For some, periods are like clockwork – consistent, regular, on time, predictable.

For others, periods are more closely comparable to the public transport system- forever running behind (or ahead of) schedule, always painful, decidedly unpredictable and highly frustrating.

For those in the former category, lucky you. For those who fall into the latter… our deepest condolences, you have an irregular period.

Despite what you might think, an irregular period does not usually mean cause for alarm. In fact, irregularity is generally a by-product of hormonal fluctuation or lifestyle choices, both of which are impermanent and therefore, temporary. Although it feels like you have drawn the (bloody) short straw, there is often a completely plausible reason behind your menstrual irregularity. Don’t fret – check out some of the common issues listed below.

What’s up Doc?

Medication tends to wreak havoc upon our hormones and natural menstrual cycle – ‘irregular bleeding’ is a common side effect of many drugs, but you can talk to your doctor about alternative drugs or doses that might lessen the side effects.

Birth Control, in essence, changes the nature of your cycle. Breakthroughs, spotting and irregular bleeding are often a direct result of the pill, a change in pills, the classic ‘forgotten to take my’ pill or the use of the morning after pill.

If you think that your birth control is causing ongoing irregularity, then you should consider talking to your GP and switching medication.

A Balancing Act

Your thyroid is the little bugger responsible for regulating your metabolism and controlling the release of hormones in your body.  When your Thyroid is working like it should, you have regularity. However when it is underworking or overworking, irregular bleeding is often a by-product. If you have concerns you can get your Doc to do a simple blood test.

Endo Who?

Yep, you guessed it. Endometriosis. The condition describes a situation where the lining of the uterus develops on the outside of the uterus. OUCH. In addition to being (as one would assume) extremely painful other symptoms include irregular bleeding and spotting. Your Doctor might prescribe hormonal treatments or in the most extreme cases, surgery to remove the wrongly located tissue.

Poly put the kettle on

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is directly causal of irregularity, as it prevents women from ovulating regularly. Women with POCS acquire small cysts that grow on the inside of their ovaries. As a result they experience unusually heavy periods, untimely menstruation and extremely high levels of hormonal imbalance. POCS is directly linked to lifestyle factors and treatment usually begins with the development of a balanced diet and exercise regime.

FYI

In some instances you might presume that you are bleeding from your uterus when in truth the blood is coming from your cervix. A number of things can cause cervical bleeding including (but not limited to) STI’s, benign polyps and in the most extreme cases, Cancer. It is important to get regular pap smears and to see your gynaecologist for consistent check-ups. These simple, yet effective methods are able to pinpoint and resolve issues if, and when they arise.

You are what you Eat

If your body weight is in fluctuation, you might not experience bleeding at all. Your bodily functions respond to rapid weight loss in an adverse manner – if you are not eating correctly or overexercising you can expect to see this reflected in your menstrual cycle.

In addition, external burdens such as stress, anxiety, depression, extreme trauma or even intense pressure in the workplace can result in a skipped period. If you notice that you are not getting your period at all, this is a sure sign that something (either internal or external) is amiss.

If you think that you might present any of the above conditions or symptoms – do not hesitate to contact your GP, gynaecologist or psychologist. Although irregularity is not uncommon and the causes often easily identifiable, when it comes to your personal health it is ALWAYS better to be safe than sorry.

Like Clockwork or not! We’re here to help you get through all types of periods. To Find out more about out range of natural cotton products, head to our website or find us on instagram, @Cottonsbrands.