You might be unique in that you have more or fewer. Missed or irregular periods (menstruation) must be evaluated in light of your personal norms.
During the first few years after menstruation begins, menstrual periods are frequently irregular. The hormones that control menstruation may take several years to find a balance.
At the other end of the menstrual cycle, menstrual periods can be very irregular. When otherwise regular periods become irregular, many women realize they are approaching perimenopause and menopause. When you haven’t had a menstrual period for 12 months, you’ve reached menopause.
Missed periods are most commonly caused by pregnancy. If you think you might be pregnant, act as if you are until you know for sure. To determine whether you are pregnant, start with a home pregnancy test.
Other causes of missed or irregular periods if you are not pregnant include:
1. Excessive weight loss or gain: A change of more than 10 pounds in either direction may produce missed periods or irregular bleeding. What’s more, the connection between obesity and missed periods is strong enough that some doctors recommend regular checkups when you are not trying to become pregnant, in order to monitor your menstrual cycle’s regularity.
2. Eating disorders: Anorexia or bulemia re eating disorders in which the ability to maintain a normal menstrual cycle is usually interrupted. The problem here lies in the fact that malnutrition and lack of nutrients can cause a disruption in the production of reproductive hormones, or hormones in general.
3. Increased exercise: A significant increase in exercise, especially when it is accompanied by a change in eating habits to match the increased calorie burn can result in missed periods or irregular bleeding. If you are exercising intensely enough to cause delayed menstruation, make sure you are also getting adequate nutrition.
4. Birth control pills: Pills that contain low doses of estrogen will often make periods lighter and reduce the frequency of periods. Pills that contain progestin-only (POPs, Mini Pills) may result in irregular bleeding between periods.
5. Stress: Missed or irregular periods can be related to stress, and may be a sign that you need to relax more and cut down on stress levels. While it’s possible for stress to result in delayed periods, it’s not very likely. If periods are delayed due to stress, they should begin again within two or three months at most.
6. Illness: Missed or irregular periods can be a sign that you’ve been sick and need to allow enough time for your body to recover. Such illnesses may include mononucleosis, pneumonia, diabetes, leukemia or other cancers.
7. Breastfeeding: Most women experience a temporary loss of periods while they are breastfeeding. This is due to changes in hormone levels, and should not be considered abnormal. They will resume menstruating at the time that they would normal.