7 Causes of Irregular Periods That You Should Be Aware of ...

If your menstrual cycle is or has been a little off, you should know that there are many causes of irregular periods and that you're not alone. In fact, about thirty percent of women will experience an irregular period at some time during their life. An irregular period is considered as menstrual bleeding which occurs more often than 21 days or lasts longer than 8 days. Some women with irregular periods find that their period only comes about every 35 days. If you are worried about what's causing your cycle to be off, here's a list of 7 causes of irregular periods for you to check out.

1. Stress

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One of the many causes of irregular periods is stress. When you are under a high amount of stress, your body produces more of the hormone, cortisol. This creates a hormone imbalance and can throw your menstrual cycle off schedule. If you find that stress is what's causing your irregular periods, try to find ways to get rid of high levels of stress and anxiety in your life. Things like lifestyle changes and medications can help lower your stress levels.

2. Pregnancy

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Have you ever missed your period and wondered if you were pregnant? I know I have on several occasions. This is because it's normal for your period to completely stop for the entire time that your pregnant. While it's possible to have a light period when you're first pregnant, you should always speak to your doctor any time bleeding occurs. This will ensure that everything is going well with your pregnancy and prevent any complications from arising.

3. Miscalculation

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I'll admit that I've never been great about keeping up with my menstrual cycle. Over the years this has caused a lot of worry about the possibility of being pregnant. Even if you are someone who is dedicated to keeping track of your cycle, it's still possible to miscalculate unless you track it. There are several easy ways to keep track of your menstrual cycle such as writing it on a calendar or in a planner. If you're like me and struggle to remember to even write down the details of your cycle, get a free Menstrual Calendar App. This will make keeping track of your cycle easier as well as telling you the days that you're the most fertile, if you're trying to become pregnant.

4. Perimenopause

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Perimenopause is the period of time when your body is preparing for menopause. During this transition time your body will slowly start producing less estrogen. For some women this transition only last for a few months, but for most women it last for about four years. During this time women may experience irregular periods, hot flashes, or mood swings. Perimenopause will typically start when you are in your 40s.

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Did you know that the foods you eat can affect your menstrual cycle? If you are eating a diet that is rich in unhealthy carbohydrates and fats or a diet that's low in vegetables, your cycle may be interrupted. If you've been restricting your calorie intake in an attempt to lose weight, it can cause your cycle to be irregular, as well. This is also true if you have recently gained weight. Regular exercise combined with a healthy diet is a great way to help keep your menstrual cycle regular. Just be sure not to overdo it because excessive exercise can cause you to miss your period.

6. Certain Medications

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Have you been sick lately? If so, think about the medications that you have taken. Many over the counter medications which we take for the common cold or allergies can cause an irregular period. If your period is irregular because of a medication, it should be temporary and your period should be back to normal within a month or two. If your cycle is irregular beyond that, a medication may not be the culprit.

7. Uterine Fibroids

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Uterine Fibroids, which are benign tumors that develop on the walls of the uterus, are something that I had never heard about until the last visit to my gynecologist. I was surprised to know that they are are quite common and most women will have them at sometime. Many women who develop uterine fibroids won't have any symptoms, but some will experience irregular periods, heavy or prolonged periods, frequent urination, and pelvic pain. Many doctors recommend that you take over-the- counter pain medications for uterine fibroids. Some will also prescribe hormone medications or contraceptives to help shrink the fibroids.

Having irregular periods can be frustrating. If this is a reoccurring problem for you, it's best to speak with your doctor. Do you know of any other causes of irregular periods that you'd like to add to the list? I can't wait to hear from you.

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