Can Antibiotics Disrupt Your Normal Menstrual Cycle
Many SteadyHealth readers, as well as other women, anecdotally report that they have noticed that their periods are delayed after taking a course of antibiotics, or while they are taking antibiotics. While it is logical for these women to make the mental link between their course of antibiotics and their delayed menstruation, scientific evidence is sorely lacking in this area.
It is not clear, at present, whether antibiotic use in general disrupts the normal menstrual cycle. There are no studies that refute this theory because such research simply has not been conducted. One antibiotic has been found to have an effect on the menstrual cycle. This drug is called rifampin, and it is mainly used to treat tuberculosis and to eliminate the presence of bacteria that can cause meningitis.
Before you mentally “blame” your antibiotics for your disrupted menstrual cycle, you have to keep in mind that you are experiencing at least one other factor that could be responsible for your delayed period, and that is a bacterial infection. Another factor that might explain your delayed period is stress if you’re feeling poorly and are worried about your health or how it is affecting your other responsibilities, this may also explain your disrupted menstruation.
Who Can And Cannot Take Clarithromycin
Clarithromycin can be taken by adults and children.
Clarithromycin isn’t suitable for some people.
To make sure clarithromycin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- had an allergic reaction to clarithromycin or any other medicines in the past
- had diarrhoea when you have taken antibiotics before
- fast, pounding or irregular heartbeats
- abnormally low levels of potassium in your blood
- liver or kidney problems
- myasthenia gravis – clarithromycin can make the symptoms of this muscle-weakening illness worse
- an illness called phenylketonuria – people with phenylketonuria have to avoid the sweetener aspartame and some brands of liquid clarithromycin contain aspartame
Also tell your doctor if you’re pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or breastfeeding.
Clarithromycin isn’t generally recommended during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
Why Is My Cycle Getting Longer Every Month
What Causes Long Menstrual Cycles? Longer cycles are caused by a lack of regular ovulation. During a normal cycle, it is the fall of progesterone that brings upon bleeding. If a follicle does not mature and ovulate, progesterone is never released and the lining of the uterus continues to build in response to estrogen.
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Top Questions About Your Menstrual Cycle Answered
Periods are characterized by bleeding from the uterus through the vagina and indicate the beginning of a new reproductive cycle. While periods are a normal biological occurrence, there are still some questions surrounding this phenomenon.
Kate Shkodzik, a medical specialist at Flo, answers the most commonly asked questions about periods.
What If I Forget To Take It
If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember, unless it’s nearly time for your next dose.
In this case, just leave out the missed dose and take your next dose as normal.
Never take 2 doses at the same time. Never take an extra dose to make up for a forgotten one.
If you often forget doses, it may help to set an alarm to remind you.
You could also ask your pharmacist for other ways to remember your medicine.
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Reasons Your Period Could Be Late Other Than Pregnancy
, Allure Magazine
Im late. These two words have a pretty powerful connotation. Say them to any fellow adult with the proper gravitas, and the person youre talking to may assume youre pregnant. Late periods and pregnancy, in many peoples minds, are inherently connected. One must mean the other, right? Wrong.
True, a late period can be an indicator that youre pregnant, but it can also be attributed to many other things or sometimes nothing. Menstrual cycles vary significantly when you are in your teens, breastfeeding, or going through perimenopause, Anna Druet, chief scientific researcher at female health app Clue, tells Allure. Beyond those times, its still very normal for cycles to vary, to an extent.
Before you even begin to get concerned about a late period, know that the timing of yours could vary by up to seven to nine days from one cycle to the next. Your body is not a clock, after all, and your cycle is constantly adapting to your environment, Druet says. Its much more common to have some variation than to be completely regular.
But that time of the month could be delayed for a specific reason. Ahead, eight things that might be keeping your period at bay.
My Period Is 10 Days Late Am I Pregnant
Periods that are more than five days past due are considered late. There are a variety of reasons for late periods, including pregnancy. A home pregnancy test detects the presence of human chorionic growth hormone, or pregnancy hormone, in urine. Blood tests will also show this hormone and its quantity.
