Lower Back Pain During Your Period: Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Lower Back Pain During Your Period: Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment


Menstruation is a mentally and physically draining occurrence which all women go through every month. However, apart from the menstrual cramps, unannounced mood swings and abdominal pain comes another problem – lower back pain. It’s a common symptom in most women, very severe in some, and can affect their daily performance.


How can you get rid of this pain and the causes behind lower back pain – we’ll discuss everything in detail, so let’s dive in!


Causes Of Lower Back Pain During Periods


Of course, there are reasons behind your lower back pain during the period. Whether it is your sedentary lifestyle or just your hormones going crazy – there are specific causes that can explain the nature and types of pain women experience when menstruating.


Hormonal


It’s menstruation; obviously, we’ll have some hormones on the playing field.


Prostaglandins are hormones that trigger the contraction of the uterus. They constrict the blood vessels supplying the uterus lining, limiting the blood flow and cause the uterine lining to shed.


It’s these hormones that contribute to period cramps and the pain caused in the lower back.


Muscular


According to some studies, researchers have found that hormones cause the muscular ligaments to loosen during the period. Because of this laxity, the spine falls out of balance in many women and leads to lower back pain during periods.


Other Causes of Lower Back Pain

 

woman having lower back pain after waking up

 

Back pain is not limited to menstruation. There are many other conditions with lower back pain as one of their highlighted symptoms. Let’s take a look at some of the common problems and familiarise ourselves with them:


1. Dysmenorrhea


One of the most common causes of lower back pain during periods is dysmenorrhea, which refers to the pain due to menstrual cramps. These cramps are usually caused by the increased production of prostaglandins which facilitate the shedding of the uterus lining.


Apart from pain, other symptoms of increased prostaglandin production are vomiting, nausea, headaches, and dizziness.


2. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease


Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, a.k.a PID, is known as the infection of the female reproductive organs. It is a sexually transmitted disease and is caused by bacteria.


One of the most common symptoms of PID is continuous lower back pain accompanied by fever. While PID can only be confirmed after a thorough physical examination, it is usually suspected of bleeding between cycles, unexplained pain in the pelvis, and painful urination.


3. Endometriosis


Endometriosis is a condition in which the endometrium grows out of the uterus.


One of the earliest and most common symptoms are painful periods. Suppose a woman is experiencing intense periods of cramps and severe lower back pain and cannot get pregnant. In that case, she might be suffering from this disorder.


4. Pregnancy


Another common reason behind lower back pain could be pregnancy. Pregnancy leads to the release of certain hormones, which cause the ligaments to become loose so that they can accommodate the baby and the growing uterus. Ligament laxity can eventually lead to lower back pain.


5. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder


It can be referred to as an extreme version of premenstrual syndrome. In this disorder, although the symptoms are similar to PMS, the mood swings are worse. Other symptoms include; lower back pain, muscle pain, trouble sleeping, anxiety, and more.


How To Diagnose Lower Back Pain Caused by Periods?


Well, it’s not really hard to distinguish lower back pain due to periods because it usually appears near the time when you’re about to have your periods or menstruating.


Suppose you experience lower back pain throughout the month, after sexual intercourse, or any other time when you’re not near or having your periods. In that case, it could point towards some underlying problems.


To find out what is causing this lower back pain, it is advised to visit a gynaecologist who shall help you find the real reason.


Symptoms Requiring Urgent Attention


There are some signs and symptoms that need the urgent attention of a healthcare professional. If you experience any of the following, it would be wise to visit a doctor as soon as possible:


  • If the pain-relieving medications are not working
  • Hefty bleeding
  • If you are unable to get on with the regular tasks of the day
  • Period pain is new to you and is suddenly worsening
  • Home remedies show no betterment in the period of pain
  • If period pain is accompanied by other problems such as pain after sex, or bleeding between periods

What Are The Treatment Options For This Problem?

