Causes of Irregular Periods
Irregular menstrual cycles can take different forms. If your cycle lasts longer than 38 days, you miss your period occasionally, you do not get your period at all, you have frequent periods, or there are major fluctuations in the duration of your period, those are considered irregular cycles. Houston Fertility Center can perform advanced female infertility testing to identify the cause of your fertility problem.
Dr. Sonja B. Kristiansen would like to go over some of the common causes of irregular periods below. We can discuss your problems in greater detail during a visit to our Houston, TX infertility clinic.
What a Normal Cycle Looks Like
A normal cycle lasts between 21 and 35 days. Each woman is different, but each of the following phases will occur:
- The Menstrual Phase (when you have your period)
- The Follicular Phase
- The Ovulation Phase (the middle of the cycle)
- The Luteal Phase
You should consider tracking your cycle just to monitor general wellness and aid in timing intercourse if you are looking to become pregnant. Changes in the nature of your normal cycle may be the sign of a health issue that can impact your fertility.
Changes in Hormone Levels
If your body is not producing hormones the way it should, this can lead to irregular cycles. Hormone level problems may resolve on their own, or they could be linked to other health problems such as the ones noted below.
The thyroid is a gland located in your neck that creates hormones and regulates metabolism. An overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) or an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) may be causing your irregular cycle.
Fibroids are tissue growths that develop in or around the uterus. While general noncancerous, these fibroids can grow quite large and impact your normal menstrual cycle.
Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue that normally develops within the uterus during your cycle winds up growing on the outside of your uterus. This can lead to irregular periods, scar tissue, and other issues impacting fertility.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS involves the growth of cysts on the ovaries that wind up affecting hormone levels and other aspects of a woman’s health. Lack of periods, irregular periods, and heavy periods are just a few of the symptoms associated with PCOS.
Problems with Body Weight
Your body weight can affect hormone levels and insulin, which can have a negative impact on your reproductive health. If you are obese or underweight, these can both lead to irregular periods.
Stress and Anxiety
If you’re under a great deal of stress, you may interfere with the part of your brain that regulates your cycle. Stress-related changes in your period tend to be temporary, and can be alleviated with various stress relief methods.
Daily exercise is good for you, but overtraining can be bad for your health. Excessive exercise can lead to hormone interference, which can affect your period. Female athletes involved in intense physical activity must be mindful of this.
When to Speak with Your Doctor a Fertility Specialist
If you notice issues with your normal cycle that do not resolve on their own after a month or so, it’s a good idea to discuss these matters with your doctor or a fertility specialist. Professional attention is necessary to properly address your issue.
Contact Our Fertility Center
For more information about treating missed periods, irregular menstrual cycles, and other female infertility issues, be sure to contact an experienced fertility specialist. The team at Houston Fertility Center is here to help. You can reach our practice by phone at (713) 862-6181.