Women have menstrual cycles every month from puberty until menopause. The normal menstrual cycle varies from women to women and it is usually 28+/-7 days. The average length of menstrual periods also varies from 3 to 5 days, sometimes menstrual periods can last up to 7 days.
Missed Periods Usually Indicate Pregnancy
Missed periods often indicate pregnancy. However, there is always a possibility of not having menstrual periods, but also not being pregnant. What could it be?
Missed periods in medicine are also known as amenorrhea. There are two types of amenorrhea: primary and secondary amenorrhea. Primary amenorrhea is the absence of menstrual periods after the age of 15 years old. It is a condition where a female has never had a menstrual period in her life. The reasons of primary amenorrhea are usually genetic or due to certain diseases. Secondary amenorrhea is the absence of menstrual periods, in a woman who has had menstrual periods in the past. The reasons of secondary amenorrhea vary.
Medical Conditions That Interfere with Menstrual Periods
Different medical conditions can interfere with your menstrual periods. Some of these conditions include:
Stress – Yes, stress. It is one of the main things that interferes with your menstrual cycle leading to irregular menstrual cycles, but sometimes also to a total absence of the menstrual periods.
Low weight – also interferes with your menstrual cycle. Extreme low caloric intake and also low body weight suppresses the activity of the hypothalamus, leading to low levels of estrogen. Bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa also interfere with the menstrual cycle leading to a missed period.
Polycystic Ovaries – this condition is characterized by small cysts that are located in the ovaries. Except missed periods, polycystic ovaries syndrome is also characterized by an imbalance in the female reproductive hormones, weight loss, fertility problems, etc.
Missed Periods Could Mean Menopause or Pregnancy
Premature Menopause – some women do have premature menopause. The menopause is considered as before time when it affects women under the age of 40. Normally, a woman undergoes menopause around the age of 50.
Breastfeeding – when breastfeeding it is normal to not have menstrual periods. Prolactin, a hormone produced by the pituitary gland, suppresses the process of ovulation. Once secreted Prolactin induces the production of milk from the mammary glands. Normally, the menstrual periods will return after 6-8 weeks from stopping the breastfeeding. When this does not occur, you should consult your health care provider in NY and get a check – up. There might be the possibility that you are pregnant again!
Missed Periods and Pituitary Tumors
Pituitary Tumors – the pituitary gland produces hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle. A tumor of the pituitary gland which results in excessive high levels of estrogen affect and interfere with the normal menstrual cycle, leading to missed periods. These tumors are usually non-cancerous. However, a surgical removal is often recommended as a treatment option.
Medications – the use of certain medications for various health problems can lead to missed periods or other changes of the menstrual cycle.
Excessive exercise – Women who perform more physical activities than usual are at a greater risk of having missed periods while not being pregnant. Over stressing the body causes hormonal disruptions.
Chronic Diseases – suffering from various chronic diseases can interfere with your menstrual cycle.