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9 Reasons for Missed or Irregular Periods

Most women have between 11 and 13 menstrual periods each year, although you may be different you may have more or less depending. But, the question is, why does this happen?

Pregnancy  is the most common cause of a missed period. If you might be pregnant, treat yourself as if you are pregnant until you know for sure. Use a home pregnancy test  as the first step to finding out whether you are pregnant.

If you are not pregnant, other causes of missed or irregular periods include:

1. Stress:

Chronic stress or even short-term anxiety about a specific problem can wreak havoc with your hormone balance, causing a missed period and irregular cycle.

2. The pill:

Birth control pills can make your periods lighter, or cause you to miss periods or have less or more frequent periods or even no periods at all.

3. Extreme exercise or dieting:

Exercising too much can throw off the timing of menstrual bleeding and sometimes stop it. “It’s common for endurance athletes to have missed periods,” says Autry. Being underweight, whether from extreme exercise, dieting, an eating disorder, or illness, can have the same effect.

4. Age:

When teens first start having periods, their menstrual cycles may not always be on the same schedule every month. It may take several years to settle into a pattern. In addition, missed periods and lighter or heavier periods are common as women near menopause.

5. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

This medical condition causes tiny cysts to form on ovaries, interfering with regular ovulation. Women with PCOS usually have a history of irregular periods. In addition to causing infertility, PCOS can increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

6. Other illnesses:

Thyroid disorders can cause irregular periods if blood levels of the thyroid hormone go too low or too high. Other health conditions that may cause an irregular cycle include sexually transmitted diseases, diabetes, fibroids, eating disorders, and endometriosis.

7. Diet

Another common reason for a late or missing period is the food you eat and, more specifically, the weight you’re carrying. If you’re eating a diet that’s rich in unhealthy carbs or if you’ve gained weight, your body will produce varying levels of certain hormones, shifting when you ovulate. The same goes for women as they lose weight.

8. Taking medications

If you were recently sick and had to take prescription or over-the-counter medication, your period may show up a day or two late. That’s largely because most medications interfere with the way your body produces estrogen and progesterone.

9. Drinking too much alcohol

The liver helps regulate a woman’s menstrual cycle by metabolizing estrogen and progesterone. Excessive drinking can cause damage to the liver and may interfere with how well it metabolizes both period-normalizing hormones.

Sources:

http://www.everydayhealth.com/pms/irregular-periods.aspx

http://www.sheknows.com/health-and-wellness/articles/816165/irregular-periods-what-your-body-s-trying-to-tell-you-1

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