Major Weight Loss Or Gain
When it comes to surprise weight changes, Aunt Flo is the first to notice. The length and heaviness of a menstrual cycle is directly correlated with weight, says A. Nicky Hjort, M.D., OB-GYN. If you gain weight, an abnormal period often happens next. It might be heavy one month and absent the next. Rapid weight loss produces a similar effect, causing a light or missed period. This is also true if youre engaging in excessive exercise, Hjort adds. Endurance athletes who are often on the move are likely to experience this. Why the correlation? It comes down to the ability of fat cells to produce extra estrogen, the female sex hormone that regulates the menstrual cycle. When theres too much or too little, a hormonal imbalance occurs and causes irregular or missed periods. In essence, any rapid weight change can shock your body. Getting your body back to an appropriately healthy weight can help regulate your cycle.
Can Antibiotics Affect Your Period
Antibiotics do not cause late, early, or absent periods or heavy and prolonged menstruation. The most likely cause for an irregular period on antibiotics is usually the infection for which an antibiotic was prescribed.
There is a long list of side effects for various antibiotics, but irregular or painful periods are not typically included. Rifampin is an exception. It is an antibiotic that is used to treat tuberculosis and has been proven to cause irregular or painful menstruation.
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What Other Kinds Of Medication Can Interact With Birth Control
Rifampin may be the only antibiotic proven to lower the effectiveness of hormonal birth control, but it’s not the only drug that can do so. These medicines can also increase your chances of getting pregnant while taking hormonal birth control:
How Late Can A Period Be Without Being Pregnant
Some people have their period every 28 days like clockwork. But most people will experience a late or missed period at least once without being pregnant, and that’s perfectly normal. For many, a late period can trigger thoughts of potential pregnancy. But a late period doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re pregnant.
Does Late Period Mean Late Ovulation
Late ovulation: Causes and chances of conceiving. Late ovulation occurs when a person ovulates close to the onset of their next menstrual period. Late ovulation may affect a person’s fertility and menstruation. Depending on the length of their menstrual cycle, most women will ovulate 1016 days before their period.
Stressed There’s Another Reason For Your Delayed Period
Are you stressed about the infection for which you are receiving antibiotics and worried about how it will impact your health? Are you stressed simply because you have to remember to take your antibiotics on time? Or are you stressed because your infection is causing you to miss work or other obligations?
It’s Also Maybe Kinda Possible That You’re Perimenopausal
“Although the average age of menopause is 51, 1% of women are menopausal by age 40,” says Minkin. So it’s possible that some people could experience perimenopausal symptoms as early as their mid-thirties.
Some evidence suggests that you’re likely to go through menopause around the same age your mother did, so it might be worth checking into that if you’re in your late thirties and experiencing some period issues off birth control.
You Contracted Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Another condition that can severely affect your menstrual cycle is pelvic inflammatory disease .
According to Mayo Clinic, PID occurs when bacteria makes its way into the vagina and cervix. Normally, it starts out as another sexually transmitted infection, like chlamydia or gonorrhea, that presents external symptoms. As the infection spreads to the cells of the uterus, it can lead to problems with menstruation.
The Office on Women’s Health lists irregular menstrual cycles as one of the symptoms of PID. There are other symptoms associated with it too, like pelvic pain, fever, and pain during sex.
If you suspect that PID is the reason for your abnormal menstruation patterns, it’s important to see a doctor. Untreated PID can lead to serious complications, like fallopian tube scarring and infertility.
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I Havent Had Sex Why Is My Period Late
There are many possible reasons for a late period. The most likely are excessive stress, extreme exercising, and fluctuations in body weight. Reproductive issues like PCOS and pelvic inflammatory disease can also cause late periods.
High levels of prolactin or thyroid issues can as well. Sometimes using hormonal birth control methods can also cause late periods.
Maybe You Were Sick Recently
Colds, viruses, and the flu can mess with your cycle the same way stress can, says Streicher, but only if you’re not on hormonal birth control.
And if you’re on low-dose birth control, taking certain antibiotics may result in breakthrough bleeding, which could look like an early period. This is because antibiotics can alter the levels of estrogen slightly. It’s usually not enough that you need to worry about the pill’s effectiveness, but it could be enough to give you some breakthrough bleeding.
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Youre Getting Closer To Menopause
Women in their 40s and early 50s who are approaching menopause a normal increase in the frequency of prolonged time intervals between periods, Styer says. But dont rule it out if youre not yet in your 40s. Some women do experience ovary function loss before then.
