Despite the fact that irregular periods can be considered normal in girls that just started menstruating, such an issue can manifest certain medical problems in adult women. There are a lot of conditions that can cause irregular periods. That’s why you should understand that even the slightest changes in the menstrual cycle can be a sign of a certain malfunction of the reproductive system.
If you have noticed that your periods become irregular or even missed, you should visit your gynecologist as soon as possible. Only a gynecologist can choose the most appropriate treatment options for you. It is important to understand that the earlier you will start treatment, the easier it will be to get rid of your condition. In this article, we gathered four alarming causes of irregular periods you should know.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that can affect not only the menstrual cycle. Due to the fact that it is caused by a hormonal imbalance, it creates symptoms throughout the whole body. PCOS occurs when a woman has an increased level of male hormones androgen or testosterone. That’s why a woman with PCOS may experience the following symptoms:
- Irregular periods
- Excessive body hair
- Weight gain
If you have noticed at least some of the symptoms listed above, you should visit your gynecologist for diagnosis and treatment. You should also know that PCOS is considered one of the most common causes of infertility. The reality is that it leads to the formation of tiny cysts in the ovaries. These cysts interfere with the egg release and that’s why the conception can’t occur.
2. Uterine fibroids and polyps
Uterine fibroids and polyps are tumors that grow in the uterus. Despite the fact that these two conditions are often confused, they are quite different. Uterine fibroids are benign growth that can develop in women of the reproductive age. They can also disappear during the menopause when the estrogen levels reduce. Uterine polyps can become cancerous in five percent of cases and more often affect women after their 40s.
Both these conditions can interfere with the normal menstrual cycle. Polyps and fibroids may cause irregular periods, severe pelvic pain during periods, and bleeding between periods. Despite the fact that these conditions are not considered extremely dangerous, you should always monitor them since they can grow too large.
Endometriosis is a quite dangerous condition that affects many women all over the world. It occurs when the endometrial tissue (the inner lining of the uterus) grows on pelvic organs. You should know that the endometrium that spreads to the other organs still keeps its ability to shed during the periods and may cause severe symptoms.
If a woman has endometriosis, she can also experience severe menstrual creams, prolonged and irregular periods, spotting between periods, and pain during sex. Unfortunately, there is no cure for endometriosis but you can manage its symptoms and stop its advancement. If you were diagnosed with endometriosis, your doctor may recommend you undergo hormonal therapy, take pain medication, or perform surgery.
There are a lot of infections that can affect a women’s reproductive system. Most of them are sexually transmitted while others can have other causes. For example, if a woman forgets a tampon inside, it can start to rot and accumulate bacteria. As a result, she may develop vaginitis or other infections.
However, irregular periods are more often caused by STIs. If left untreated, many STIs may advance into pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This condition means that inflammation of the pelvic organs that usually interfere with the menstrual cycle. Periods may become irregular or late that can also affect the possibility to get pregnant.