Are you worried about your menstrual health because of a late or missed period? Every woman is different, and so is her menstrual cycle. While some enjoy the perks of a predictable clockwork period, others might face irregularity and unpredictability. Multiple factors, such as drugs, heavy physical exercise, abnormal body weight, malnutrition, hormonal imbalance, infections, and disorders, can cause an irregular period.
Irregular periods aren't always symptomatic of an illness. However, it is advised to identify abnormal consistency, regularity, and pain during your period. We've shortlisted some factors that can result in a stagnant period, along with tips and treatments to get it back.
What is an irregular period?
An irregular period is defined as menstruation that is different in means of time length, consistency, and other characteristics.
A period can be characterized as abnormal or irregular when:
• You start having periods that last more than 7 days or are coming more often than every 21 days.
• You have abnormally low or heavy bleeding during your days.
• You have bleeding and spotting between your dates.
• You have severe cramps and clotting.
• Your period dates vary highly each month.
• You miss your period now and then.
What causes a missed period?
Many factors influence your period's regularity, including length and timing. Some of these causes are severe, while others are benign. Some of the significant reasons for missing a period are elaborated as follows.
1. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition in which a large number of small cysts are formed in the ovaries because of abnormal production of the male hormone androgen. The overall hormonal balance in the ovaries gets disturbed because of the cysts, and therefore a woman might face irregularities in her period. According to multiple studies, around 80-90% of menstrual irregularities are associated with PCOS.
2. Thyroid and Pituitary disorders
Hypothyroidism, Hyperthyroidism, and Hyperprolactinemia can all influence your menstrual regularity.
3. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease, abbreviated as PID, is the inflammation of a female's reproductive system caused due to sexually transmitted infections and is one of the common disease-related causes of irregular periods.
Some women face an absence of menstrual bleeding during breastfeeding tenure. The process is called amenorrhea and is characterized by the production of a hormone called prolactin which suppresses ovulation.
You must already know that a woman doesn't bleed during her pregnancy. This process is normal. A woman's uterus stops shedding uterine tissue and blood during pregnancy to support the fetus inside the womb. Once the pregnancy is over, the body starts functioning like normal.
If you are experiencing bleeding from your vagina, even during pregnancy, it might be a sign of miscarriage or inflammation in the reproductive system. Consult a doctor.
6. Birth Control
Birth control pills are used to halt pregnancies, hence interfering with the natural hormonal balance. IUD implants, Rings, and other contraceptive shots might also affect menstrual regularity.
Stress and mental depression are one of the most significant causes of period irregularity. If a woman is stressed, her body releases stress hormones which interact with sex hormones and affect the cycle.
The healthier you are, the normal your cycle will be. Blood is made of nutrients, and periods are primarily characterized by bleeding from your vagina. Eating disorders such as bulimia, anorexia, and selective eating habits can cause irregular periods.
9. Physical fatigue
Exercising excessively, working non-stop, physical stress, and fatigue can result in missed periods and irregular blood flow.
Before a female reaches menopause, she undergoes a decade of irregular and abnormal periods. This stage of menopause is called Perimenopause. It begins almost 4-12 years before menopause and is associated with hot flashes, mood swings, vaginal dryness, irritability, weight gain, and other symptoms other than irregular menses.
11. Body weight
Obesity, overweight, or underweight females tend to face more irregularities in their periods.
Uncontrollable diabetes can result in irregular periods as the blood sugar levels interact with the sex hormones and disrupts them.
What is a stagnant period?
Period stagnation or blood stasis means decreased blood flow to the uterus. This can be caused by eating or drinking cold food, long-term psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety, stress or aggressiveness, and irregular sleeping patterns.
Blood stagnation is widespread, and every woman gets affected at least once in her lifetime. Stagnation results in lower blood levels in the endometrium, causing delayed or missed periods.
Tips to help with irregular periods
Irregular periods may or not be severe. Depending upon the cause of irregularity, the following are some tips that help with irregular menstruation.
• Take a balanced diet, and consume iron and other blood-promoting foods.
• Try yoga and other low-impact exercises, but remember to be consistent.
• Avoid eating cold foods during your periods.
• Increase herbal intake. Herbs such as cinnamon and ginger have proven results.
• Take medicinal pills only when nothing else works.
• Consult a doctor if your cycle is constantly irregular, and check for PCOS or other hormonal disorders.
• Stay busy with productive things to save your mind from stress and anxiety.
• Consult a doctor for hormonal therapy if the irregularity persists.
Twenty-eight days are generalized for the length of the entire menstrual cycle, but it can vary between 21-35 days. Always notice the consistency, color, and dates of your period. Track your period, eat healthily and exercise daily.
An irregular period sometimes happens, but if it gets stagnant, consult a gynecologist asap!