Menstruation relates to the hormonal changes in your body so if something upsets that then the timing, or heaviness of the flow can also change. Women are all different and can see very different symptoms that still come under the heading of irregular bleeding. It may be spotting, mid-cycle bleeding or very heavy bleeding. Your cycle itself can change so instead of a regular 28 days it can become longer, shorter or just plain unpredictable as to when it will arrive. It’s common to have one or two irregular periods a year, but if it is more than that then it is usually rooted in hormone imbalance, and oestrogen dominance in particular. You can often naturally restore your hormonal balance and so the regularity of your menstrual cycle by using bioidentical natural progesterone.
There are some common causes of irregular bleeding that women can experience at different points in their lives. One of these may apply to you.
Perimenopause. It can happen earlier than you think and is seen women over the age of 35. It describes the months or years of hormonal transition that lead up to menopause. Women often say they are in menopause, but medically it occurs when it has been 12 consecutive months since your last period. That said it is fairly uncommon for women to menstruate regularly until their periods suddenly stop. Usually you will start to notice changes to your cycles five, ten or even fifteen years prior to reaching menopause.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome PCOS occurs in women who do not ovulate regularly and as regular periods depend on monthly ovulation (unless you are on birth control pills, in which case your “period” is actually a withdrawal bleed), one of the most common signs of PCOS is irregular bleeding.
Stress. This is a factor many women disregard but it can have a major effect on your hormones. The adrenal glands are responsible for regulating cortisol levels, which have a direct impact on some of the hormones involved in menstruation such as oestrogen and progesterone. The adrenals increase cortisol production in response to stress but under stress the resulting cortisol imbalance leads to fluctuations in oestrogen and progesterone. Adrenal support is essential for regaining the hormonal balance necessary for regular periods.
Hypothyroidism. When your thyroid hormones are off balance it can result in a wide range of symptoms, including irregular periods, fatigue, weight gain, and depression. Many women with irregular periods have low thyroid although it may not be not low enough to be diagnosed by tests but you will see the results in your symptoms.
What you can do
Having good hormone balance is essential when dealing with irregular menstruation and tackling oestrogen dominance is the first priority. Dealing with stress and supporting your adrenal glands are also necessary and changing your diet to eliminate sugar and refined carbohydrate product in particular will help. Find a way to relax, try something new like meditation or tai chi and have some form of regular exercise that you enjoy and will maintain.
Regularly supplementing with bioidentical natural progesterone is a first step in making the changes that can restore your natural cycle and get your hormones back in balance.