period irregularities we may face.
Let’s start by understanding what regular periods are. It is a cycle of 28 days. You may get your period anytime between 21 and 35 days. It may come 7 days earlier than the date of your period in the previous month, or it can come 7 days later, depending on your body type. This cycle is the ‘normal’ cycle. In a regular period, bleeding on Days 1 to 6 is normal. You may also experience bearable pain on the first and second day of your period. These are called period cramps.
Now, an irregular period is just the reverse of a regular period! If your cycle is earlier than 21 days, or later than 35 days, it is an irregularity. The blood flow might go down to only 2 days, or may go upto higher than 8 days. The frequency of the blood also varies from increased bleeding to just spotting. You may experience unbearable pain too. Sometimes, these changes may be a cause of concern, but something, this could be an indication of changes in your lifestyle. Confusing, isn’t it?
Let’s now talk about why these irregularities happen. Let’s dig deep into the reasons behind irregular periods
1. Physiological / Natural - Stress, change in sleep pattern, suffering from any temporary disease these are all normal causes. Over exercise or excess workout is another cause of delayed periods. The irregularity can also be seen in the adolescent age, pregnancy, feeding baby. The increase or decrease in the prolactin hormone can also be a reason. Thyroid, a common disease seen in menstruators in the past few years, may also cause a delay in your period. Medication, too, can be a cause of irregular periods.
2. Hormonal Imbalance - There are 4 hormones that maybe responsible of the changes in the monthly cycle.
- FHS (Follicle stimulating hormone)
- LH (Luteinizing Hormone)
Hormone imbalance plays a major role in disturbed cycle. LHS helps in the development of the ovary as ovaries develop it starts to produce estrogen. It’s all connected to each other, so if any of these increases or decreases, you may experience irregularities.
3. Pathological Reason - Any process that disturbs the ovulation makes it irregular. There are some of the inherit diseases because of which our monthly cycle may be disturbed. Here are some:
- Thyroid Problem - In thyroid, excess prolactin is produced in human body, due to which we experience malfunctioning in the pituitary gland. This process of pituitary gland once disturbed causes the irregular monthly cycle.
- PCOS - Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome - in this condition, small cysts are formed on the outer walls of the ovaries. These affect the formation of ova, and also cause a delay in ova being released from the ovaries into the uterus.
- Primary Ovarian Insufficiency / Premature Ovarian Failure – This is pretty common in menstruators and can occur just before menopause. Typically, menopause occurs after the age of 40, but this condition may cause menopause to occur before the age of 40.
Here are some ways we can employ to tackle irregular periods –
- Food habits & diet plays an important role. What you eat, how much you eat, how you eat, and when you eat – all these factors matter! Avoid junk and packaged food, refined food.
- Avoid plastics as they contain a compound called xenoestrogen which mimics the action of estrogen in the body.
- Stay physically active, practice happy and moderate exercises.
- Stress is the root cause of many irregularities. Although it is easy to say “Don’t stress”, the onus is on each one of us to undertake de-stressing and relaxing activities. Like subscribing to The Pink Box period care package (wink wink).
- Maintain a good Sleep Schedule. Sleep for at least 8 hours, sleep at a particular time, and wake up at a particular time. Try not using your phone an hour before bed time.
Lastly, your health is definitely wealth. Make sure you take utmost care, and love your body!
Authored by Ms. Nidhi Rathod