The only thing more annoying than getting your period unexpectedly (usually on the day you wore your nice new undies/white pants)? Not having the slightest clue when it’s going to come.
While a period that’s a few days out is manageable, if it’s happening regularly it could be in response to something you’re going on in your body – or a sign of a bigger issue.
1. You’re pregnant.
The easiest way to rule this out is to do an at-home pregnancy test or to visit your doctor. In the mean time, note if your body is showing any other common symptoms such as tender breasts, the frequent need to go to the bathroom, nausea and fatigue.
2. Your contraception.
The contraception you use could offer an explanation as to why your period is being irregular.
“Birth control works to prevent ovulation by supplying the same dose of female hormones every day, and turns off natural production of sex hormones which avoids the surge in oestrogen and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) required for ovulation,” explains Dr Fielder.
This is why people on the Pill can experience lighter, less frequent or even non existent periods. (Post continues after gallery.)
3. Extreme diet or exercising.
Making big changes to your diet or workout regime can often affect the frequency of your period.
“Extreme exercise and diet can change your cycle by affecting your hormones and making your body think that you are in a life threatening situation with extreme weight loss,” explains Dr Fielder.
As a result, your body responds by shutting down unnecessary function and prevents you from reproducing.
We already know the many ways stress can affect your health, but it could also be a factor behind your period being out of whack.
In much the same way as extreme dieting or exercise, stress can affect your hormones and menstruation by sending your body into its ‘fight or flight’ response, sending a signal to your brain to stop ovulating.