 

woman receiving heat therapy back

 

Lower back pain during a period has a range of treatment options when it comes to home remedies. In addition, there are specific techniques that you can employ to improve the pain apart from taking pain-relieving medications.


Following are the most common treatment options:


  • Try performing yoga and light exercises to keep your body in check. Not moving and lying on the bed all day long will actually cause the muscles to become more rigid.
  • Putting heat pads on your back proves to be very helpful in relieving lower back pain during a period. You might want to steer clear of cold compresses as they are not very helpful.
  • Going for pain-relieving medications like NSAIDS are another option that actually helps with the pain.
  • Massages are never a bad option, and when it comes to lower back period pain – they prove to be quite impressive.
  • Certain practices like drinking water, quitting alcohol and smoking, and maintaining a healthy diet are keys to avoiding period pain.

Conclusion


Experiencing back pain during periods is not alarming. It is a common symptom during periods and usually subsides in a day or two. With the above-mentioned techniques, you can manage the pain, but there’s no guarantee that the pain won’t return. Only lifestyle modifications and truly being healthy on the inside can help with period pain.


However, if you notice some alarming symptoms, then you should definitely consult a doctor as soon as possible.

 

6 Natural Supplements for Perimenopause

6 Natural Supplements for Perimenopause


Perimenopause is the medical term for “around menopause”. It occurs when a woman’s body is transitioning to enter menopause, which is the cessation of her menstrual cycle.


It’s undoubtedly not an easy phase for any woman, as it is associated with painful symptoms and high risks of developing chronic problems. However, with the help of some natural supplements, women can tone down the severity of these symptoms and protect themselves from any chronic diseases.


Always ask your doctor before you include any of these natural supplements in your diet, and when you have the approval, you’re good to go!


Why Is Perimenopause Challenging?


Perimenopause can be an adamant phase for several women because of the symptoms that come with it. But once a woman begins with her menstrual cycle, she makes peace with the muscular cramps, mood swings, and random bouts of sadness after some time.


However, perimenopause doesn’t stick around very long for women to get used to it. It lasts for about four years and is the phase where a woman’s ovary stops releasing the eggs. And when this happens, it causes drastic fluctuation in the hormones and throws your body into a hormonal imbalance.


Symptoms


With your hormones going crazy, your body reacts to them in the form of perimenopausal symptoms. These symptoms are very uneasy and challenging for a woman, and she should do everything in her power to reduce their intensity.


Here’s a list of these symptoms:


  • Vaginal dryness
  • Fatigue
  • Hot flashes
  • Intolerance to heat
  • Discomfort during sex
  • Insomnia
  • Migraine
  • Urinary incontinence, i.e., urinary leakage or urinary urgency
  • Breast tenderness
  • Mood swings
  • Weight gain
  • Hair thinning
  • Lower sex drive

Natural Supplements To Include In Your Diet

 

bowls having lots of healthy food

 

It’s better to be ready than to be sorry.


Now that everyone has access to the internet and knows more about their conditions, it’s better to take precautions and be prepared for what’s coming your way.


By adding natural supplements to your diet, not only can you lessen the severity of the perimenopausal symptoms, but you can also protect yourself from chronic conditions — these can be: osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, heart problems, diabetes, cognitive issues, and obesity. 


Some of the natural supplements which you should include in your diet are:


Vitamin E


Including food sources rich in Vitamin E can help calm the hot flashes common in almost all women. Hot flashes are also recurrent and can significantly disturb you if you don’t do something about them. Therefore, including foods that are high in Vitamin E such as peanuts, almonds, spinach, avocados, olive oil, and nuts would be a good decision.


Calcium & Vitamin D


The powerful duo you shouldn’t be missing out on.


If you want to protect your bones from falling prey to arthritis or osteoporosis, it’s crucial to take care of them. You can do this by maintaining a steady supply of calcium and Vitamin D as they help strengthen your bones.


