Abnormal Menstruation (Periods), Causes and Remedies for Menstrual Cramps

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Abnormal Menstruation

Most women have menstrual periods that last four to seven days. A woman’s period usually occurs every 28 days, but regular menstrual cycles can range from 21 days to 35 days.

Typically, menstrual periods last four to seven days. Examples of menstrual problems include periods that occur less than 21 days or more than 35 days apart, missing three or more periods in a row, and menstrual flow that is much heavier or lighter than usual, Periods that last longer than seven days, Periods that are accompanied by pain, cramping, nausea or vomiting.

Bleeding or spotting that happens between periods, after menopause or following sex. Amenorrhea is a condition in which a woman’s periods have stopped completely. Oligomenorrhea refers to periods that occur infrequently. Dysmenorrhea refers to painful periods and severe menstrual cramps. Some discomfort during the cycle is standard for most women.

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Abnormal uterine bleeding may apply to a variety of menstrual irregularities, including a more massive menstrual flow, a period that lasts longer than seven days, or bleeding or spotting between periods, after sex, or after menopause. There are many causes of abnormal periods, ranging from stress to more serious underlying medical conditions.

Most birth control pills contain a combination of the hormones estrogen and progestin (some contain progestin alone). The pills prevent pregnancy by keeping the ovaries from releasing eggs. Going on or off birth control pills can affect menstruation.

Uterine polyps are small benign (noncancerous) growths in the lining of the uterus. Uterine fibroids are tumors that attach to the wall of the uterus. These tumors are usually harmless, but they may cause heavy bleeding and pain during periods. If the fibroids are large, they might put pressure on the bladder or rectum, causing discomfort.

The endometrial tissue that lines the uterus breaks down every month and is discharged with the menstrual flow. Endometriosis occurs when the endometrial tissue starts to grow outside the womb. Endometriosis may cause abnormal bleeding, cramps, or pain before and during periods, and painful intercourse.

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a bacterial infection that affects the female reproductive system. Bacteria may enter the vagina via sexual contact and then spread to the uterus and upper genital tract. Symptoms of PID include a heavy vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odor, irregular periods, pain in the pelvis and lower abdominal areas, fever, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

In polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the ovaries make large amounts of androgens, which are male hormones. Small fluid-filled sacs (cysts) may form in the ovaries. Sometimes a woman with polycystic ovary syndrome will have irregular periods or stop menstruating altogether.

Premature ovarian insufficiency occurs in women under age 40 whose ovaries do not function normally. The menstrual cycle stops, similar to menopause.

Other causes of abnormal menstruation include uterine cancer or cervical cancer medications, such as steroids or anticoagulant drugs (blood thinners), medical conditions, such as bleeding disorders, and under- or overactive thyroid gland, or pituitary disorders that affect hormonal balance, complications associated with pregnancy, including miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy.

Every woman has a different body, and listening to your body can help you a lot!

Until next time,

Team Doctor ASKY!

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