Navigating Hormonal Chaos: Effects of Irregular Periods on Body

Rishabh Mehta
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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effects of irregular periods on body

Irregular periods can greatly impact the overall health of a person.

While often viewed as a mere inconvenience, the effects of irregular periods on body have far-reaching consequences.

On one hand, they can be a sign of something even more serious, while, on the other, irregular periods can lead to several health issues.

Having an appropriate management strategy is important to tackle irregular periods.

Let us look at the effects of irregular periods on the body and discuss what can be done to counter its effects. 

What are irregular periods

Irregular periods (Oligomenorrhea) refer to inconsistent menstrual blood flow.

Some menstrual irregularities are expected at postpartum, menarche, or in the perimenopausal time.

However, under normal conditions, if a person reports menstrual cycles for more than 35 days for four to nine cycles a year, it is termed irregular periods.

It is estimated that 14-25 percent of women in the general population suffer from irregular periods.

Causes of irregular periods

Irregular periods are often associated with disorders that include:

  • Polycystic Ovarian Disorder 
  • Androgen-secreting tumors
  • Problems in the Hypothalamus (a part of the brain)
  • Contraceptive pills side effects

Studies have shown that people with obesity, less sleep, and more exposure to stress were also more likely to suffer from irregular periods.

Poor quality sleep of less than five hours daily is associated with irregular menstrual cycles.

Moreover, menstrual irregularities are linked with high perceived physiological stress.

Furthermore, factors like smoking can also lead to irregular periods.

Warning:
Engaging in activities like smoking can affect your reproductive health.
Besides irregular periods, smoking and high cigarette use can cause premature Menopause in the long run.

What do irregular periods do to your body

Irregular periods are not normal in the body and usually can result in side effects.

The following are some of the effects of irregular periods on the body that you must watch out for.

Infertility

Irregular periods are often related to more serious underlying conditions like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), which can cause infertility.

The hormonal imbalances causing irregular periods can also make pregnancy difficult.

Fact:
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition when the ovaries produce an abnormally high amount of Androgens from small cysts that can develop on the surface of the ovaries.

Thickening of the uterus lining

Irregular periods causes an imbalance of the Estrogen and Progesterone levels in the body.

The imbalance of these critical hormones can cause gradual thickening of the uterine walls (Endometrial Hyperplasia).

Endometrial Hyperplasia

Sometimes, the thickening of the uterus lining can lead to Endometrial Cancer.

Moreover, studies have shown that those who experience irregular periods are more likely to develop Endometrial Cancer later in life.

Cardiovascular problems

Reduced risks of cardiovascular diseaseSource: Kiattisak_Lamchan_from_kiattisaklamchan
Cardiovascular problems

A study by the American Heart Association found that women with irregular periods were more susceptible to cardiovascular complications.

Coronary diseases like heart failure, Atrial Fibrillation (irregular heartbeat), stroke, and heart attack were the cardiovascular ailments caused by irregular menstruation.

Psychiatric complications

Anxiety, seizures, bipolar disorders, and migraines are psychiatric complications of irregular menstrual cycles.

Most of these complications arise from hormonal imbalances caused by irregular periods.

How can I lower effects of irregular periods on body

Engage in moderate exerciseSource: FatCamera_from_Getty_Images_Signature
Regular Exercise

Irregular periods can harm your body, but several ways exist to lower these effects.

The following simple tips can be used to minimize the effects of irregular periods on the body:

  • Engaging in moderate exercise and maintaining a healthy diet 
  • Ensure you sleep for at least seven hours daily
  • Engage in activities like listening to music to reduce stress
  • Using contraceptive pills as directed by the physician
  • Regular visits to your gynecologist for checkups
  • Using Estrogen supplements like pills and creams

It is advised to consult your doctor for professional help to diagnose and treat the root cause of your irregular periods.

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Takeaway

It is called irregular periods when a person reports menstrual cycles of more than 35 days for four to nine cycles a year.

Irregular periods are a sign of underlying several medical conditions like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

Excessive Androgen production, hypothalamic problems, smoking, and contraceptive pills are some of the causes of irregular menstrual cycles.

Infertility, cardiovascular syndromes, Endometrial Hyperplasia, Endometrial Cancer, and Psychiatric problems are some of the effects of irregular periods.

Engaging in moderate exercises, avoiding stress, and using Estrogen supplements are some measures to reduce the effects of irregular periods.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can irregular periods cause weakness?

Irregular periods can cause weakness through Estrogen and Progesterone hormonal imbalances, which can cause fatigue. The psychological problems associated with irregular menstrual cycles, like anxiety and migraines, can lead to stress and weakness in the long run.

What should I eat for irregular periods?

Fruits and vegetables, nuts, lean meat, fish, and whole grains should be the staple food during irregular periods as they contain all the essential nutrients needed for proper and normal periods. Saturated fats like butter, caffeinated drinks, and salt intake should be restricted in the diet.

What are the reasons for irregular periods?

There can be several reasons behind irregular periods, which include Polycystic Ovarian Disorders, problems in the Hypothalamus, Androgen-secreting tumors, and lifestyle factors like stress, lack of sleep, smoking, and obesity. It is suggested to consult with a doctor in case of irregular periods for prompt diagnosis and treatment.

Citations:
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