The length of the menstrual cycle is not same for all women. It is normal to expect menstrual period every month. Some women might have shorter menstrual cycles that last for only 21 days. It is normal to have longer menstrual cycles, lasting for about 35 days.
Usually the menstrual cycle does not follow a strict pattern. You might have late periods, when the menstrual flow occurs five or more days after the normal date of the period. Menstrual flow is said to be irregular when the menstrual cycle does not follow a regular pattern. Early periods, late periods and spotting in between periods are examples of irregular periods.
Causes of irregular period
Stress is perhaps the most common cause of irregular periods among women. Adolescent girls are more like to miss their periods owing to stress and anxiety. Hormonal imbalance developing from excess stress is responsible for irregular periods.
Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are often blamed for irregular menstrual cycle. If you consciously deprive your body of essential nutrients, secretion of hormones associated with menstrual periods will slow down. Even overeating resulting in obesity could disrupt your normal menstrual cycle. While missed period is common among women with anorexia or bulimia, obese women are more likely to experience heavy menstrual bleeding.
Birth control pills
Birth control pills could disrupt your normal menstrual cycle. The hormone present in the oral contraceptive pills tends to alter the hormonal balance in your body, resulting in irregular periods.
Although regular exercise helps to restore the normal menstrual cycle, too much exercise could disturb normal menstruation.
Polycystic ovary syndrome
Irregular period could be a symptom of polycystic ovary syndrome. Cysts growing in the ovaries prevent normal ovulation, resulting is irregular periods or absence of periods. Along with irregular periods, women suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome will experience weight gain, excess hair growth, infertility, acne, dandruff and hypertension.
When irregular period is normal
Menstrual cycles are erratic in teenagers. It might take up to three years for the menstrual cycle to normalize after the first period. Irregular periods are usually signs of menopause in older women.
These are some factors responsible for irregular periods.