The Guardian notes that a regular menstrual cycle typically lasts anywhere from 24 to 35 days. But, there are often cases of women who experience a delay of 40 days or greater. While its occurrence happening occasionally is typically not a cause for concern, those who experience irregular periods consistently are at a greater risk of developing chronic health conditions like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even ovarian cancer. It is important to understand its underlying cause to address the issue properly.
What causes a missed period?
There are many different causes of irregular periods and most people think that as soon as they are late, they are immediately pregnant. But amenorrhea, or the absence of menstruation, can be caused by many different things, the main culprit being hormonal imbalance. An article by Emily Santora, titled Amenorrhea as a Menstrual Disorder, found that this can be brought on by obesity, fluctuating weight, emotional distress, an unhealthy lifestyle, or an eating disorder. All these factors can cause your hormone levels to fluctuate, leading to anovulation.
Irregular periods can also be secondary to more serious health issues such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, a brain tumor, insulin resistance, and thyroid issues. Medicines for cancer treatment can also be a reason for amenorrhea as it targets rapidly dividing cells such as ovaries. Though irregular periods do not always signify a greater health concern, it is still important to solve the problem to keep your body physically healthy and functioning properly.
How you can address the problem
Relieve your stress
The first thing you can do to address the issue is by relieving yourself of stress. While this isn’t an easy task, it is necessary for those whose amenorrhea is caused by high cortisol (stress hormones) levels in your body. Practice different meditation techniques daily as a short but thoughtful way to cool down after a long day. Journaling is described by News 7H as a way to promote good mental health, relaxation, and reflection. Setting aside time in your day to take care of yourself can make a big difference in helping regularize your menstruation as well as your mental health.
Balance your hormones
As mentioned before, hormones are the main cause of amenorrhea so you should take the necessary steps to balance them out. For those who suffer from conditions like PCOS and endometriosis, birth control can be an effective form of treatment that not only makes periods regular but it can also alleviate negative symptoms of menstruation such as cramps and acne. SymptomFind’s Esteban Vaquera’s post on birth control explains that it is also easy to order birth control online, making this remedy accessible to everyone. Many websites require patients to fill out a medical history form so prescriptions can be tailored to their specific health needs. Though you may think it is counterintuitive to take the pill for regular menstruations, some medications have placebos that can emulate your monthly period, giving you a visual understanding of where you are in your cycle.
Change your lifestyle
The Sleep Foundation details how taking charge of different parts of your lifestyle can bring a noticeable change if you are trying to make your period regular. Eating a balanced diet that is rich in nutrients and meets your daily caloric requirements is important to sustain your body’s needs. You should also get in a healthy amount of exercise daily as it will help balance out your hormones and keep your reproductive system in check. Having at least seven to nine hours of sleep will ensure that your body has enough time to properly rest and repair itself. Simple lifestyle changes like these will help you balance your hormones naturally and help battle amenorrhea.
If you experience irregular periods, just know that it is more common than you think. Women from all walks of life also experience this issue so it is important that you take the necessary steps to address the problem. Make sure to seek the advice of a healthcare professional to receive a proper diagnosis and to see if your amenorrhea is caused by a greater health condition.