New Delhi – Every woman is different – including menstruation. Some happen regularly and others are hit or missed, and for some it is unpredictable. On average, women get their period every 21 to 35 days, and it usually lasts about 2 to 7 days. Is your period irregular – and if so, does she need attention? Many women worry about the late period, but did you know you are not pregnant? Did you know that delayed or missed menstruation happens for many reasons other than pregnancy? Common causes can range from normal physiological conditions, stress or obesity, anxiety-related problems, lifestyle changes, or hormonal imbalances.
However, every woman must understand, you may be different: you may have more or less, and a missed or irregular period must be viewed in terms of what is normal for you, says Manjula Deepak, senior gynecologist, Cloudnine Group of Hospital, Bengaluru ( HRBR). “Causes and treatment vary depending on the age group of women and it is therefore important to stop comparing our conditions.”
The expert explains this in detail:
What causes a delayed period?
Amenorrhea is when there is no menstruation during the reproductive years, between puberty and menopause. It is not a disease and does not mean that a person is infertile, but it can be a sign of a health problem that needs a little attention. It can occur in healthier women during breastfeeding or it can signal other gynecological conditions, such as hormonal imbalance, excessive exercise, eating disorders, stress, drug use, PCOS, endometriosis, fibroids, endocrine disorders such as thyroid, pituitary, premature ovarian failure.
Amenorrhea usually occurs when the ovaries stop producing enough female hormone. Primary amenorrhea refers to the absence of menstruation in someone who has not had a period at the age of 16 years. The most common causes of primary amenorrhea are related to hormone levels, although anatomical problems can also cause amenorrhea. Such conditions are rare and make up less than 0.1 people. Secondary amenorrhea refers to the absence of three or more periods in a row by someone who has had menstruation in the past. Pregnancy is the most common cause of secondary amenorrhea, although hormone problems can also cause secondary amenorrhea.
A number of factors, including those below, can cause an irregular period.
You are under stress: If you are under a lot of stress, your body may remain in combat or flight mode, which can lead to a temporary cessation of ovulation. This lack of ovulation in turn can delay menstruation.
Changes in body weight (weight gain / decrease): Serious changes in body weight may weaken over time. An extreme increase or decrease in body fat can lead to a hormonal imbalance that causes menstruation to be delayed or stopped altogether.
You have PCOS: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a set of symptoms caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones. People with PCOS do not ovulate regularly. As a result, menstruation may be easier than usual, come at inconsistent times, or disappear altogether. In addition to the delayed period, you may also notice excess or flow of hair on the face and body, acne on the face and body, thinning hair, weight gain or loss, dark skin spots, often on the folds of the neck, groin and under the breasts, skin marks in the armpits or neck .
You are in perimenopause: Perimenopause is the time that leads to your transition to menopause. It usually starts from the mid to late 40s. Perimenopause lasts for several years before your period stops completely. For many, missed periods are the first sign of perimenopause. You can skip the one-month period and get back on track for the next three, and you can skip the three-month period in a row and find it comes unexpectedly, often easier or harder than you’re used to.
You are in early menopause: Early menopause, also known as premature ovarian failure, occurs when your ovaries stop working before you turn 40 years old. When the ovaries don’t work the way they should, they don’t produce enough hormones. You will begin to experience the symptoms of menopause. Late or missed periods can be an early sign.
Chronic diseases: Chronic diseases like diabetes, tuberculosis, liver disorders can also affect your menstrual cycle. They are associated with hormonal changes, so although rare, menstruation can be irregular.
Thyroid Problems: An overactive or inactive thyroid can also be the cause of late or missed periods. The thyroid gland regulates your body’s metabolism, so it can also affect hormone levels. Thyroid problems can usually be treated with medication. After treatment, menstruation is likely to return to normal.
Contraception / Birth Control Medications: Medications such as birth control pills, intrauterine devices may cause lighter, less frequent, more frequent or skipped periods, or no periods at all. CAUSES OF MATERIAL Endometrial thickening, polyps, uterine fibroids, uterine cancer, endometriosis, adenomyosis can also be the cause.
Diagnosis of missed / delayed period
* Detailed history
* Family history
* Patient examination
* Laboratory tests – follicle stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, thyroid stimulating hormone, estrogen, testosterone prolactin, Beta HCG
Many things can cause an irregular period, from routine lifestyle changes to basic health conditions. If your period is regularly delayed, make an appointment with a gynecologist to determine the cause. Irregular periods are not always a sign of a problem, but it is important to understand the root causes of delayed / missed periods. It is a myth that states that a delayed period indicates infertility and conception. Timely medical intervention is recommended. A gynecologist will be able to determine the cause of irregular menstruation and help you develop the best treatment plan for you. (IANS)