Menopause has a lot of symptoms, and some aren’t very noticeable. However, irregular periods are about as subtle as a flashing neon sign when it comes to ailments associated with the big change. In fact only 10 percent of women will reach full menopause without ever having experienced menopause irregular periods.
Irregular periods can still cause concern, though in the majority of cases there is nothing to worry about. While they’re still a royal pain to deal with, women nearing menopause must realize that it’s completely normal to start skipping periods. One of the best ways to prepare yourself for menopause is to learn as much as possible, and it’s never too late to start knowing what to expect.
What are the common causes of irregular periods?
Hormonal imbalance is one the most common causes for irregular periods. Hormonal imbalance can be caused by perimenopause, pregnancy, breastfeeding, medications and much more. Perimenopause is a medical term given to the years that lead up to menopause. During this time periods become irregular as the reproductive system starts to shut down. As this begins to happen, the body reacts in different ways, and the reactions will vary among women.
The majority of these women will begin to notice changes in their cycles. Periods may be frequent and lighter, or women may experience longer and heavier periods. Some months a cycle may fail to happen altogether, but until a period has been absent for 12 months, a woman has not yet reached menopause. Menopause irregular periods are due to the hormonal imbalance of estrogen and progesterone; the main reproductive hormones. When the ovaries start to shut down, these hormones are no longer produced in the amounts the body is accustomed to.
Perimenopause usually starts between the ages of 45 and 55, but there are some women who begin perimenopause even earlier. Those who got their first periods at an earlier age, usually begin perimenopause earlier as well. During this time a woman may still have periods, but she will notice that they are no longer the same.
Hormones and Irregular Periods
Not all hormones in the body play a role in the reproductive system, but estrogen and progesterone are essential. When they become imbalanced it can lead to irregular periods as well as other problems. This imbalance can begin prior to menopause, often fluctuating in extremes, before eventually becoming more normalized.
Estrogen is responsible for thickening the lining of the uterus prior to ovulation. As estrogen begins to fluctuate, the lining may not shed at the proper time. When a menstrual cycle occurs, this lining is shed, but if estrogen is too low a period will not happen. On the other end of the spectrum, it’s possible to have too much estrogen in the system , and this can cause an ovulation to occur. When this happens the ovaries will fail to release an egg.
Progesterone tells the lining to shed if fertilization hasn’t occurred after ovulation. It will also control the length and degree of menstrual bleeding. During perimenopause and menopause, this hormone starts to decrease and can lead to menopause irregular periods.
Other common causes of irregular periods.
Health conditions:• Eating disorders
• Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
• Irritable Bowel Syndrome
• Recent pregnancy
• Thyroid problems
• Liver disease
• Uterine abnormalities
Lifestyle Triggers:• Excessive exercise
• Improper nutrition
• Severe weight loss or gain
• Alcohol use
Find out how compulsive exercise causes irregular periods.