Some Underlying Disorder Can Cause Menstrual Irregularity

Many girls and women complain of having episodes or irregular periods and it is often difficult to understand the exact cause of irregularities. A menstrual cycle is an event that prepares a woman for pregnancy. Normally, the menstrual cycle lasts for 25 to 32 days and the amount of bleeding and the length of the cycle can vary from one woman to another. 

During each menstrual cycle, the lining of the uterus gets thicker in preparing for pregnancy, but when a woman does not get pregnant, menstruation occurs. The lining of the uterus sheds and blood loss occurs. Many women experience irregular menstrual cycle and there can be many causes of it. The menstrual cycle includes the activities of various organs within the body, such as the hormones of the hypothalamus, the anterior pituitary gland, and the ovaries.   There are many factors that can affect the menstrual cycle such as hormonal changes, contraception, medication, and certain medical conditions.

Yes, there are certain medical conditions that can affect the menstrual cycle and make it irregular. Some of the medical conditions are as follows:

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Problems with the menstrual cycle are the hallmark characteristic of polycystic ovary syndrome. Polycystic ovary syndrome is one of the most common health problems that occur to women of reproductive age. Almost one in every 10 women of childbearing age is suffering from this disorder. Many women having polycystic ovary syndrome miss their period or have fewer periods. Whereas on the other hand, many women with this disorder may experience periods in every 21 days or more often.  

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal disorder which occurs when the women’s ovaries or adrenal glands produces more androgen or male sex hormones than usual.  Most often, women having polycystic ovary syndrome also have diabetes. This is because the cells of the body fail to respond to insulin properly. Polycystic ovary syndrome causes many changes in the body and is associated with a wide range of symptoms such as irregular menstrual cycle, acne, infertility, obesity, excessive hair growth on the face and other parts of the body.

Women having this disease often find it difficult to manage their weight and often find themselves carrying too much weight that can make the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome worse.

Also Read: How Stressful Pregnancy Can Affect An Unborn?

Thyroid Disorders

Multiple studies have stated that there is a strong correlation between thyroid disorders and the occurrence of problems associated with the menstrual cycle. Thyroid hormones are known to play an important role in the normal reproductive system and this is due to the effects of thyroid hormones on ovaries and their interaction with sex hormone-binding globulin. Any dysfunction of the thyroid system can lead to infertility and menstrual irregularities.

The thyroid gland is a gland that plays an important role in the human body. It produces hormones that are vital to the functioning of various organs. But even a slight variation in the production of these hormones can lead to the occurrence of thyroid disorders. When there is a lack of production of hormones, it causes hypothyroidism and when the production of hormones is in excess, it causes hyperthyroidism.

The primary connection between the menstrual cycle and thyroid function is due to the thyrotropin-releasing hormone. This hormone has a direct impact on the ovaries. Thyroid dysfunction alters the levels of sex hormone-binding globulin, prolactin, and gonadotropin-releasing hormone and these alterations lead to the occurrence of menstrual dysfunction.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Pelvic inflammatory disease is a serious disorder that affects women and it requires immediate treatment. It is defined as an infection of the woman’s reproductive organs. Basically, a pelvic inflammatory disease is an inflammation of a woman’s reproductive organs and it includes, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and surrounding tissues.  Pelvic inflammatory disease is more common in women who are sexually active and it is usually caused by bacteria from a sexually transmitted disease.

Irregular menstrual cycle or problems with the menstrual cycle is common in women having pelvic inflammatory disease. Many women having this disease also experience extremely painful periods. This disease is associated with many other symptoms as well and some of them include pain in the lower stomach or back, unusual discharge from the vagina, pain during sexual intercourse, fever, nausea, and vomiting. 

Pelvic inflammatory disease is a serious disorder and if it is left untreated, it can cause various other serious health problems. In the longer term, it can lead to ectopic pregnancy and infertility. It is more common in women between the age of 15 to 24 and the risk of developing this disease increases if a woman has more than one sex partner, and douching, as douching can push the bacteria into the reproductive organs.

Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids can also be the cause of irregular menstrual cycle. It is defined as benign growth which develops at the muscle tissue of the uterus. These are noncancerous growth and most often it appears during the childbearing age. The severity of the symptoms that occur in uterine fibroids varies from one woman to another as one woman may not experience any symptoms. Whereas, another woman having uterine fibroids may have symptoms that are severe. 

Some of the symptoms that can occur in people having uterine fibroids include changes in menstruation and it can include longer or heavy menstrual periods, vaginal bleeding other than menstruation, and cramps, pain in the lower abdomen or back, pain during sexual intercourse, and frequent urination. The severity of these symptoms varies from one woman to another.

Tags: Irregular periods treatment, Irregular periods symptoms, Irregular menstrual cycle  

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Natasha Patel

Natasha Patel is the senior writer for the women’s health edition at She worked as a primary care provider before joining the writer’s panel of the blog. She is also trained in routine obstetrics and continues to practice in Oklahoma, where she lives with her family.