Common Causes of an Erratic Menstrual Cycle

Depending on the length of her cycle, the average woman will have between 11 and 12 periods per year. Some women have more, some women have fewer.  Women who do not have normal, regular cycles commonly have questions about what may be causing the erratic schedule. There are a number of causes of irregular periods, many of which can be addressed with fertility treatments.

Menopause 2015-16

As a woman ages, her period may become less regular.  This is especially true in the year or two before a woman enters menopause.  This is due to hormonal changes that occur within a woman’s body as she nears the end of her reproductive years.  A woman is considered as being in menopause after not having a period for 12 months.

Weight Issues 

Being overweight or underweight can significantly impact your body’s ability to produce the hormones necessary for reproduction.  Overweight women may have very erratic cycles, and underweight women may not get a period at all.  The cycle issues that result from weight problems can typically be addressed by achieving and maintaining a healthy weight for your height.


Emotional issues can have a significant impact on your physical health.  This includes the ability to have regular periods.  While it is normal to have concerns about your ability to conceive, stress that becomes life altering or that interrupts your ability to perform normal activities needs to be addressed.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) affects many women.  In this condition, cysts appear in a woman’s ovaries during her cycle.  Women with this issue have irregular periods and difficulty ovulating.  The condition is among one of the most common causes of infertility in women.


Various medications can impact a woman’s cycle, including those that are taken for chronic conditions.  Knowing what medications you are on can help your doctor to determine if your prescriptions could be impacting your ability to have a normal cycle.

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