A friend of mine once told me that she hadn’t had her period in months. Months. She wasn’t pregnant or going through any other intense bodily changes, she just got her period super rarely. Being the worrywart that I am, I immediately bombarded her with a slew of questions about her irregular periods, including whether or not she’s gone to a doctor. She had, but they weren’t able to conclude what the issue was. I’m not going to lie, I side eyed the way she seemed to shrug off the fact that her body wasn’t doing what it is supposed to do, which is menstruate on a regular basis. But she saw it as a relief: She didn’t have to worry about bleeding from her vagina for a week straight every month. It was tough not to see where she was coming from. Who wouldn’t want to be ghosted by their period?
Still it’s important to know that while irregular periods might seem like a reprieve from a maxi pad hell hole, they should actually be cause for a little concern. Not having your period means that something funky is going on in your body, and something needs to be done about it. Want proof? That same friend of mine was diagnosed with a thyroid issue, which might have had to do with her irregular periods. If you’re coasting through your irregular periods, it might be time for a wakeup call. Here are six reasons why you shouldn’t see your irregular period as a relief.
Your Lack Of Period Could Mean You Have A Potentially Serious Medical DisorderIt's natural to have pretty irregular periods when you first start getting your period, but what if you've had it for a few years now? Or, what if your period was regular for ages, and out of nowhere it rarely comes? Don't ignore this, don't see this as a way to save money on tampons. You should absolutely see a doctor and make sure you aren't unknowingly suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), hyperprolactinemia, or an autoimmune disorder like celiac's disease. That elusive period isn't something to put on the back burner; get a check up ASAP. Sarah Wintner
You Might Not Be Able To Become Pregnant Down The LineIrregular periods could indicate that fertility issues. If your irregular periods are, in fact, caused by PCOS, thyroid problems, or other menstrual-related-weirdness, infertility is a side effect. You might not care now, but in the future you might not want to go through the grief and financial costs of trying to do everything you can to become pregnant. That's why it's best to figure out the source of your irregular periods ASAP; the source might cause you serious problems down the line. Sarah Wintner
You're Malnourished Or Experiencing Dramatic Weight ChangesYou might have heard that periods can get all out of wack if you're undergoing weight loss or gain. This is true, but casual weight loss or gain usually leads to a late period, not an MIA period for three months straight. That is, unless you're undergoing some seriously dramatic--and unhealthy--weight changes. A friend of mine with an eating disorder stopped getting her period for months, likely because she was undereating, purging, and over-exercising. If you're not getting your period due to unhealthy eating habits, you should seek help ASAP. Treat your disordered eating first, worry about your period later. Skins
You Could Be Undergoing Some Unchecked Mental DistressBodies are weird and sometimes they know to chill out a little bit if you're having a hard time. That's why stress and anxiety can cause your period to come late. But there's a period coming a week late, and a period coming a couple of months late...on a regular basis. Has your period started to become irregular as soon as your stress levels increased? Has that coincided with anxiety? Depression? You might want to see a doctor or therapist about some stress management options. Your mental health is important, don't neglect it! Empire Records
Your All Natural 'Am-I-Pregnant?' System Is Out Of OrderHate on periods all you want, but if you're worried that your birth control failed, or that some of bae's semen somehow dribbled its way up your vag, then there's nothing more relieving than your period arriving right on schedule to let you know that you don't have to worry about pregnancy. With irregular periods, that's not a possibility. Juno
Periods Out Of Nowhere Actually SuckThe simple fact is this: You might get a little too used to that tampon-free life, to the point of getting a nasty surprise when you least expect it. It's annoying enough for this to happen rarely, but every time you get your period? Periods might suck, but it's pretty comforting to know when it's coming so you can plan accordingly. Carrie
Do you have super irregular periods? Have you seen a doctor about them? If you used to have them but don’t anymore, what changed? Tell us in the comments!