Irregular Menstruation and Thyroid
By Nmami Agarwal
Thyroid imbalances can have serious effects on your body functioning. If you’re a woman of over thirty-five years of age, the odds of getting a thyroid disorder are remarkably high, more than thirty percent to be precise. The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate your body’s metabolism, temperature, and heartbeat. But everything can go wrong when your thyroid is under or overactive. If it’s too slow, it might produce too little hormones, and if it’s overly active, then it might produce excessive thyroid hormones.
With such irregularities in thyroid hormonal production, your menstruation cycle also starts getting affected by it. Longer menstrual periods and heavier flow with more cramps is a sign of “hypothyroidism” where thyroid hormone production is slow or short. Whereas, in the case of “hyperthyroidism,” high levels of thyroid hormones lead to menstrual irregularities in several ways. Such as menses can be shorter or may have very light flow. Let’s discuss this in detail.
Irregularities in menstruation are caused by two types of thyroid conditions.
Hypothyroidism And Menstrual Cycle
- Early menstruation: Hypothyroidism, when diagnosed in young girls can cause an uncertain early beginning of a menstrual cycle, in early teens and sometimes even bore that. This early puberty is called as “precocious puberty.”
- Heavy menstruation: Extremely heavy menstrual flow, scientifically called ‘menorrhagia’, is directly associated with hypothyroidism. Menorrhagia is defined as excessive or prolonged menstrual stage, which requires changing sanitary pad after every hour or two.
- More frequent menstruation: Hypothyroidism might cause your periods to come pretty earlier than your expected date or make them come more frequently. This condition is known as ‘polymenorrhea’. You may experience periods coming back in 21 days instead of 28 days average cycle.
- Longer menstruation: A normal menstrual period approximately lasts for five days on an average but under hypothyroidism, the average number of days increase to six days and sometimes longer.
Hyperthyroidism And menstrual Cycle
- Late menstruation: Hyperthyroidism is directly proportional to the late onset of puberty or a delayed start of the menstruation cycle amongst some teenage girls. Girls affected with this condition may not enter their menstruation cycle until the age of fifteen or more.
- Lighter and shorter menstruation: Under hyperthyroidism, you can witness lighter and shorter periods than any usual menstruation cycle. Periods may last shorter than the estimated-average five days.
- Irregular menstruation: Periods can be irregular or might get skipped for a month or two or maybe for even longer. A menstrual cycle can be followed by a gap of every 35 or 40 days, instead of the normal 28 days. This is called ‘oligomenorrhea’.
- Absence of menstruation: Hyperthyroidism might also stop menstruation entirely for a longer period than 35-40 days in some women. This condition might occur once in a blue moon. This kind of absenteeism of periods is called “amenorrhea.”
Over to you
If your thyroid condition is undiagnosed or left untreated, then the symptoms might turn more severe especially your menstrual irregularities. Therefore, if you witness such menstrual issues, get your thyroid checked and opt for treatment to normalize your menstrual cycles. Consult your doctor about the best cure and medication.
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