I’ll refrain from making jokes about how hard living leads to a certain activity that may halt your period. “The extreme result of this exposure would be loss of the ability of the ovary to respond to hormonal control, in which case premature menopause occurs,” says Dr. Ginsburg. “Of course, this would not happen with modest use, but would be expected to be seen only with sustained, significant intake.”
Under no circumstances is smoking good for your health, but clinical studies have also shown that cigarettes can actually kill your eggs and cause early menopause. Pardon my scare tactics: Want to be alone with hot flashes while you smell like an ashtray?
Irregular and painful periods are associated with hypothyroidism, a condition in which your thyroid is not producing enough of the thyroid hormone. This slows down metabolism and causes your entire endocrine system to lose its rhythm. Check out our recent Blisstree post on hypothyroidism to learn more about the symptoms and consequences of this frustrating and under-diagnosed condition.
Diabetes and PCOS go hand-in-hand. “Hormonal abnormalities, such as diabetes, thyroid disease, insulin resistance, or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which may encompass features of diabetes and insulin resistance, are common medical causes of menstrual abnormalities. Many times, these problems are best managed primarily, or with the assistance of endocrinologists, who are much more familiar and comfortable with managing these problems,” says Dr. Steve Goldfarb, a gynecologist at the Henry Ford Center.
A non-cancerous tumor of the pituitary gland often causes menstrual irregularity, says Dr. Lahiri. The tumor secretes prolactin, the hormone involved in lactation. Too much of this hormone also causes lactation in a woman who is not pregnant or has not had children; and it can lessen sex drive. Double bummer.
12. Early Menopause
Premature ovarian failure (POF), or menopause before age 40 is caused by a number of conditions, including autoimmune disease, chromosomal disorders, chemotherapy, and the removal of ovaries. “The most common cause probably is related to a woman’s inherited genetic program,” says Dr. Ginsburg. “Although this is a diagnosis reached by excluding other causes, when the cause of POF cannot be determined by current testing, the POF is termed idiopathic.”