Menstrual cycles often bring various uncomfortable symptoms leading up to your period. In medical medium menstruation problems, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) holds the most common issues, such as mild cramping and fatigue, which usually fade when your period starts.
However, more serious menstrual problems may also happen. Menstruation that is too heavy or too light or the complete absence of a cycle suggests other issues contributing to an abnormal menstrual cycle.
Remember that for every woman, the menstrual cycle can be different. A period cycle that is regular for you may be abnormal for someone else. Therefore, it is essential to stay in tune with your body and talk to your doctor if you notice significant changes to your menstrual cycle.
Over the years, you may experience several different menstrual problems, such as:
PMS transpires one to two weeks before your period begins. Some women undergo a range of physical and emotional symptoms. While others experience few symptoms or even none at all. PMS can cause:
- Breast soreness
- Food cravings
- Excessive fatigue
- Feelings of stress
- Mild stomach cramps
You may encounter diverse symptoms every month, and the severity of these symptoms can also vary. PMS is uncomfortable indeed, but it is generally not worrisome unless it interrupts your normal activities.
Another common menstrual issue is a heavy period, also called menorrhagia. Heavy periods cause you to bleed more than usual, and you may also have your period for longer than the expected 5 to 7 days.
Menorrhagia is mainly caused by imbalances in hormone levels, particularly progesterone and estrogen.
Other causes of heavy or irregular menstrual bleeding are:
- Vaginal infections
- Inflammation of the cervix
- Underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism)
- Noncancerous uterus tumors (fibroids)
- Changes in diet or exercise
In some cases, women may not get their period, which is called amenorrhea. Primary amenorrhea is when you do not get your first period by age 16. It may cause an issue with the pituitary gland, a genetic disability of the female reproductive system, or a delay in puberty. Another type, called secondary amenorrhea, happens when you stop getting your regular six months or more.
Common causes of primary amenorrhea and secondary amenorrhea in teens are:
- Overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism)
- Ovarian cysts
- Sudden weight gain or loss
- Stopping birth control
When adults do not menstruate, the common causes are often distinct. It may be because of:
- Premature ovarian failure
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (a reproductive infection)
- Stopping birth control
A missed period could mean that you are pregnant; however, it is not always the case. If you miss your periods, you should get a pregnancy test to ensure the reason. If it comes out negative, visit your doctor and get further tests to see what is causing this situation.
In medical medium menstruation problems, periods may be more painful than usual. Cramps are normal during PMS and transpire when your uterus contracts as your period begin. However, some women experience excruciating pain, called dysmenorrhea, which is extremely painful menstruation likely linked to an underlying medical problem, such as:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Abnormal tissue growth outside of the uterus (endometriosis)
Diagnosing Menstrual Problems
The first step in diagnosing menstrual problems is to visit your doctor. Your doctor inquires you about your symptoms and how long you have been experiencing them. It would be helpful to come prepared with notes on your menstrual cycle, its regularity, and any symptoms you have been experiencing. Your doctor can use these notes to assess what is abnormal.
Besides a physical exam, your doctor will likely do a pelvic exam. A pelvic exam permits your doctor to assess your reproductive organs and check if your vagina or cervix is inflamed. A Pap smear will also be conducted to rule out the possibility of cancer or other underlying conditions.
Moreover, blood tests can help determine whether hormonal imbalances provoke your menstrual problems. If you suspect that you may be pregnant, your doctor will order a blood or urine pregnancy test during your visit.
Other tests include:
- Endometrial biopsy, which is used to extract a sample of your uterine lining that can be sent for further analysis.
- Hysteroscopy, in which a tiny camera is inserted into your uterus to help your doctor find abnormalities.
- Ultrasound, which is used to produce a picture of your uterus.
Treating Menstrual Problems
Treatment depends on what is causing the problems with your menstrual cycle. Birth control pills can ease symptoms of PMS and regulate heavy flows. If the flow is related to a thyroid or other hormonal disorder, you may experience more regularity once you start hormone replacements.
Likewise, dysmenorrhea may be hormone-related, but you may need further medical treatment to address the problem. For instance, antibiotics are used to treat pelvic inflammatory diseases.
Irregularities between periods are typical, and thus, the rare light or heavy flow is generally not serious. However, you should call your doctor right away if you experience severe pain or a heavy flow with blood clots. It is also advised to get medical attention if your periods happen less than 21 days apart or more than 35 days. You can book an appointment with the best Gynecologists in Islamabad for more information.