- by Dr Sahana K P
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- Jan 17 2018
REASONS FOR LATE PERIODS OTHER THAN PREGNANCY
Once you attain puberty, having your periods every month is not only routine but also healthy. It may be uncomfortable and discomforting but it is an important indicator of your health. Therefore, when irregularity strikes, we panic.
Pregnancy is not the only cause of missed periods. Your menstrual cycle can be negatively impacted due to a number of other factors.
Let’s look at some of the most likely reasons for irregular periods.
Stress can really mess with your hormones and can cause a condition called anovulation, where your body does not release an egg every month like it should. Stress can even affect the hypothalamus (part of the brain responsible for regulating your period) and cause a case of “hypothalamic amenorrhea”, making your menstruation stop for several months. Try relaxation techniques and exercise to better manage the stress.
If you are a woman suffering from eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia, you may experience missed or late periods. Low body weight and a poor diet that is low in nutrients, antioxidants and probiotics; all contribute to irregular periods. Being treated for your eating disorder and being on a proper diet can help you attain regular periods. Smoking and alcohol consumption can also interfere with your menstrual cycle.
Just as having a low body weight causes hormonal changes, similarly being overweight can also negatively impact your periods.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS is a condition that causes the body to produce excess of male hormones; forming cysts on the ovaries. This can cause irregular ovulation or may stop it altogether.
Most women experience menopause between the ages of 45 to 55. Some women may get menopause or similar symptoms around the age of 40 or earlier, a condition called “early peri-menopause”. This starts with missed periods and eventually ends menstruation.
If your periods are heavier, it can be a sign of hypothyroidism. On the other hand, if they are scanty, it is a symptom of hyperthyroidism. The thyroid is responsible for body’s metabolism, so hormone levels can be affected as well.
Chronic diseases such as diabetes, celiac disease, ovarian cancer and other chronic ailments can affect your menstrual cycle. These lead to hormonal changes and inflammation, causing late or missed periods.
If your missed, irregular or late periods are a cause of any of the above conditions; treating and managing them will help you attain regular periods.
Never ignore irregular periods as it may be a result of an underlying health issue. Talk to your gynaecologist for appropriate treatment.
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