Abnormal Menstruation (Periods): Causes and Concerns
Menstruation or periods is vaginal bleeding, a normal monthly cyclic process in a woman’s life. Infact, this is an important process for maintaining a healthy reproductive system. Normally, the periods should occur every 21 days of the cycle, but if they delay beyond 35 days or arrive too soon(twice a month), it can be due to abnormal menstruation.
There are more symptoms of having abnormal menstruation.
Losing three or more periods in a row
Too heavy or too light periods
Periods lasting seven or more days
Periods accompanied by pain, cramping, nausea or cramping
Bleeding or spotting between the duration of two consecutive periods, after menopause or after sex.
Abnormal menstruation exhibiting a particular characteristic is named differently. Some abnormal period traits are:
Amenorrhea- A condition when a non-pregnant, non-breastfeeding woman has not got periods for 90 or more days.
Oligomenorrhea- Infrequent periods
Dysmenorrhea- Painful periods with cramp pain
Or Abnormal uterine bleeding
Periods are abnormal, usually due to some underlying causes. The causes of irregular periods are discussed as follows:
Stress-Daily life stress such as travelling, overthinking, and dietary changes can affect the menstrual cycle.
Birth control pills- These contain estrogen and progestin that prevents pregnancies. They alter the natural menstrual cycle. Many women’s periods stop for three to six months after discontinuing birth control pills.
Note: It can also alter the pregnancy planning of a couple; therefore, the birth control pills should be taken in consultation with a gynaecologist.
Polyps or uterine fibroids- The polyps or uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growth in the uterus lining. They may be one or many, sizes ranging from mango seed to grapefruit. They may cause heavy bleeding, cramps, or pain during menstruation.
Endometriosis- The uterine lining is called endometrial tissue, which becomes thick, ruptures and bleeds in every cycle. Endometriosis is a condition when the endometrial lining grows onto ovaries, blocking them and causing egg release issues or growing outside the uterus, pressurising them. This condition may cause infertility or pregnancy issues.
Pelvic Inflammatory disease- PID is a bacterial infection that routes through the vaginal tract and affects reproductive tracts. It is caused due to sex, pelvic suregry, miscarriage or abortion.
PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome- It is a disorder in which the ovaries release androgens, a male hormone, and prevent ovulation. Due to this, the ovaries develop a fluid-filled cyst or sac-like structure around them that prevents the maturation of eggs and hinders their production. PCOS treatment is necessary for pregnancy.
Period abnormality is also caused due to other reasons such as uterine or cervical cancer, previous abortions or miscarriages, or thyroid.
How are abnormal periods diagnosed?
If you get symptoms of abnormal periods, you should consult a gynaecologist. Also, note the following points about your periods to inform the doctor.
Date of start and end of menstruation
Consistency of menstrual flow
Pain or other symptoms during menstruation
The doctor may demand the following diagnostic test to diagnose the cause of consequences of abnormal periods.
Pap smear test
Blood test to rule out anaemia or other disorder
Vaginal culture to look for signs of bacterial infection
Endometrial biopsy to check the endometrium
Treatment of Abnormal Periods
The treatment of abnormal periods depends on their cause.
Pain treatment- Abnormal periods can be painful and cause cramping. However, the doctor advised that the pain can be reduced or controlled by using ibuprofen or acetaminophen. You can apply a heating pad or have hot water bath to relieve cramps.
Irregular periods- Irregular periods are caused due to undue hormonal fluctuations and irregular ovulatory cycles. The doctor recommends estrogen and progestin to control heavy bleeding.
PCOS symptoms and treatments- PCOS causes infertility and abnormal periods in women. It is caused due to ovaries do not release matured eggs on a timely basis. Therefore, the doctor prescribes clomiphene to treat PCOS and help women get pregnant.
Endometriosis- Although there is no cure for endometriosis, doctors may prescribe medications to manage its symptoms, menstrual flow, and pain. In severe cases, gonadotropin-releasing hormone or progestin can be administered to stop periods temporarily. In severe cases, the doctor may recommend endometrial tissue removal or hysterectomy, i.e. complete removal of the uterus, as the last line of endometriosis treatment (if the damage is severe).
Uterine fibroids- The breaking up of fibroids can cause heavy bleeding and excruciating pain. Therefore the doctor may prescribe medical or surgical treatment for it. If the fibroids are too big, the doctor may recommend myomectomy- surgical removal of fibroids.
Irregular periods is a common problem among women of all ages. However, some conditions such as PCOS, polyps or fibroids, and endometriosis can hugely contribute to causing irregular menstruation. If you are looking for abnormal periods or endometriosis treatment in Dubai, visit us to get a detailed diagnosis and treatment.