At Advanced Fertility Center of Texas, we understand that periods can be a tricky thing. Some women have their cycle every 28 days, like clockwork. However, some women don’t have such predictable cycles. A normal menstrual cycle is 28 days, give or take seven days. Irregularity occurs if bleeding happens more frequently than every 28 days or lasts longer than 8 days. Periods arriving early, late, or stopping completely can be a sign of irregularity. If you’re a woman experiencing an irregular period, we’ve laid out five of the top reasons why.

1.Stress

Stress can wreak havoc on the body. Whether it is chronic stress or an acute case of anxiety, it can throw your hormones out of balance. This can cause the cycle to become irregular and even cause your period to be skipped completely.

2. Diet

Your body needs the minerals and nutrients from a well-balanced diet to function properly. This goes for your period, too. Those who consume high amounts of sugar, hydrogenated fats and additives are more likely to experience irregularities in their cycle. These artificial ingredients can raise cortisol levels in the body, which can affect reproductive hormones.

3. Thyroid Disorders

Thyroid disorders have been reported as one of the leading causes of irregular and missed periods. An under or over active thyroid throws off the body’s production of a hormone called prolactin. Unstable levels of prolactin will cause a disruption in the menstrual cycle.

 4. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic ovary syndrome occurs when the body produces excessive levels of androgen and estrogen. This prevents the body from creating fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone needed for ovulation. Women with PCOS develop cysts on the ovaries, causing pain and irregularities in the menstrual cycle. Some other symptoms include acne, unwanted facial hair, and infertility. Read more about PCOS here (link to PCOS on AFCT)

 5. Age

Age can play a factor in period irregularity. Those early in their reproductive years, such as teenagers, may experience an abnormal cycle until the body settles into a regular pattern. However, women nearing menopausal age may also experience similar irregularities in their period. As women near the end of their reproductive years, their periods may become heavier, lighter, or they may miss their period altogether.

Irregular periods can become a problem for many women, especially those trying to get pregnant. If you have any questions about how your period may affect your ability to get pregnant, Advanced Fertility Center of Texas can help. Give us a call at (713) 467-4488.