You can find calcium in dairy products like milk, cheese, fish, and green leafy vegetables. While for Vitamin D, you’d have to become best friends with the sun. Vitamin D is also found in a small number of foods. These include:


  • oily fish – such as salmon, herring and mackerel
  • liver
  • red meat
  • egg yolks
  • fortified foods – such as some fat spreads and breakfast cereals

Ginseng


You don’t need anyone to help lift your mood if you have some ginseng in your kitchen. And if you don’t, you should add this miraculous item to your grocery list right now.


Ginseng can not only help with hot flashes, but it can also improve your sleep. Moreover, it can prove very beneficial in boosting your mood and helping you feel better overall.


Magnesium


You better load up on Magnesium because it’s going to be helpful in the long run.


As your menopause closes in, stress becomes unmanageable. You may tend to be more stressed out, feel depressed or even have panic attacks if the situation gets worse. Magnesium is known to keep your stress levels at bay and even equips you against the battle with osteoporosis. Food sources for Magnesium include:


  • cashews
  • almonds
  • lentils
  • seafood and 
  • poultry

Phytoestrogens


Phytoestrogens are estrogens that occur naturally in plants. Because perimenopause causes a decrease in estrogen levels, phytoestrogens can help maintain these levels.


Due to the maintenance of estrogen in the body, hot flashes can be reduced. Moreover, it is also helpful in treating acne and preventing osteoporosis as well. Some excellent sources of phytoestrogens are:


  • flax seeds
  • berries
  • oats
  • sesame seeds
  • apples
  • soybeans 

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)


Getting closer or starting with your menopause doesn’t mean that you have to quit sex on the whole. However, vaginal dryness and decreased libido can contribute to less frequent sex after menopause kicks in. But if you want to avoid this and improve your sexual interest even after menopause, you should include DHEA in your diet. 


DHEA is naturally produced by your adrenal glands but is also available as a dietary supplement. However, we have received mixed reviews on its effectiveness, so you might want to be a little careful.


What Else Can I Do To Avoid These Symptoms?

 

woman practicing yoga at home

 

Apart from including these natural supplements in your diet, you also have other options to help you keep the perimenopausal symptoms under control:


  • Yoga
  • Regular exercise
  • Fixing your sleep pattern
  • Cutting down on alcohol
  • Quitting smoking

Conclusion


There’s no doubt in the fact that every woman has to go through menopause in the late 40s or early 50s of her life, and its transitioning phase can be pretty challenging. However, with the help of the above mentioned natural and organic supplements, you can lower down the severity of these symptoms.

 

Menopausal Hair Loss: How To Prevent It

Menopausal Hair Loss: How To Prevent It


WOMEN LOVE THEIR HAIR! 


There are no ifs or buts when this statement is being considered. Because for women, their hair is a way of expressing themselves. They style it, take care of it and own it throughout their life. However, when menopause enters their lives, it shakes them up in various ways. Still, one of the most dreaded outcomes is menopausal hair loss. 


In this blog post, we’ll cover everything related to menopausal hair loss, including the reasons behind it and how you can prevent it.


What is Menopause?


According to the medical definition, menopause is defined as the women’s final menstrual period, and the accepted confirmation of this is made retrospectively after one year of absence in menstruation.


It’s a natural process that affects all women over the globe. The average age of menopause worldwide is between 51-52 years. However, as a woman’s body faces this transition, some certain symptoms and conditions occur due to it.


Symptoms


Here are some premenopausal (around menopause) and menopausal symptoms that are bound to appear:


  • Loss of concentration
  • Hot flashes
  • Dry and itchy skin
  • Decreased libido (sexual desire)
  • Night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Joint ache

However, cardiovascular and bone problems like osteoporosis may also arise as long-term complications.


What Causes Menopausal Hair Loss?


What really happens is that the progesterone and estrogen levels in your body start to decrease with time. Because of the reduction in the production of these hormones, many females experience menopausal hair loss as they are responsible for the speedy hair growth in women.


