Do your periods come regularly as they should? Do they cause much trouble? If they are accompanied by a number of problems like pain and heavy bleeding, you need to address it with your doctor immediately because irregular periods are a common symptom of female health issues.
Irregular Periods Causes: What Is Normal?
A menstrual cycle is considered normal if it lasts 21-35 days. Typically, menstruation lasts 3-5 days. During this time, typically 50-100 ml of blood is released. This is not very helpful because it is not practical to measure the volume of blood lost each month. This is roughly 3-6 tablespoons of blood.
Before each menstruation sensitivity of mammary glands increases in many women, some women experience increased fatigue and irritability. If before or during your period you feel completely overwhelmed and cannot do without pain relievers, it’s the first signal that there is a problem and it needs to be addressed. After all, menstruation is a physiological process that should not knock you off your feet and cause suffering.
A menstrual cycle is also considered abnormal when its duration is inconsistent, intermittent, bleeding is too light or too heavy.
Types of Menstrual Disorders
There are several types of menstrual disorders. Here are the most common ones:
A woman feels aching or cramping pain in the lower abdomen, the sacral region, and in the lower back. Such symptoms can last from several hours to several days. Sometimes dysmenorrhea can indicate fibroids, endometriosis, or rarely an arteriovenous malformation as well as chronic or inflammatory diseases. Women should regularly visit their OB/GYN to keep track of their symptoms and overall health.
In this case, menstruation comes rarely (>35 days or long menstrual cycle). As a woman gets older and particularly when she approaches menopause, this is a very common occurrence. Often for a woman suffering from oligomenorrhea it is difficult to get pregnant.
Bleeding sometimes occurs between periods. If it is not accompanied by pain or other debilitating symptoms, women may not pay much attention to it. After all, possible explanations can include stress, lack of sleep/rest or taking oral contraceptives. However, it is also possible that bleeding occurs due to uterine fibroids, polyps, possible infections, or other causes.
⇒ Related: Uterine Fibroids Overview
Amenorrhea stands for absence of menstruation that can occur at any age due to physiological causes like pregnancy or breastfeeding, menopause, etc. But absence of menstruation in a physically healthy woman for no obvious reason requires seeking help from a specialist.
Amenorrhea is considered the most serious (and fortunately, rare) pathology of menstrual function. It can also affect the psycho-emotional and sexual aspects of your life.
Key Causes of Irregular Menstrual Cycle
The exact reasons are very different in each individual case. They can include gynecological disorders, dysfunction of various organs, lifestyle reasons, and psycho-emotional causes. Let’s take a closer look at the most common factors that can trigger cycle irregularities and delays.
- Pregnancy. If you use unreliable contraceptive methods (interrupted sexual intercourse, for example) and your period does not come on time, take a pregnancy test.
- Ovary disorders, issues with adrenal glands, thyroid, and other organs.
- Taking medication without consulting your doctor can affect your menstrual cycle. The same applies to oral contraceptives.
- Irregularities are possible if you drastically dropped or gained weight. Strict diets can cause a complete cessation of menstruation, so you should be careful with drastic weight changes. Strenuous physical activity (ex. marathon training) can also cause this.
- Cold, flu or chronic diseases. Any change in your health, even a slight increase in body temperature, can cause irregular menstruation.
- Severe physical exhaustion.
- • Gynecological conditions like uterine fibroids, adenomyosis, endometriosis, and ovarian cysts.
When Should I Be Alarmed?
If your cycle is irregular or absent, you should not wait. Of course, a one-time delay is possible sometimes but two irregular periods in a row are a sufficient reason to schedule an appointment with your doctor. As a result, you may need treatment for conditions that cause irregular cycles. If the cause is adenomyosis or uterine fibroids (among a few other serious conditions), it needs to be addressed as soon as possible. It’s also important to know that uterine fibroids and adenomyosis do not require surgery. Both of these conditions can be successfully treated with a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure covered by all insurance carriers. This procedure is uterine artery embolization (UAE) or uterine fibroid embolization (UFE).
To learn more about UFE and uterine fibroids or adenomyosis contact Atlanta Fibroid Center at 770-953-2600 or make an appointment online at ATLii.com.