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You may love or loathe your period, but every little change in your menstrual cycle can give you sleepless nights. Of course, everyone is unique and you can’t possibly have a one-size-fits-all approach, but if you find your menstrual cycle getting shorter every time, there could be an underlying reason. Before we understand that, it is essential to know a little more about how your menstrual health functions.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, you can bleed anywhere between two and seven days, and this is considered normal. But if you suddenly notice it getting shorter, you must be wary of the signs. What could be the cause behind it? To understand this better, we got in touch with
Dr Renu Raina Sehgal, Chief and Coordinator Operations – Obs and Gynae, Daffodils by Artemis, Gurugram.
Here’s what she tells Health Shots, “Menstrual cycles can become shorter due to hormonal imbalance, thyroid disorders, PCOD, or premature ovarian failure. It could also be caused by uterine problems like fibroids, and adenomyosis.”
Of course, exercising regularly is always a good idea, but if you work out beyond your means and constantly push yourself to limits, your body can literally receive a shock. That’s because overexercising or extreme workouts can affect your hypothalamic-pituitary axis. If it is impacted, your ovaries are likely to be affected. You may be building a uterine lining, but may not be shedding it enough, since your estrogen levels get disturbed.
As always, stress is one of the biggest culprits to wreak havoc on your health. A study published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research found mixed results, when it came to menstrual cycles of students with high-stress levels. An older study that was conducted in 1999 revealed that those who worked in high-stress jobs had shorter periods than those who didn’t.
The term ‘perimenopause’ suggests the years that lead up to menopause. As you age, your ovaries slow down the production of estrogen. Eventually, this leads to your periods getting shorter and lighter. Some women may also witness other symptoms, but you could check with a specialist to know better.
It’s quite obvious that your shorter period could be a sign of poor ovulation. When we ovulate, especially around your mid-cycle, the ovary turns the follicle into the producer of progesterone. It is essential to understand that progesterone turns the lining of the uterus into an area where a fertilised egg would like to implant. In case there’s no fertilised egg, the follicle that produces progesterone dies.
Whatever may be the reason, there’s no cause for worry. Visit a doctor at the earliest and get on to hormonal medication. Alongside, try and follow a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and follow a good sleep routine.
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