Moreover, as estrogen and progesterone levels fall, androgens come into play. As their levels increase, they cause the hair follicles on the head to shrink. Not only does this amplify the hair fall, but it also contributes to the facial hair that some women may develop as their menopause begins.


Symptoms That Require Prompt Medical Attention


Here a few symptoms that must be reported to a doctor as soon as possible:


  • Hair loss is very sudden
  • Your hair is thinning at a faster rate
  • You notice an unusual pattern in your hair fall
  • The scalp is itchy or red
  • Your basin gets filled with hair very quickly
  • Your ponytail has drastically reduced in its size

You should definitely be on the lookout for these symptoms, whether your menopause has begun or not. Such conditions require prompt medical attention no matter what your age is!


How to Reverse Menopausal Hair Loss?

 

woman with natural healthy hair

 

Is menopausal hair loss reversible? The answer is yes! 


If you are able to catch onto the symptoms on time, there are chances that you would be able to reverse the menopausal hair loss.


Let’s take a look at a few tips and tricks:


1. Take Care of Your Diet


The first and foremost thing you can do to reverse menopausal hair loss is to fix your diet. Knowingly or unknowingly, you might be missing out on the nutritious substances you need to have healthy hair.


It is essential to include protein, vitamins and minerals in your daily routine life. However, you don’t know what you’re lacking; hence, getting a full workup and getting started on some supplements would be good.


Moreover, it is essential to include certain foods containing fatty acids vital for your hair growth and maintenance. They can be; tuna, salmon, almonds, walnuts, and flaxseed oil.


2. Adopt Healthy Cosmetic Habits


Women love styling their hair. Be it straightening, perming, or dyeing their hair once in a while – it is a universal fact that women love playing with their hair.


But once you enter menopause, it is essential to adopt healthy cosmetic habits, i.e. to start applying highly potent hair masks, use hats to protect your hair from the sun, and reduce straightening or perming your hair.


3. Say Goodbye to Stress


Even young girls and women lose their hair due to stress. Therefore, if you are premenopausal or have entered your menopause, then you should do something to regulate the stress in your life.


The first and foremost thing to do is to try and eradicate the things that cause you stress. You should also start focusing on hobbies or activities that make you happy.


The reduced estrogen in your body can contribute to your stress, anxiety and other menopausal symptoms. You must try to curb them by adopting healthy habits, doing yoga, and exercising regularly.


4. Discontinue Some Medicines


There’s no doubt about the fact that allopathic medicines have side effects. And considering your age (because you’re about to or have entered menopause), you might be taking some medicines.


It is crucial to note if any of the added medicines have accelerated hair fall or are contributing to the thinning of your hair. Consult your doctor and cut down on the specific medication if it is contributing to hair damage.


5. Keep Yourself Hydrated


Water is your best friend, seriously.


Having a good intake of water keeps the toxins out of your body and supports good health. So if you want to have good hair, good skin and a good life – drink your water!


6. Try Bamboo Pillowcases


Did you know about bamboo pillowcases? If you didn’t, then you’re in luck today!


Bamboo pillowcases are softer as compared to cotton pillowcases. You can use these to protect your hair from breaking overnight due to the friction between your hair and the pillowcase. It also doesn’t allow your hair to get tangled and frizzy and, therefore, is a fantastic fabric for hair care.


Conclusion


Menopausal hair loss is an inevitable thing – it’s going to happen, really. However, this shouldn’t make you feel less beautiful about yourself, and you shouldn’t let it shake your confidence as well.


It’s a phase of your life, a little challenging – yes, but you’ll get through it as well. Look after your hair, follow our advice, and you’ll be good to go! 

 

5 Benefits Of Tracking Your Menstrual Cycle

5 Benefits Of Tracking Your Menstrual Cycle


Being in touch with your body and understanding the different hormones involved in menstruation can help you navigate your monthly cycle and patterns in mood changes better.


