Some women’s menstrual cycles differ from what is considered normal. Menstrual disorders are quite frequent (in the States, 14% to 25% of women of childbearing age report menstrual irregularities) and are probably the most common reason why women choose to see their gynecologist.
Experts at Women’s Care of Bradenton recommend all menstruating people to regularly book their exams and report any issues they notice because menstruation irregularities appear in different variations. Obstetrics and gynecology in Bradenton, Florida provides careful examination and diagnosis of all menstrual disorders. To find out more about irregular menstruation, here are the types of different disorders to keep an eye on:
Menorrhagia or Heavy Bleeding
Menorrhagia is the most common abnormality during the menstrual period, and it involves overly heavy menstrual bleeding that lasts more than seven days. Some women report that their daily activities are affected by their menorrhagia.
The reasons behind this type of abnormal period vary from woman to woman, but they mostly include:
- hormonal imbalance
- pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
- uterine fibroids (benign uterine growths)
- ectopic pregnancy
- pelvic infections
- tumors and polyps
- birth control devices such as IUDs.
Women who have high levels of prostaglandins and endothelins or those that suffer from liver, kidney, or thyroid issues might find the cause of their abnormal period hiding behind these problems.
A simple way to recognize menorrhagia symptoms is to watch sanitary pad or tampon use—if they require hourly changing, this is a clear sign of menorrhagia. Also, if the menstrual period lasts for more than seven days, it’s a symptom that shouldn’t be ignored.
Oligomenorrhea or Infrequent Menstruation
Oligomenorrhea is an occurrence of infrequent menstruation that happens more than 35 days apart. It’s a common condition in early adolescence, mainly in the first year after the first period, as well as in perimenopause. When women first get their period, the cycle usually takes several years to regulate, and the length ends up varying from woman to woman (from every three weeks to every five weeks). While oligomenorrhea falls under menstrual disorders, it’s not a reason to be extremely concerned as long as you consult with your doctor.
Amenorrhea or Missing Period
Amenorrhea is a condition that involves a missing period for more than three menstrual cycles. It can be primary (first menstruation doesn’t appear by the age of 16) and secondary (regular menstrual period becomes abnormal and absent). This condition can be triggered by various health reasons like pregnancy, breastfeeding, or menopause, but it can also appear due to medical issues like anatomical abnormalities, eating disorders, thyroid disorders, excessive exercise, and even certain lifestyle habits.
It’s important to find a good gynecologist if you experience missed menstruations. There are experts who offer OBGYN services that include exams and diagnostics. With an early diagnosis of amenorrhea and proper treatment prescribed by your health provider, it’s possible to address the underlying conditions of missing periods and ensure normal menstruation.
Dysmenorrhea or Heavy Menstrual Cramps
This syndrome is characterized by abnormal period cramps of the severe and frequent kind. Dysmenorrhea can be primary and secondary, and the causes of abnormal pain depend greatly on the type of dysmenorrhea. Primary dysmenorrhea is caused by a chemical imbalance in the body, and it results in irregular uterine contractions. On the other hand, secondary dysmenorrhea is caused by various gynecological medical conditions.
If you consult with your doctor, they might diagnose you with the condition after an exam and tell you all about the symptoms of dysmenorrhea. The symptoms that should motivate menstruating people to see the doctor are extreme lower abdomen cramping and pain, lower back pain, leg pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, fainting, and headaches.
Premenstrual Syndrome or PMS
Premenstrual Syndrome or PMS is an irregular, unpleasant and uncomfortable symptom of menstruation that can temporarily disturb your normal lifestyle. Symptoms of PMS can last anywhere between hours to several days, and they are extremely individual to the person. The more severe form of PMS is called Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) and it’s less common than regular PMS (it affects between 3%and 8% of menstruating persons).
According to research conducted by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, almost nine in ten women experience at least one symptom of PMS during their menstruating years, and one in ten has symptoms that are so severe they are disabling. Extreme cases of PMS and PMDD can be treated by a gynecologist.
Almost all issues with your period can be treated when you have experienced doctors on your side. If you react quickly, your gynecologist can help make your menstruation as pleasant as possible. Are you concerned about the health of your period, or know someone who struggles with their menstruation? Share this article, and let’s help as many women as we can.