All this said, Styer notes that you may not be able to pinpoint the cause of a late period without consulting your physician but you may not need to. The vast majority of cases of one late period and or few late periods in the course of year does not warrant medical evaluation and should not be of concern, he says. But if it becomes a recurrent issue specifically, if you go longer than 40 or 50 days between periods or your periods dont come at least every 35 to 40 days then its time to make an appointment.
Bottom line? Befriend your cycle, know your cycle, and track your cycle, Druet says. It can give you and tell you a lot.
Is It Normal For Your Period To Change Dates
They can vary for many reasons and in many ways. The length of your cycle, the heaviness of your period, and the symptoms you experience can all fluctuate. These variations are usually normal and healthy. In some cases though, they can point to something more serious, like a medical condition that needs your attention.
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Youre Using Hormonal Birth Control
Many people love the pill because it makes their periods so regular. However, it can sometimes have the opposite effect, especially during the first few months of use.
Similarly, when you stop taking the pill, it can take a few months for your cycle to get back to normal. As your body returns to its baseline hormone levels, you may miss your period for a few months.
What Should I Know About Storage And Disposal Of This Medication
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture .
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location â one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach.
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How To Cope With Side Effects
What to do about:
- feeling sick – stick to simple meals and do not eat rich or spicy food while you’re taking this medicine. It might help to take your clarithromycin after you have had a meal or snack.
- diarrhoea and being sick – drink lots of fluids, such as water or squash, to avoid dehydration. Take small, frequent sips if you’re being sick. Signs of dehydration include peeing less than usual or having strong-smelling pee. Do not take any other medicines to treat diarrhoea or vomiting without speaking to a pharmacist or doctor.
- losing your appetite – eat when you’d usually expect to be hungry. If it helps, eat smaller meals more often than usual. Snack when you’re hungry. Have nutritious snacks that are high in calories and protein, such as dried fruit and nuts.
- bloating and indigestion – try not to eat foods that cause wind . Eat smaller meals, eat and drink slowly, and exercise. There are pharmacy medicines that can also help, such as charcoal tablets or simethicone. Ask a pharmacist for advice.
- headaches – rest and drink plenty of fluids. Do not drink too much alcohol. Ask your pharmacist to recommend a painkiller if you need one. Talk to your doctor if the headaches last longer than a week or are severe.
- difficulty sleeping – avoid having a big meal, smoking, and drinking alcohol, tea or coffee in the evening. Try not to watch television or use your mobile phone before going to bed. Instead, try to relax for an hour before bedtime.
Scientific Evidence Of Antibiotics Effect On Your Period
Keep in mind, studies done on this subject have all been inconclusive but Ive seen this anecdotally in my work for many years.
Its also helpful to keep in mind that youre taking antibiotics because youre likely sick or have had some kind of surgery. This is very stressful for the body. When youre sick or have an surgery, you might experience a delay in ovulation and subsequently a delayed period. Your body basically considers these times unsafe to get pregnant, so you might not release an egg. I know it seems counter-intuitive, like why the hell is my body not working, but its actually doing exactly what its supposed to do. That is, not having a baby when there is potential danger.
I am certainly not telling you to avoid taking your prescription. If you simply MUST take antibiotics, I recommend chowing down on lots of fermented foods like sauerkraut, kim-chi and kefir during your course of medication, and for a few weeks afterwards.
You should also take a good probioticfor at least a month after youve taken the antibiotics. I highly highly recommend Megaspore Probiotics. This is a very well studied brand, and highly effective at repopulating the gut.
I also recommend drinking bone broth to help mitigate any gut lining damage that might occur.
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Youve Upped Your Workout Intensity
A strenuous exercise regimen can also cause missed periods. This is most common in those who train for several hours a day. It happens because, whether intentionally or not, youre burning way more calories than youre taking in.
When you burn too many calories, your body doesnt have enough energy to keep all its systems running. More strenuous workouts can increase hormone release that can affect your menstruation.
Periods typically go back to normal as soon as you lessen training intensity or increase your caloric intake.
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a set of symptoms caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones. Many people with PCOS do not ovulate regularly.
As a result, your periods may:
- be lighter or heavier than standard periods
- arrive at inconsistent times
Other PCOS symptoms can include:
- excess or coarse facial and body hair
- acne on the face and body
- thinning hair
- weight gain or trouble losing weight
- dark patches of skin, often on the neck creases, groin, and underneath breasts
- skin tags in the armpits or neck