Irregular periods, missed periods, heavy flow, painful cramps, unmanageable mood swings, spotting while not on your period, using more than five pads a day, or having large blood clots is not normal. A normal menstrual flow occurs every 21 to 35 days and lasts for two to seven days. In case of any abnormality (longer or shorter), an immediate medical attention is very important.
When a woman’s body operate outside of the norm, it is hard to talk about it (periods) even to a healthcare professional since this topic is considered as a taboo. But discussing your feminine health problems is the first step to a healthy and strong body.
What is a normal menstruation cycle?
The menstrual cycle is a process a woman’s body goes through every month to prepare her body for pregnancy. There are two ovaries present in a female body where each month, one of the ovaries releases an egg (ovulation period) and simultaneously the hormones prepare the uterus for pregnancy. If the released egg isn't fertilized then, the lining of the uterus sheds through the vagina, this is a menstrual period. As every individual is unique, so is their menstruation cycle. A normal menstrual flow occurs every 21 to 35 days and lasts for two to seven days.
Types and Causes of Different Menstrual Problems If you are experiencing any one of the below-given menstruation problems, we suggest you consult with your OBGYN or general physician as soon as possible.
PMS (Premenstrual Symptoms)
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is a condition that affects a woman’s emotions and physical well-being at certain days before her menstrual cycle. The changing levels of estrogen and progesterone are said to be responsible for it.
How is it treated?
Your doctor will recommend you to:
• Exercise regularly
• Cut off caffeine
• Counseling sessions
• Vitamin supplements (calcium, magnesium, and vitamin B-6)
• Stress management
Abnormal Uterine Bleeding
Abnormal uterine bleeding is defined as excessive, infrequency in duration and amount of menstruation bleeding. A normal menstruation cycle runs for an average of 28 days where the bleeding “period” is between two and seven days. Any changes in this cycle are said to be abnormal. It is caused due to hormonal imbalance, pregnancy, physical abnormalities, and cancer. If the bleeding is in excess, then it is termed as Menorrhagia, and if the bleeding is scanty or less, then it is termed as Amenorrhea.
What causes Menorrhagia?
Excessive or prolonged bleeding or Menorrhagia is caused by a single or combination of the following health problems:
• PID (Pelvic inflammatory disease)
• The hormonal imbalance (prostaglandins: a chemical that controls the muscle contraction)
• Fibroids: Benign tumor in the uterus
• Recurrent miscarriage
• Ectopic pregnancy (tubal pregnancy)
• UTI (urinary tract infection)
• Benign tumors or polyps in the pelvic cavity
• Intrauterine devices (IUDs)
• Platelet disorders or liver, kidney or thyroid disease
What causes Amenorrhea?
The absence of menstrual periods for over three months is termed as Amenorrhea. It is of two types:
• Primary amenorrhea: It is when menstruation does not begin at puberty.
• Secondary amenorrhea: It is when regular menstrual periods become irregular or absent. It is caused due to:
• Thyroid disorder
• Eating disorder
• Ovulation abnormality
• Excessive or strenuous exercise
• Birth defect, anatomical abnormality or other medical condition
How is Abnormal Uterine Bleeding treated?
In the case of anatomic abnormality, it is surgically removed (e.g., polyps or fibroids are surgically removed). For chronic endometritis, antibiotics are prescribed, and the IUD is removed. Antibiotics are also a very effective urinary tract infection treatment option. If the condition is severe, then endometrial ablation or hysterectomy is suggested.
In case of severe bleeding which is normally seen in menarcheal girls and perimenopausal women, patients are treated with fluids and pregnancy, and bleeding dyscrasias is recommended. In less severe condition a progesterone shot and oral contraceptives are enough to control the situation.
Experiencing extremely painful cramps and shooting sensation (in your pelvic area) on your period days is not normal. This condition is called Dysmenorrhea. The pain is caused due to the insufficient supply of oxygen to the uterine muscles while contracting. The severity of the pain is said to decrease as a woman ages and is mostly resolved by childbirth. A pain as such should be addressed to a medical professional immediately.
What causes Dysmenorrhea?
The underlying causes of Dysmenorrhea can be any one or a combination of the following:
• Adenomyosis: A glandular growth into the myometrium
• Endometriosis: A condition where the uterine tissue grows outside the walls of the uterus
• Fibroids: Benign tumor in the uterus
• Endometritis: Uterine infection• Intrauterine devices (IUD)
• Ovarian cysts
What is the treatment?
Severe cases of Dysmenorrhea are treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents while mild dysmenorrhea is treated with measures such as heat, mild analgesics (painkiller), and exercises while.
If you are experiencing painful cramps, severe abdominal pain, or heavy and prolonged bleeding, it's never too late to speak to your doctor. Book an appointment now!