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Experiencing irregular periods? 5 reasons why your menstrual cycle is so unpredictable

Published on:16 November 2020, 16:54pm IST
If you’ve been worried about irregular periods, here are 5 reasons that could be behind it.
Geetika Sachdev
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irregular periods
Here’s why you are suffering from irregular periods. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Every woman is different and the same applies to periods. Some might get their periods right on time, others might struggle through the month. On average, a woman gets her period every 24 to 38 days and will bleed anywhere between 2 to 8 days.

Now, if your periods sound different, there’s a high chance something is not right. Irregular periods are characterised by a considerable time difference between your periods, reduced flow, excessive bleeding, or prolonged flow. 

There could be various causes behind irregular periods, a hormonal balance being the most probable one. Your body’s estrogen and progesterone levels could be going through some changes. There are, however, other reasons that could be responsible for irregular periods.

Let’s find out what else, apart from hormonal imbalance, could be affecting your menstruation cycle:

1. Pregnancy

If you are pregnant, you could miss your period or even experience spotting. To be doubly sure, you can get yourself tested. Some of the early signs of pregnancy include morning sickness, nausea, breast tenderness, and fatigue. In case you miss a period or notice any drastic changes after you’ve had sex, get in touch with your doctor.

Also, read: A guide to spotting during pregnancy: Here’s everything you need to know

2. Hormonal birth control

Majority of the women who opt for hormonal birth control pills and intrauterine devices report experiencing irregular periods. In fact, birth control pills can lead to spotting between periods, or scanty periods. Intrauterine devices may cause heavy bleeding.

irregular periods
Yes! birth control pills can mess with your cycle. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

These changes occur because these methods are used to prevent pregnancy by interfering with the natural fluctuation of hormones.

3. Breastfeeding

If you are a new mother and breastfeed your child regularly, you could also be experiencing irregular periods. Prolactin is a hormone that drives the production of milk in the breasts. It also suppresses your reproductive hormones, resulting in spotting or light periods. In most cases, periods become normal once a mother stops breastfeeding.

4. Perimenopause

As the name suggests, perimenopause is the transition phase before you enter menopause. On average, it affects women in their 40s.

It causes some major changes in your menstrual cycle over a period of 4 to 8 years. The fluctuating levels of estrogen in your body can cause unpredictable periods. Some other signs and symptoms of perimenopause include hot flashes, night sweats, changes in mood, and vaginal dryness.

irregular periods
A precursor to menopause, perimenopause is your body’s way of preparing you for the end of fertility. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
5. Polycystic ovary syndrome

An irregular period is a key symptom of polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS. There are times when you miss your period and when you do have your period, you may experience heavy bleeding.

PCOS can have several other symptoms like infertility, excessive facial and body hair, baldness, and weight gain.

So, ladies, it is best to talk to your doctor to figure out what could be causing irregular periods.

Geetika Sachdev Geetika Sachdev

An independent writer and journalist, Geetika loves sharp and fresh humour, just like her coffee! If not writing, you'll find her cafe-hopping and raiding the best book stores in town.