- Irregular menstruation can be a result of PCOS
- There are several other causes of irregular menstruation
- A healthy lifestyle and diet can help you promote regular menstruation
Menstruation, commonly called 'period', is a natural process. Normal vaginal bleeding that lasts from 4 to 7 days and occurs every 28-35 days is part of women's reproductive health. But irregular menstruation can be a cause of concern if left treated. During periods, endometrium, the lining of the uterus sheds and bleeds from the womb through the vagina. Women start getting periods at around age 12 and continue till menopause, which can be anytime between 45 and 55 years of age. Here are all possible causes of menstrual irregularities and treatment options.
Abnormal Menstruation: Here are the causes, types and treatment
Abnormal periods are a direct indicator of a problem or issue in the reproductive organs. The biggest cause of abnormal periods is 'stress' in our daily lifestyle. It can cause significant changes to our reproductive health. Gaining or losing weight, traveling, dietary changes are all contributors to menstrual abnormalities.
1. Going on and off contraception is most likely to affect the periods up to 6 months of making the change as they cause hormonal changes to the body.
2. Uterine polyps (growth on the lining of the uterus) and uterine fibroids (tumors that attach themselves to the wall of the uterus) cause severe pain as well as heavy bleeding.
3. Endometriosis is the condition that causes the endometrial tissue to grow outside the uterus, causing abnormal bleeding and pain during intercourse.
4. Lastly, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that affects a woman's hormone levels. This hormone imbalance causes them to skip menstrual periods.
Here are the various types of abnormalities one can experience with her menstruation:
1. Amenorrhea: Not getting periods for more than 90 days and are not pregnant and breastfeeding. Missing 3 periods in a row is a cause of concern.
2. Oligomenorrhea: Infrequent menstrual periods. When it's earlier than 21 days, and/or more than 35 days apart.
3. Dysmenorrhea: Painful flow and severe menstrual cramps, often accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
4. Abnormal bleeding: A heavy flow (or lighter than usual), a longer period (more than 7 days) and bleeding between periods.
First things first, you need to keep a record of your periods to track abnormalities. When you get tested, your gynaecologist will run a few tests like the blood test, pelvic exam, and the pap test on you along with a physical examination.
When diagnosed, you will be provided medication based on the cause of your issue. Other than that, a balanced diet and regular exercise are advised to create a healthy lifestyle.
(Dr. Seema Sharma, MBBS, MD, Sr. Consultant Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Apollo Cradle & Children's hospital (Apollo Specialty Hospitals) - Amritsar)
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