September 24, 2022

Menstrual Problems: Know Your Periods

Menstrual cycles are frequently accompanied by a range of bothersome premenstrual symptoms. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) comprises the most prevalent symptoms, such as moderate cramps and exhaustion. However, these symptoms often subside once the period arrives.

Furthermore, more significant menstruation complications may emerge later. Menstruation that is either excessively heavy, too light, or the lack of menstruation altogether, may indicate that other factors are contributing to an abnormal menstrual cycle.

Since a regular menstrual cycle might imply various things to different women. A cycle that is normal for you may be abnormal for another person. However, it is important for you to know your body. 

Moreover, if you experience any abnormal changes talk to a doctor online right away.

In this article, you will learn about different period problems. 

Premenstrual Syndrome

This syndrome occurs before your periods. Also, some women experience several emotional and physical symptoms. 

However, some women have no premenstrual syndrome. 

The type of symptoms one experiences may vary every month. Premenstrual syndrome is normal and not worrisome until it interrupts your daily life. Some of the premenstrual syndromes are: 

  • backaches
  • headaches
  • breast soreness
  • acne
  • anxiety
  • bloating
  • irritability
  • feelings of stress
  • insomnia
  • constipation
  • diarrhoea
  • mild stomach cramps
  • food cravings
  • excessive fatigue
  • depression

Menstrual Pain (dysmenorrhea)

Cramps are common during PMS, and they also occur as your uterus contracts just before your period. Nonetheless, some women have to endure terrible pain. This condition is known as Menstrual pain (dysmenorrhea).

It happens due to intense uterine contractions affecting the oxygen supply in adjacent blood vessels.

Irregular Periods

The case of irregular periods happens if:

  • The time between periods changes 
  • Changes in period days
  • Bleeding increases or decreases

Changes in your body’s estrogen and progesterone levels might disturb your period’s pattern. Therefore, women reaching their menopause or girls starting their puberty experience irregular periods. 

Heavy Periods 

Heavy bleeding during periods is a medical condition known as menorrhagia. You may have periods for a long time than usual.  

Lack or excess progesterone and estrogen are the most common causes of menorrhagia.

Heavy periods may or may not indicate a health problem, but heavy bleeding that occurs frequently may raise concern. Here are some of the conditions and situations that might lead to heavy periods:

  • Excess body fat, since the estrogen produced by fat cells, disrupts the menstrual cycle.
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Fibroid and polyps in the uterus
  • Kidney and liver disorder
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Von Willebrand’s disease and other bleeding disorders
  • Blood-thinning medicines and copper intrauterine devices can also induce heavy periods
  • Severe menstrual bleeding can result in anaemia, which develops when the body lacks sufficient iron

Unusual Bleeding 

Unusual bleeding includes unusual heavy or frequent bleeding or bleeding after sexual activity.

Also, unusual bleeding includes menstrual irregularities.

Bleeding in between menstrual cycles is a sign of unusual periods. Furthermore, if you have heavy bleeding, it might also be a sign of uterine abnormalities.

Missing Periods (amenorrhea)

Lack of bleeding during monthly periods is known as missing periods(amenorrhea).

Primary amenorrhea means not having your first period by the age of 16. It may be the result of a pituitary gland disorder. Furthermore, it is a congenital abnormality of the female reproductive system or a delay in puberty.

Secondary amenorrhea occurs when a woman has not had a period for at least six months.

Among the most common causes of teen amenorrhea, both primary and secondary are:

  • Anorexia
  • Very active thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
  • Cystic ovarian lesions
  • Abnormal weight gain or loss
  • Discontinuation of birth control
  • Pregnancy

However, the common causes of missing periods in the case of adults are: 

  • Pregnancy 
  • Breastfeeding
  • Premature ovarian failure 
  • Discontinuation of birth control 
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Premature ovarian failure

Menstrual Migraine 

Hormonal fluctuations that cause a headache during menstruation is known as menstrual migraine

Migraine is a disorder that frequently results in moderate-to-severe headaches on one side of the head. The most common symptom is throbbing pain, although many people also feel the following:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Light sensitivity
  • Light sensitivity
  • Auras (audio-visual abnormalities that typically manifest before other symptoms)

Menstrual migraine sufferers frequently experience headaches on or around their periods.

Diagnosis 

To diagnose your menstrual problems your doctor will ask about your symptoms and duration of periods. Therefore, you must keep track and do an analysis by yourself before making an appointment. The track record will help your doctor in diagnosing. 

Further, your doctor will likely do a pelvic exam in addition to a physical examination. A pelvic exam enables your doctor to evaluate your reproductive organs and identify if your vagina or cervix is inflamed. 

Blood tests can determine if hormonal abnormalities are causing your menstruation problems. However, if you are pregnant your doctor will do a blood or urine pregnancy test during your appointment.

To diagnose excessive menstrual bleeding, commonly known as menorrhagia, your doctor will do a comprehensive medical examination. It is to determine if your issue is caused by an underlying medical condition. This may have hormonal or anatomical causes, such as fibroids. The examination consists of many tests. Examples include:

1. Ultrasound

To generate a picture, high-frequency sound waves are reflected off pelvic structures. This test known as a sono-hysterography may include filling your uterus with a saline solution. There is no need for anaesthetic for this procedure.

2. Endometrial Biopsy

The inner lining of your uterus is scraped away to extract a small sample of tissue. Under a microscope, the tissue is examined for any potential problems, including cancer.

3. Hysteroscopy

During this diagnostic procedure, a hysteroscope is used to see the uterine cavity. Sometimes, general anaesthesia is utilised. Also, the operation can be conducted in a hospital or a doctor’s office.

4.Dilation and Curettage (D&C)

The cervix is dilated and tools are used to scrape away the uterine lining during a D&C. Additionally, a D&C can be done to treat heavy bleeding. Furthermore, it treats bleeding that does not respond to conventional treatments. It is conducted under local anaesthetic on an outpatient basis.

Treatments 

There are several treatments for menstrual problems. Based on the problem, treatment may consist of:

  • NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines) to treat pain
  • Hormonal implant or IUD
  • Cyclic progestin
  • Oral contraceptives may adjust hormone levels to minimise excessive or irregular bleeding
  • Tranexamic acid (medication that decreases bleeding)

A doctor prescribes surgery and medicines if they find another health issue to be the cause of the menstrual problems.

When to See a Doctor?

Contact your doctor if you’ve had regular monthly periods in the past, but the pattern changes. To check out pregnancy or a health condition, your doctor may do a physical examination and other tests.

Get an appointment with your doctor if you have any of these symptoms:

  • You miss at least three periods every year.
  • Your menstruation occurs more frequently than every 21 days.
  • Your menstruation occurs less frequently than every 35 days.
  • You are experiencing heavier than usual menstrual blood.
  • You bleed longer than seven days.
  • You have more discomfort throughout your menstruation.

Bottom Line 

Regular periods may indicate that the reproductive system is working normally.

Meanwhile, it is common to have irregular periods. Therefore, the occasional weak or heavy flow is often not a cause for concern.

However, if you have significant discomfort or a heavy flow along with blood clots, you should immediately see your doctor.

Additionally, if your periods are less than 21 days apart or more than 35 days apart, you must seek medical assistance.