Why is my period irregular? Insights from a Female Health Nutritional Therapist

Why is my period irregular? Insights from a Female Health Nutritional Therapist

The menstrual cycle is a monthly rhythm that plays a central role in their reproductive health, it’s also a powerful indicator of your wider health status, with it now being referred to as the Fifth Vital Sign for people who menstruate!

However, the regularity of this cycle can sometimes be elusive, causing concern and curiosity. In this blog, we'll explore the various factors that can contribute to irregular menstrual cycles. If your period is irregular, it is as a result of irregular ovulation, as you will always get a period approximately 12-14 days after ovulation has occurred (if you’re not pregnant, of course!).

Hormonal Fluctuations:
Hormones play a pivotal role in regulating the menstrual cycle. Fluctuations in oestrogen and progesterone levels, which are responsible for initiating and maintaining the menstrual cycle, can lead to irregularities. Factors such as stress, excessive exercise, or changes in weight can impact hormonal balance, affecting the timing and regularity of menstrual periods. If your period is missing altogether (and you’re not on hormonal contraception, then you need to spend time getting to the root of the issue, please don’t ignore it as it’s your body’s way of letting you know that something is wrong).

Stress and Lifestyle Factors:
The modern woman often juggles multiple roles, and the demands of a busy lifestyle can take a toll on reproductive health. Chronic stress, inadequate sleep, excess alcohol intake and poor nutrition can disrupt the delicate hormonal balance, leading to irregular menstrual cycles. The body perceives stress as a potential threat, diverting resources away from reproductive functions in favour of more immediate survival needs such as breathing.

Weight Fluctuations:
Significant changes in body weight, whether through rapid weight loss or gain, can influence hormonal balance and menstrual regularity. Conditions such as eating disorders, intense athletic training, or sudden lifestyle changes can impact the production of reproductive hormones, leading to irregular cycles.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS):
PCOS is a common condition affecting women of reproductive age. It is characterised by hormonal imbalances, excess androgens (male hormones such as testosterone) which can cause acne and hair loss, insulin resistance, and sometimes the presence of cysts on the ovaries. Women with PCOS often experience irregular menstrual cycles due to difficulties regularly ovulating, along with other symptoms such as acne, hirsutism (excessive hair growth), and difficulty conceiving.

Thyroid Disorders:
The thyroid gland plays a crucial role in regulating metabolism and hormonal balance. Disorders such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism can disrupt the menstrual cycle. Imbalances in thyroid hormones can lead to irregular periods, changes in flow, or even amenorrhea (absence of menstruation).

As women approach menopause, typically in their 40s, hormonal fluctuations become more pronounced. This transitional phase, known as perimenopause, can cause irregular menstrual cycles before menstruation ceases altogether.

Underlying Health Conditions:
Certain health conditions, such as polyps, fibroids, or endometriosis, can interfere with the normal functioning of the reproductive organs, leading to irregular periods. Seeking medical advice is crucial for diagnosing and addressing these conditions.

While occasional variations in menstrual cycles are normal, persistent irregularities warrant attention, especially if accompanied by other concerning symptoms.

Understanding the various factors that can contribute to irregular menstrual cycles can empower you to take proactive steps towards better reproductive health - regular ovulation is not just important if you are looking to become pregnant, it’s a key sign of your wider health as a woman!

If in doubt or experiencing persistent irregularities, consulting with a healthcare professional is essential for accurate diagnosis and personalised guidance. Every woman's body is unique, and a 360° approach to well-being can contribute to maintaining a healthy and regular menstrual cycle.

We have designed Gigi’s PMS & Hormone Balance Blend to support cycle regularity by including clinically researched ingredients that have been shown to be effective such as myo-inositol, magnesium and zinc!

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