Most Common Reasons
Most women have 11 to 13 menstrual periods in a year. Some have more. Others have fewer. Missed or irregular periods can mean a lot of things. The two most common reasons are pregnancy and menopause. If you suspect that you are pregnant, use a home pregnancy testing kit to find out. You can also go to the doctor to be doubly sure. It's also possible that you are about to go into menopause. You would know for sure that you're in menopause if it has been 12 months since you have had your last menstrual period.
Other than pregnancy and menopause, there can be other reasons for missed or irregular periods.
- weight loss
- weight gain
- eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia
- increased exercise
- emotional stress
- medicines like birth control pills
- hormone problems
- use of illegal drugs
- pelvic organ conditions (imperforate hymen, polycystic ovary syndrome, or Asherman's syndrome)
Rare causes of missed or irregular periods include:
- irritable bowel syndrome
- liver disease
- premature ovarian failure: When you stop menstruating before reaching the age of 40, you may be suffering from premature ovarian failure, which can be brought about by surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy.
Prevention and Treatments
It's normal to miss a period from time to time so don't stress yourself too much about it. Unless you're pregnant, there's a big chance that it would be go back to normal the next month.
- Eating a balanced diet can help since being underweight or overweight can throw your menstrual cycle off balance.
- It's also a must to stay away from fad diets that impose rapid weight loss. Fad diets restrict calories as well as food variety, which can be bad for you. Instead, go for a balanced diet rich in highly nutritional foods and drinks.
- If you're an athlete, it may be necessary to cut back on your training. Consult your doctor as well as a fitness training expert regarding this matter. You may be advised to take hormone or calcium supplements to protect yourself against bone loss.
- Even if you're not an athlete, be careful about how you work out. See to it that you increase exercise gradually. Start with low-impact exercise for about 30 minutes a day. Increase the duration and intensity slowly. Don't forget to take a break once or twice a week to give your body a chance to recharge and recuperate.
- Since stress is another common cause of missed or irregular period, learn and practice stress reduction techniques to cope with stress better. Effective relaxation strategies include getting a massage therapy, going out with friends, soaking in a warm bath, engaging in aromatherapy, doing yoga or Pilates, practicing breathing techniques or meditation, and so on. It's very important that you take a break from your fast-paced lifestyle in order to get your cycle back to normal.
If these strategies don't work, visit a doctor immediately as missed and irregular periods can also be signs of underlying medical conditions.