Moreover, understanding your period can tell you more about yourself than you might imagine. According to the FemX Chairwoman and founder Sabeen Almas, below are some surprising benefits of keeping track of your period:


1. Being Alerted To Potential Problems


Do you have missed periods, abdominal pain, heavy bleeding or any other issue you may need to have checked out? 


This certainly is not the case for everyone, but tracking your period can help determine whether any physical distress or pain might be linked to your menstrual cycle.


P.S: If you are concerned about your menstrual cycle or any changes to it, please contact your GP or healthcare provider. You can also use FemX – the world’s only FemTech app offering audio and video consultations with health and wellness coaches, fitness coaches, nutritionists and much more.


2. Learn Your Unique Cycle Length And Patterns


“In the FemX app, you also get a detailed analysis of your cycle history”.


The easiest way to track your cycle is to log when your period happens so that you can understand your average cycle length. Usually, the duration of a menstrual cycle is about 28 days, with most cycle lengths between 25 to 30 days. 


However, everybody is different, and having an unpredictable period is more common than you think. So if you are aware of your cycle, you will feel more in control and less likely to be worried about your next period. 


3. Detect Mood Changes At Different Phases Of Your Cycle


Hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle have been suggested to provoke mood changes. Although the exact relation between mood regulation and fluctuating hormones is not entirely understood, we somehow know that there is a connection.


Learning when these changes happen can also help you understand the rhythm of your cycle. When you know the why behind your mood changes or appetite, you can be much better equipped to handle the how.


In the FemX app, you can track when you feel happy, sad, productive, exhausted, or many other emotions and mental states you experience, even beyond PMS.


4. Increased Awareness Of Your Overall Health And Wellness


Periods are your body’s way of assuring that things are working as they should. 


Having a heavy, unpredictable, or skipped period can indicate an existing underlying condition. By tracking various details of your menstrual cycle, you can remember things that you might otherwise forget while talking with your healthcare provider. 


When you use FemX, you always have the dates of your last period at your fingertips.


5. Track Your Fertility


Whether you want to avoid contraception or want to get pregnant, tracking your cycle is a legitimate way of managing your contraceptive preferences.


You can view your most fertile days using your FemX app to help take the stress out of fertility tracking. Usually, the fertile window lies between 12 and 16 days before your period begins, and the least fertile are the days after your period ends.


Wrapping Up


Closely tracking your menstrual cycles and other physical changes regularly has many benefits. Whether you are a woman thinking about getting pregnant, trying to prevent conception, or simply assessing your overall health – cycle tracking will do the work for you. 


So get yourself a good little tool to get to know your body a bit better! 😉

 

 

A Quick Guide On How To Take A Menopause Test

A Quick Guide On How To Take A Menopause Test


Menopause occurs when periods stop, and you have gone 12 consecutive months since having your last period. During menopause, women’s ovaries become unable to release mature eggs, and they cannot get pregnant. Generally, it is developed long before the actual complete formation of menopause, leading to many physical changes and symptoms. 


Menopause is most likely to occur between the forties and fifties. The most common age of menopause among women is fifty-one. However, it can occur at an early age, leading to early menopause.


Following are the stages that you’ll have to go through to diagnose menopause:


  • Noting prominent symptoms
  • Use home kit for menopause
  • Physical examination
  • Hormone tests

The first two stages are self-diagnosed, while the other two are examined by your doctor and other healthcare workers.


Menopause Symptoms


Identifying the menopause symptoms helps you prepare yourself for the changes caused by the menopause transition. However, a woman may experience different symptoms based on their health history.


The symptoms occur before the complete formation of menopause. This state is also called perimenopause. 


