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PCOS and irregular periods Dr. Havya Polarapur April 4, 2022

PCOS and irregular periods

Missed your periods? Beware, it can be a symptom of PCOS! 

Missing periods is like missing a heartbeat. Experts say that one of the common symptoms of PCOS is irregular periods. Even though various other factors could be a reason for your irregular periods, it can also be a warning sign of PCOS which needs to be given immediate attention.  

If you are someone worrying about having irregular periods and wondering if it can be related to PCOS, read ahead to know everything you need to know about the relationship between PCOS and irregular periods.

What is an irregular period? 

Some women think missing periods is what is called irregular periods. But irregular periods are not ONLY missing periods. Below are some of the symptoms to identify that you are facing irregular periods, 

  • Bleeding or spotting between periods 
  • Heavy bleeding during your period 
  • Periods that occur either less than 21 days are more than 35 days 
  • Periods that last more than 7 days or less than 3 days 
  • Very light or no flow during your period 
  • Periods with severe pain in the abdomen with menstrual cramps 
  • Missing three are more periods in a sequence 

These symptoms may vary in every woman. Some women may experience all the symptoms while some may experience a few of them. However, if you are experiencing at least any one of the above symptoms, you are facing irregular periods. And, you need to take immediate action.

How is PCOS related to irregular periods? 

The relationship between PCOS and irregular periods is pretty simple and easily understandable.  

In women with regular menstruation, a matured follicle (containing one immature egg) is released by the ovaries every month. This process is what we call ovulation.  After being released from the ovaries, the eggs reach the fallopian tube and wait there to get fertilized. When these eggs are not fertilized, that’s when menstruation happens. And, the process repeats itself and the cycle continues.  

While this is the normal, regular process of menstruation, let’s see what happens in women with PCOS. The high levels of androgen hormones, which are secreted in women with PCOS, prevent the follicle from maturing while also retaining them in the ovary. This way many such small follicles tend to collect in the ovary. So now, eggs are never released from the follicles and no ovulation happens.  When there is no ovulation there is no menstruation! 

Yes, that’s how PCOS affects your periods!  

TYPES OF PCOS, YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT!

These excessive number of follicles, which are air sacs containing the eggs, collected in the ovaries are referred to as cysts that are likely harmless. And now, does it all make sense as to why it is called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)? 

PCOS doesn’t stop with preventing or disrupting your menstrual cycle, it also causes difficulties in conceiving or even infertility in severe conditions of PCOS.

How do you know if PCOS is the cause of your irregular periods? 

This can be a tough task at hand but it is possible. Look, if your irregular periods are combined with other PCOS symptoms like male-pattern hair growth, sudden weight gain, acne or oily skin, dark or thick skin patches on the back of the neck, etc.  

Consulting with a physician and diagnosing for PCOS is also an important step if you are facing irregular periods.  

Visiting a Gynaecologist for the first time? You should totally read this!

What are some long-term effects of irregular periods? 

Yes, there are long-term effects when you neglect your irregular periods. Even though irregular menstrual cycles are common among women of reproductive age, when it is prolonged without taking proper care, it might get worse! 

  • Irregular period is linked with high-risk health issues like type 2 diabetes, ovarian cancer, heart disease.  
  • Irregular periods can also cause problems in your mental health issues like anxiety, and depression.  
  • Also, as discussed before, conceiving becomes difficult with a disrupted menstrual cycle and requires an entirely different approach it. 

Is it possible to bring back a regular menstrual cycle with PCOS? 

We all have this one question in mind when we talk about irregular periods with PCOS. But there isn’t a definite answer but most likely, yes! You will be able to regulate your PCOS with proper guidance and medications.   

There are of course ways to improve symptoms of PCOS and bring back a regular menstrual cycle. Let’s see what are some of the ways to manage PCOS and irregular periods.  

How can you regulate your periods with PCOS? 

Here are some health tips that you can follow to regulate your periods with PCOS,  

  • Do regular workouts at home or take a brisk walk for at least 30 minutes every day
  • Bring changes in your diet routine like practicing a low-carb or ketogenic diet
  • Adding fruits, nuts, and seeds to your everyday diet 
  • Practicing pranayama or Yoga for PCOS regularly 

However, the body type, hormonal and other health issues, etc may vary for every woman. So, we recommend you to check out our Customized Indian diet and workout plan for women with PCOS and PCOD.

In addition, consult your physician and take medications as prescribed by them to avoid any health complications.  

The irregular period should be noticed and a proper take should be taken to prevent it from causing high-risk health issues.  

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