Missed or Irregular Periods

It has commonly been thought that a missed or irregular period spells trouble and while this can be the case, there are lots of other causes of irregular periods that you should consider, especially if you are a teenager. Most girls get their first period, or menarche, between the ages of 10 and 15 and for the first 3 years or so, their periods can be irregular. Sometimes they even miss a month or two between periods and sometimes will then have 2 within a month.

This is completely normal, as hormone levels are fluctuating. As you become a woman, your period will settle into a fairly consistent cycle. Doctors have always spoken about the 28 day cycle, but this does not mean that your period has to be exactly 28 days apart to be considered regular. Most women, in fact, are not 28 days, but anywhere from 23 to 34 days. So, regular periods are within a narrow range.

Aside from the initial menstrual cycle you get as a teenager, there could be some other reasons for missing a period, and some of these could have complications or be linked to certain illnesses like polycystic ovary syndrome. Some illnesses, disease complications and stress can even cause missed periods.

Of course, the first thing that sexually active women think about when they miss a period is that they could be pregnant. If you are not sure, it is always best to act like you are pregnant until you have taken a pregnancy test. Bear in mind that due to this stress, it can cause your period to be even later, thus causing more stress around the possibility of being pregnant, and so the vicious circle continues.

How Does the Menstrual Cycle Work?

what happens in the menstrual cycle

In an effort to ensure regular periods, it is important to find out more about how this all works. Well, you have probably heard that the reason you menstruate is to get rid of toxins and the old unfertilized egg that was released by your ovaries.

What happens is that the pituitary gland causes the egg in the ovary to mature. As this is happening the uterus wall lining becomes thick so that it will be able to cushion a fertilized egg should a pregnancy occur. About half way through the cycle, the egg will be released during ovulation and it make its way down the fallopian tube to the uterus, where if it was fertilized, it would start growing into a little baby. However, if no fertilization has occurred, the egg will start to break apart and about 2 weeks later the lining and the egg will be discarded as the period.

What Causes Missed or Irregular Periods?

Aside from the items mentioned above, weight gain or rapid weight loss can also severely affect how regular your periods are, as your hormone levels will also be affected and the same part of the brain that controls these areas, also controls the timing of our periods. Other things that can cause you to miss a period or cause it to be late include thyroid gland problems, and more. There are, however, some other ways to tell when your period is about to come. This includes symptoms such as:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Cramps
  • Tender breasts
  • Irritability and Mood Swings (referred to as PMS)
  • Acne break outs and pimples
  • Disturbed sleeping patterns

What is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?

Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a disease that affects many different people and is basically an imbalance of the hormones between the brain and ovaries. This means that the ovaries are not getting all the right signals from the pituitary gland. This gland is where the FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and the LH (luteinizing hormone) are produced and sent to the egg.

Other Possibilities

If you have ruled out the previous possibilities, then you should look at what else could be causing your period to be late or irregular. It could be anything from a cold to a sudden weight gain, or a sudden weight loss. It could be during a stressful time in your life such as exams or moving home, and a period can even be delayed when you are busy doing something strenuous and stressful like moving from home or going on a trip. If you exercise a lot, this can also be a cause of a missed or irregular period. This is common in endurance athletes and for those who are serious about their exercise. Drug use and certain kinds of medications can have an effect on regular periods and cause them to go a bit haywire from time to time. You don't have to worry if you are normally regular and on time, and this suddenly changes. This is normal during the span of your life, specifically if you are still young, so you should just think about and recognize what it is that caused the change.

If you are breast feeding, this is another area where you would probably have a late period or even no period for the entire duration of your breast feeding. You must remember however that the breast feeding, does not protect you from getting pregnant, so take precautions.

The only other time besides being a teenager, that you will experience complications and irregular periods is when you reach the menopause age and pretty soon your periods will stop altogether.

How to Know If Something Is Wrong

While there are so many accurate and professional reasons for irregular periods, there are also lots of illnesses that can cause you to miss your period, and these are normally accompanied by various symptoms. This includes bleeding in between your period, excessive bleeding for more than 5 days, and some others. The best thing to do if you are unsure of the problem is to go to a doctor who can conduct a professional assessment and diagnosis.

So, now that you know all about the menstrual cycle and understand that the cycle is not always strict and can fluctuate, you will feel more comfortable and start finding out the cause if you suffer with irregular periods.


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Comments on this page
Guest [09/01/2017 07:28]E-Mail  

i am 24 years guy and i had sex with my girlfriend she is 19 years i have used condom and had now she is not getting her periods lated for 4 days she is worried and iam also please please help me wht i can do

Guest [12/25/2015 17:11]E-Mail  

1

Jessica [08/10/2013 13:09] 

My friend has polycystic ovarian syndrome. It isn\'t fun.

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