Why Does My Period Starts, Stop And Then Start Again?
What Is A Menstrual Cycle?
A menstrual cycle is a regular pattern of periods that occurs throughout a woman’s life. Each month, the lining of the uterus (womb) sheds its endometrial tissue (the uterine lining). During this shedding process, the uterine lining sheds cells called corpus luteum or follicles. These follicles produce estrogen which helps maintain a healthy pregnancy. When the bleeding from these follicles stops, the lining of the uterus begins to thicken up again. After 12 weeks of menstruation, a new menstrual cycle begins.
The reason why some women have irregular cycles is because their bodies do not release enough progesterone during each monthly cycle. Progesterone is needed for maintaining a healthy pregnancy and keeping the lining of your womb thin so there are no infections.
If progesterone levels are too low, the lining of your womb will become thickened and infected. This is why some women experience heavy bleeding at certain times during their menstrual cycle.
The other reason why some women have irregular cycles is due to hormonal changes in the body. Some hormones like estrogen may cause your body to shed fewer follicles than usual.
This means that your period may come earlier or later than it normally would if you were ovulating regularly.
What Is Amenorrhea?
Amenorrhea is the medical term used for missing periods. You might experience infertility, or the inability to become pregnant, if you have missed more than 3 periods in a row. This is because the lining of your uterus needs to shed in order to allow a fertilized egg to implant into your womb. When women experience amenorrhea, they will not be able to get pregnant even if they have sexual contact with a male.
In some women, they will experience one skipped period during puberty. This happens when the body is undergoing a lot of hormonal change.
Other women may go through secondary amenorrhea, which means the loss of a period due to another factor. For example, anorexia or excessive exercising can cause the loss of a period. These conditions are dangerous because they cause the body to lose too much weight and fat.
There are also other types of amenorrhea, such as:
Menstrual bleeding that occurs after menopause
Bleeding that occurs before menarche or after menopause
Bleeding that is very heavy
When To See A Doctor?
If your periods have stopped for more than 3 months, then see your doctor immediately. Your body needs to shed its lining in order for a pregnancy to occur. If you are trying to get pregnant, then you need to make sure that your body is shedding its lining on a monthly basis.
Your doctor may recommend that you take a pregnancy test to rule out any issues. If you are not pregnant, then your doctor may also run some blood tests to find out why you are experiencing amenorrhea.
What Are The Causes Of Amenorrhea?
The main cause of amenorrhea is hormonal imbalance. This problem occurs when the body stops producing adequate amounts of estrogen, progesterone or both. There are many other causes of this condition and your doctor will determine the underlying cause after a physical examination and medical history checkup.
If you have not yet started your period, then your doctor will most likely run some tests to see if you have a hormonal imbalance. These tests could include a pregnancy test, a blood test to find out if you have low levels of estrogen and progesterone, an ultrasound of your ovaries and other tests that your doctor may deem necessary.
If you are a teenager and you are missing periods for the first time, then your doctor may recommend that you take a pregnancy test. This is to rule out the possibility that you are pregnant.
If the pregnancy test turns out to be negative, then your doctor will run tests to find out why you are not menstruating.
If you are in your 30s or above and you have missed your periods for more than 3 months in a row, then visit your doctor immediately. If you have not undergone menopause and your ovaries have stopped functioning properly, then this could be a serious problem that needs immediate attention.
Do note that if you are on birth control pills, then the pill may be the reason why you are experiencing amenorrhea. If you have been taking birth control pills for more than 3 months in a row, then this could be the cause of your missed periods.
If you experience any other side effects while taking the pill, such as an increase in headaches or dizziness, then see your doctor immediately.
How To Treat Amenorrhea?
If your doctor confirms that you are experiencing amenorrhea, then he may run some tests to find out the underlying cause of the problem. If you have been taking birth control pills for more than 3 months in a row without a break, then your doctor may take you off the pill.
In most cases, once you stop taking the pill, your periods will resume within a month or two. If you are not pregnant, then your doctor may recommend that you start taking the birth control pill again so that your periods continue on a regular schedule.
If you are pregnant or if you have undergone menopause, then you will be prescribed hormone replacement therapy. This treatment is available in the form of skin patches, tablets or injections.
These hormones can be expensive and may not be covered by health insurance plans. You may have to pay up to $200 per month for this medication.
If you do not want to continue with hormone replacement therapy, then you may have to consider another option such as artificial insemination or in-vitro fertilization.
Hormone replacement therapy is a long-term solution and it is important that you consistently take your medication on a daily basis. If you find the side effects of this therapy unbearable, then you may have to consult a specialist to find an alternative treatment.
If you experience heavy bleeding during your periods, then you may want to consider using a menstrual cup instead of sanitary pads or tampons. These cups are made from medical grade silicone and you have to insert it deep into your vaginal canal before your period starts.
Once it’s in place, it will collect your menstrual fluid until you remove it later.
The best thing about these cups is that they can hold more liquid than a tampon and you can forget about them until you remove it later. The downside is that you have to be comfortable with the feeling of something in your vaginal canal.
This means that these cups are not suitable for everyone.
Make sure that you sterilize and wash your hands before insertion and removal of the cup. If you are going to be on your period for more than 12 hours, then you may have to empty the contents of the cup and rinse it in warm water.
To insert the cup, wash your hands first and stand over a toilet. Find your vaginal opening using your finger tips and squirt a bit of lubricant jelly or water based lubricant into this opening.
Now fold the cup and slowly insert it deep into the opening.
Sources & references used in this article:
Bicycling and the life course: The start-stop-start experiences of women cycling by J Bonham, A Wilson – International Journal of Sustainable …, 2012 – Taylor & Francis
Degradation mechanisms of Pt/C fuel cell catalysts under simulated start–stop conditions by JC Meier, C Galeano, I Katsounaros, AA Topalov… – Acs …, 2012 – ACS Publications
Start‐stop funding, its causes and consequences: a case study of the delivery exemptions policy in Ghana by S Witter, S Adjei – The International journal of health planning …, 2007 – Wiley Online Library