Irregular Periods and Pregnancy- When to be Worried?

Irregular periods and pregnancy!

Oh, those are the most dreaded words for any woman irrespective of the age. Periods are painful and anguished and if they are irregular then they are more stressful.  The reason being is that regular and timely period signifies that a woman’s body is working fine. However, sometimes a woman can experience irregular periods. As regular periods indicate the fertility of a woman,once they become irregular, many worries start hovering over one’s head.

 Don’t worry! You are not alone.

If you are facing irregular periods, then don’t worry. You are not alone in this. More than 50% of Indian women suffer from the same problem. Getting irregular periods is as common as grass these days. Well, all thanks goes to our sedentary lifestyle and eating habits.

What is considered to be irregular period?

Every girl starts getting her menstrual cycle once she hits puberty. It can be at the age of 10 or 15. The menstrual cycle gets calculated from day one of the first period to day one of the next menstrual cycle. For example, if you got your first period on the 1stof March and the next time you got it on 2nd April then your menstrual cycle is of 30 days.

Usually, the average menstrual cycle is of 28 days. But, still, you can’t simply bank on this as doctors say it can easily vary between 28 days to 32 days. However, women can experience some changes in the menstrual cycle every month. These types of periods are normal.

However, things are not the same for everyone. As per the Office of Women Health, any period that comes as early as 20 days or as late  as 35 days is  called an irregular period. Depending upon the severity of the condition, some girls get their periods even after a gap of two, three, or even six months. If that’s the case with you, then you have irregular periods. One more thing to mention here is that irregular periods don’t only refer to delayed or missed periods, bleeding beyond what is normal is also referred to as irregular.

Types of Irregular Periods

Depending upon the gap between two consecutive periods and amount of bleeding, irregular periods can be classified into three categories:

1. Amenorrhea

If you don’t get your periods for more than three months in a row.

2. Oligomenorrhea

If your periods come at an interval of 35 days.

3. Menorrhagia

If you bleed for more than a week.

What are the reasons for irregular periods?

Well, there are many reasons that lead to this problem.  Here is a quick rundown of all those reasons.

1. PCOS 

PCOS or Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome is one the most common and major causes behind your irregular periods. It is a medical condition where many cysts get developed inside the ovary of a woman.  It is a very common female endocrine disorder that affects every one woman out of eight. Women with PCOS will have difficulty getting pregnant and would be at a higher risk of having a miscarriage.

2. Eating irregularities

When you are not eating as per your daily requirement then your body will not be able to circulate the menstrual hormones the way it should. Thus, it leads to irregular periods.

3. Hyperprolactinemia

It is a situation when a woman has a high level of prolactin in their blood. Prolactin is a protein hormone and leads to irregular periods when it is present in excess. Even, if it exceeds beyond a certain level, it may completely stop your periods.

4. Underlying medical conditions

Some medical conditions as such thyroid imbalance, diabetes and obesity also lead to irregular periods. Sometimes, all these medical conditions exist in conjunction. When they all combine, you have to face the anguish of irregular periods.

Apart from this, if you are taking some anti-epileptics and antipsychotics medicines then chances are high that you may face the wrath of irregular periods.

5. Premature ovarian failure (POF)

Premature ovarian failure is a condition where you face a low estrogen level. In the absence of adequate estrogen level, your periods can become irregular.  This condition can also cause vaginal dryness, pain during sex, difficulty sleeping, and anxiety.

6. Any extra pills or implant

If you are on contraceptive pills or using any IUD device then missed periods is a common side effect. You need to examine your body accordingly.

7. Stress

Though stress is the byproduct of today’s fast-paced life, it is one of the most common factors behind irregular periods. When you are stressed, your body starts falling apart to work normally. Thus, you miss your periods.

What is the relation between irregular periods and pregnancy? 

Getting a period means that a woman’s body has started producing and releasing eggs.  If you are not getting your periods regularly then you are not ovulating. Women with more than 35-day menstrual cycle will have shorter ovulation window that makes getting pregnant a tough job. Again, in the case of Amenorrhea, ovulation period comes after so long and determining the ovulation period in this situation is very difficult.

In some cases, women have an ovulatory cycle.  In these types of cycles, ovulation doesn’t occur at all. A woman can’t conceive without any medical help if she is not ovulating. No, or delayed ovulation means no or delayed conceiving.

When do you need to worry about your irregular period?

Though irregular periods are a matter of concern, there are certain cases that can’t be ignored at any cost. Here is a list of those cases.

1. If you haven’t had a bleeding for more than 90 days.

This situation indicates that you are a victim of Amenorrhea and require urgent medical help.  Though natural amenorrhea is common when a woman is pregnant or exclusively breastfeeding, its presence in any condition is a matter of serious concern. When left untreated, it leads to infertility, low estrogen levels, and osteoporosis.

2. If your periods become irregular all of a sudden

So, your periods were normally on time and now they have become irregular. If this is the case, then it may indicate an underlying condition such as hormonal imbalance or diabetes.

3. When you are planning to conceive

Getting pregnant with irregular periods is a tough nut to crack. If you are planning to get pregnant then you should be concerned about your irregular periods.

4. If you are experiencing abnormal bleeding between periods or after menopause

Abnormal bleeding during periods or after menopause is a common symptom of endometrial cancer. Women who have an irregular period pattern are at a higher risk of endometrial cancer. So if it happens with you, it’s time for a checkup and utmost attention.

5. If you experience severe pelvic pain

Irregular periods don’t come alone. They bring an army of various health issues along with them and severe pelvic pain is one among them. It is an alarming situation that needs urgent and appropriate attention.

Irregular periods are the worst nightmare of a woman. Apart from a difficult pregnancy, they may cause facial hair growth, cramping, and abdominal pain. All these situations increase your agony by leaps and bounds.  Early and timely treatment is the only solution to get rid of this situation. So, keep all your senses alert and start keeping track of your periods.


Also recommended :

Causes of irregular periods

15 Early Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy

Period Lasting for 3 Weeks or More- What Could be the Reasons?

Easy Treatment Options for Irregular Periods- The Ultimate Home Remedies Guide

Shyamala Rajasekar

Foodaholic with an untrustworthy appetite. Meat lover. She cannot write bios.

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