Irregular periods are one of the most common problems women suffer from these days. If you have a regular period, it means that your body is functioning properly. However, if they are irregular, they can be a sign of a serious health problem. A normal menstrual cycle occurs at an interval of 21 to 35 days and the bleeding can last for 2 to 7 days. Women can have different cycles, However, a change in the cycle should call for a gynecological consultation. It is very important to be aware of the causes and risks around irregular periods. We asked Dr. Madhu Goel, Associate Director, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Fortis La Femme about the common causes behind irregular cycles. Read on.

The perimenopausal period is the phase before you enter menopause. This usually starts when you are in your 40s. There are a lot of signs of this period like mood changes, insomnia, night sweats, hot flashes among others. During this time, your period cycles can be irregular. These are due to hormonal fluctuations in the body. Unless the cycles are heavy, these do not require any medical intervention. At the time of menopause, eventually, the cycles will completely stop. Menopause occurs when there has been no bleeding for 12 months.

irregular period cause

Irregular bleeding can occur as a result of contraceptive use. Inappropriate use of these pills is one common reason behind irregular periods. These emergency contraceptive pills should not be used on a regular basis. If the pills are taken in an irregular fashion, they can result in mid cycle bleeding and spotting. Intrauterine contraceptive devices like Copper T and Mirena can also disrupt an established cycle pattern.

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Polycystic ovarian disease or PCOD is a very common health issue among women these days. Due to imbalance between various hormones, the cycles become anovulatory, the egg does not rupture on time, hence causing irregular periods and infertility. There can be other symptoms of PCOD like acne, increased hair growth, tendency to gain weight, etc. In order to prevent long term medical complications, PCOD requires constant and careful medical and lifestyle attention. A regular diet programme, a determined exercise effort, and regular visits to a Gynaecologist go a long way in the control of PCOD.

 irregular bleeding

Stress, anxiety, changes in lifestyle, eating disorders are other common causes of irregular periods. Depending upon their intensity and frequency they may require medical attention.

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Some medications can also interfere with your period cycle. If that's the case, do talk to your doctor about it and get the medication changed. 

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According to a study, women with thyroid disorders can also have irregular periods. Hypothyroidism can lead to heavy, long and painful periods. Hyperthyroidism can lead to short and light periods. 

irregular periods bleeding

Fibroids can also lead to irregular periods. These are noncancerous tumours that develop in the uterus. Some symptoms of its are back pain, pain in legs or pelvic pain. 

Do you know obesity is another common cause behind irregular periods? Obesity can affect menstrual cycles. 

Keep these causes in mind and if ever you face such an issue, do consult your doctor immediately.