Some common symptoms of menopause formation are:


  • Irregular periods
  • Lower sexual drive
  • Skin dryness 
  • Vagina dryness 
  • Hair thinning
  • Hot flashes
  • Weight gain
  • Night sweats
  • Mood swings

During the perimenopause phase, you may experience at least a month without a period. But if you aren’t using contraception and missing a period, it’s better to see your doctor to make sure that you aren’t pregnant.


Can I Self-Diagnose Menopause?


Yes, in most cases, menopause can be self-diagnosed. However, you must talk to your doctor to confirm a diagnosis by identifying the symptoms that occur due to menopause. It helps you mentally and physically prepare for the changes you’ll experience due to menopause.


For diagnosing menopause, your gynaecologist may ask about certain changes in your health that you may have been experiencing. They may even ask you to conduct a few medical tests to confirm menopause clinically.


How To Self-Diagnose For Menopause

 

menopause test kit

 

To diagnose menopause by yourself, you’ll need a Home Menopause Test Kits. This kit doesn’t directly tell you about menopause, but it measures the Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) levels in your urine. 


If a woman has no menstrual period for at least six to twelve months, is aged between her forties to fifties, and the levels of FSH is higher than the normal range depending on the person’s age, then there is a high probability that she has reached menopause.


But it’s not a definitive way to detect whether you are in the perimenopause or menopause phase. And also, menopause can occur even before reaching the age of forty as women’s hormones may fluctuate from time to time. 


So, it’s better to talk to your doctor about the status of your menopause after practising self-diagnosis for menopause.


Physical Examination For Menopause


When visiting the doctor for a menopause diagnosis, you must note the symptoms. And if possible, do a self-diagnosis using the Home Menopause Kit at home. The doctor may ask about physical or mental changes, menstrual period cycle, mood changes, FSH levels, etc. 


Clinically, they may recommend the following test:


  • Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
  • Estradiol Hormone
  • Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
  • Vaginal pH levels
  • Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH)

Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH)


The follicles in the ovaries are responsible for the cycle of producing and releasing the eggs, ensuring fertility and menstruation. Generally, the doctors recommend a blood test to check the levels of FSH hormones in your body. If FSH levels are higher than the normal range based on the woman’s age, she may be experiencing perimenopause or menopause. 


You can view the normal levels of FSH based on the age range in the following table:


Age Range

FSH (On Day 3 of the Menstrual Cycle)

< 33 Years

< 7.0 mlU/mL

33-37 Years

< 7.9 mIU/mL

38-40 Years

< 8.4 mIU/mL

= 41+ Years

< 8.5 mIU/mL


Estradiol Hormone 


The cycle of maturing and production of the egg is also regulated by another hormone called Estradiol (P.S: it’s a form of Estrogen hormones). If you are experiencing menopause, the levels of Estradiol hormones will decrease to 10 pg/mL or even lower. 


Testing Estradiol can also help detect any disorder in the anterior pituitary gland. That is because Estradiol circulates through the brain and pituitary gland while influencing the body weight, reproduction, memory and learning hormones.


Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH)


TSH is ubiquitous among middle-aged women. It affects the thyroid gland and causes similar symptoms to menopause. The levels of TSH in your body can be checked by a blood test. 


When women reach their menopause phase, it is produced in low amounts, leading them to feel weight changes and fatigue. However, if these symptoms are persistent, you must talk to your doctor about your symptoms.


Vaginal pH Levels


During your reproductive years, the pH balance level of your vagina lies around 4.5. However, it drastically increases to up to 6 if you have reached the perimenopause or menopause phase.


The healthcare worker may use an absorbent pad, called a swab, on your vagina to test the menopause diagnosis based on the pH balance level.


Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH)


AMH is a test used by doctors to assess a woman’s fertility. It tests all those cells responsible for the menstruation cycle and related to the egg’s production/release.


AMH is recently approved under the PicoAMH Elisa diagnostic test, and its levels can be checked through a blood test. It indicates that whether you are in the perimenopause or menopause stage.


