A period is a regular occurrence in a woman’s life. On average, women typically experience between 11 and 13 menstrual cycles per year, though each woman’s body is different. While it’s natural to be alarmed by missing a period or noticeable differences in the length or intensity of your menstruation, irregular menstrual bleeding is not always a sign of something serious.
If you have experienced irregularities with your period, whether bleeding has become heavier, lighter, longer, more or less frequent, this could be a sign of something wrong. While some menstrual issues can signify a major change like pregnancy or the start of menopause, many of these problems can be temporary and resolve themselves over time. We’ve outlined a number of everyday causes of menstrual irregularities in hopes they will lead patients to cleaner, healthier living and limited menstrual concerns in the future.
Stress is one of the most common contributors to a change in menstrual cycles. This is due to stress affecting the body’s ability to shut down the hormones needed for ovulation.
Exercise is great and highly recommended to improve overall health, but working out excessively (multiple hours per day) can affect your period. The body can treat excess exercise as an extreme stressor and alter a woman’s hormone levels, leading to menstrual irregularities.
Alcohol can have a similar effect on a woman’s hormones. Although there is no specific amount of alcohol that can be pinpointed to affect menstruation, even as little as 1 to 5 drinks per week can have an effect.
Excessive weight gain over a short period of time can drastically affect your period. Weight gain can cause the ovaries to start producing extra testosterone which in turn can prevent ovulation and lead to prolonged or missed periods.
In addition to causing changes to your hormone levels. Staying up too late or not getting adequate sleep can impact a woman’s melatonin levels, which play a part in regulating your menstrual cycle.
Here at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett, we believe it’s important to pay attention to your menstrual cycle. If you are able to recognize abnormalities and address any menstrual changes early on with your provider, there can be a greater benefit for quickly diagnosing the causes of your issues and preventing them from potentially worsening over time. For more information, please contact Dr. Kristine Gould at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for more news and updates.