Wobbly hormones - a cause of irregular vaginal bleeding and PMT
Rising levels of progesterone build up the lining of the womb and it is falling levels of progesterone which cause the bleeding. Wobbly hormones is a diagnosis of exclusion once local causes have been excluded. Wobbly hormones cannot be diagnosed by single tests for obvious reasons. Salivary hormone levels over one month may give useful clues. See Female hormone profile (Oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone levels in saliva)
If the progesterone levels wobble, they will cause a bleed every time they fall a bit and the bleed will stop every time the levels go up or remain constant. There is sometimes a wobble at ovulation time (14th day of the cycle) causing an "ovulation bleed".
Common causes of wobbly hormones
- Menarche and menopause - hormone glands waking up and going to sleep respectively!
- Poor nutritional status - this is a major cause of hormonal problems and completely ignored by the medical profession;
- Hypoglycaemia - this is a major cause of wobbly hormone levels;
- Loss of weight or anorexia - this is Nature's way of saying you are not sufficiently well nourished to have a baby.
- Intensive physical training - most women athletes at the peak of fitness do not see a regular period - some lose their periods altogether;
- Stopping the Pill - the Pill takes over the normal hormonal cycle and completely suppresses pituitary production of the hormones FSH and LH. It is as if the pituitary had gone to sleep as a result of the hormones in the Pill. When the Pill is stopped it may take several months for the pituitary to "wake up". For some women the pituitary never wakes up and they go into an early menopause. Another reason why I dislike the Pill. It is not uncommon for young women to stop seeing periods for up to 18 months before normal function is restored.
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