Additional Tests


Depending on your health history and symptoms, your doctor or gynaecologist may recommend additional blood tests in order to diagnose your symptoms for menopause. 


It may include the tests of:


  • Liver function 
  • Kidney function
  • Blood lipid profile
  • Progesterone hormones
  • Testosterone hormones
  • Prolactin hormones
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG)
  • Luteinizing Hormone (LH)

Menopause Treatment Options


If you are in perimenopause or menopause and it is disturbing your daily life activities, then your doctor may discuss the following treatment options:


  • Get enough nutrients and vitamins, take a nutritious diet from a professional nutritionist and vitamin supplements from your doctor.
  • To overcome vaginal dryness during sexual intercourse, use water-based lubricants to avoid discomfort.
  • Exercise regularly to delay your physical health conditions that can lead to a painful transition to menopause.
  • To overcome the hot flashes, make your room cooler and drink cold water while avoiding smoking, caffeine, and alcoholic beverages.
  • Get plenty of sleep and rest. Usually, the recommended hours are seven to nine hours a day, but it varies from person to person.

By practising the above measures, you’ll be able to get relief from severe menopause symptoms. However, to ensure the best care for your health, you must consult a specialist or doctor regarding your observed symptoms.


Key Takeaway 

 

Menopause is mainly experienced by middle-aged women when their bodies stop the release or production of a mature egg. If the symptoms of menopause are severe, then additional care is needed. It can be self-diagnosed, but you must consult a doctor to declare and take treatment for your menopause symptoms clinically.


Taking preventive measures helps to either delay menopause in case of young age or keep you healthy enough to bear the symptoms while transitioning occurs for the menopause phase.


There are many treatments that you can try to relieve the symptoms of menopause. However, you must consult and discuss the physical and mental changes you are experiencing with your doctor to get the best-recommended care for your health.

 

 

Reasons For Missed Periods Or Absence Of Menstruation (Amenorrhea)

Reasons For Missed Periods Or Absence Of Menstruation (Amenorrhea)


For many women, periods are inconsistent and may come as a surprise. Sometimes, they don’t even happen at all! 


However, it doesn’t always mean you’re pregnant.


Besides pregnancy, there are several other possible reasons for a missed or late period. In some cases, hormonal imbalances, extreme weight loss, or problems with the reproductive organs might be the cause. 


In this article, we will discuss the main reasons for a missed period, its prevention, and when it’s time to contact a health professional. 


So let’s dive in!


Overview


Missed period, aka amenorrhea, is the absence of menstrual bleeding. It occurs when a girl hasn’t had her first menstrual period by age 16 or when a woman misses her monthly menstrual periods for 3 to 6 months. 


It’s totally normal not to have periods during pregnancy or after menopause. But if you miss menstrual bleeding at other times, it may be a symptom of an underlying medical issue.


Types Of Absent Menstruation


There are two main types of amenorrhea: 




Primary Amenorrhea happens when a girl passes the age of 16 and still hasn’t had her first period. Most girls start to menstruate between ages 9 and 18, but 12 is the average age. The term also applies to malformations in the reproductive tract that block menstrual bleeding.


Secondary Amenorrhea is a more common type of amenorrhea. It happens when a woman has stopped menstrual bleeding for at least three months after having regular cycles for the previous nine months.


Is It Normal To Miss A Period For A Month?


No period this month? 

Do not freak out — it’s completely normal not to get your period once in a while! 


It is not unusual for periods to become irregular from time to time. This is just your body’s response to stress or changes in your workout and eating habits.


Common reasons why you miss your period for a month may include stress, obesity, low body weight, use of birth control, early perimenopause, certain chronic diseases, and thyroid issues. 


How Much Of A Delay In Periods Is Normal? 


The length of the menstrual cycle differs from woman to woman. Typically, menstrual cycles range from 21-35 days. If your periods happen within this range, then there is probably no need to worry. 


However, a period is considered late if it’s been more than 35-40 days since the start of your last period.


Causes Of Absent Menstruation (Other Than Pregnancy)

 

woman holding calendar with marked missed period

 

Besides pregnancy, some of the causes of absent periods are as follows:


1. Stress


This is one of the most common causes of a missed period. Research has shown that women with higher levels of perceived stress are more likely to miss a period. 


Stress can result in a hormonal change and even affect the part of the brain that helps regulate your periods (hypothalamus). It can also lead to weight loss or gain or other illnesses, all of which can affect your cycle. 


However, you can crank down the stress level with some:


  • Exercise.
  • Good diet.
  • Meditation.
  • Quality sleep.

2. Birth Control


Stopping or starting birth control can also produce changes in your menstrual cycle. Birth control pills contain different hormones (progesterone and estrogen), which prevent the ovaries from releasing eggs. Since the drug works by introducing various hormones into your system, it can affect your menstrual cycle. 


After you start or stop taking birth control pills, your period will likely become regular within three months. Some women may experience lighter bleeding. On the other hand, some may skip their periods entirely.


3. Low Body Weight


Less body weight is another potential reason for an absent period. Women with eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia may experience an absence of a period. Also, if your body weight is deficient, you might stop ovulating because of hormonal changes.


4. Obesity


Just like low body weight, obesity can also affect your menstrual cycle. If you are overweight, your body may produce an excess amount of hormones (known as oestrogen) that regulate women’s reproductive system. An excess amount of oestrogen affects how often you have periods and can also cause your periods to stop.


5. Early Perimenopause


Early perimenopause indicates that the supply of your eggs is declining, which results in a missed period and eventually the end of menstruation. 


For most women, menopause starts between the ages of 45 and 55. However, if symptoms of menopause begin before the age of 40, it is considered early perimenopause.


6. Chronic Diseases


Certain chronic illnesses such as tuberculosis, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, and celiac disease can cause missed or irregular periods. 


Celiac disease causes swelling in the small intestine and stops the body from absorbing essential nutrients, contributing to late or missed periods. Blood sugar changes can also affect hormones, and poorly controlled diabetes can lead to irregular periods.


However, if any of these diseases are present, you will also experience other symptoms besides menstrual abnormalities.


7. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)


Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a disorder that results from abnormal levels of certain hormones. Due to this hormonal imbalance, ovulation becomes irregular or stops, and arrested follicles (cysts) develop in the ovaries – resulting in a missed period.


8. Thyroid Issues


The thyroid gland regulates your body’s metabolism, so thyroid diseases can also affect hormone levels, resulting in the absence of menstruation. 


An underactive or overactive thyroid gland can make your periods very light, heavy, or irregular. It can also cause your periods to stop for several months or longer. 


How Can I Prevent Amenorrhea?


In order to prevent amenorrhea, you should aim to:


  • exercise regularly
  • maintain a healthy weight
  • eat a balanced diet
  • learn to manage stress

Remember that you must consult with your doctor about any concerns you have about your menstrual cycle.


When Should I Consult A Doctor After A Missed Period?

 

woman consulting with a lady doctor

It is a good idea to consult with a doctor regarding your missed or irregular periods, especially if your periods are usually regular. A doctor can help you figure out the causes of your missed period and suggest suitable treatment options. 


You must visit your health care provider if you notice the following symptoms:


  • You have missed your period more than two times in a year.
  • You get a period less frequently than every 35 days or more frequently than every 21 days.
  • Menstrual bleeding lasts for more than seven days.
  • The bleeding is thicker than usual.
  • You experience severe pain during your period.
  • You have postmenopausal bleeding.

The Takeaway


Apart from pregnancy, a late or missed period can happen for several reasons. Potential causes range from hormonal imbalances to severe medical concerns.


Initially, missing a period may not seem like a significant hazard, but it can carry many health risks. Ask your health care provider for more information regarding your condition, treatment options, and long-term outlook.