When to see a doctor for Menstrual Irregularities?


Explore the common causes of menstruation abnormalities and learn when it’s appropriate to see a doctor. With the help of this insightful guide, you can take charge of your reproductive health and guarantee a more joyful, balanced menstrual cycle.

Around 14% to 25% of women of childbearing age are affected by menstrual irregularities, as per a National Institute of Health study. Menstrual abnormalities still go unnoticed, though the majority of women go through it in their lifetime. This is why it is essential for women to be aware of the signs and symptoms of menstrual irregularities and to take the necessary steps to treat them. Regular check-ups with a healthcare professional are also recommended.

What causes irregular periods?

A regular menstrual cycle generally lasts for around 4-7 days for a menstruating woman, with an average cycle length of approximately 28-29 days. 
Irregular periods are caused when there are deviations from your normal menstrual cycle, showing up sooner or later than usual. 

Menstrual abnormalities can have various reasons, including;
PCOS, thyroid disorder, perimenopause, lifestyle factors like stress, excessive exercise, fluctuations in weight, medical conditions like uterine fibroids, endometriosis, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), medications like certain types of contraceptives or anticoagulants, pregnancy, breastfeeding, perimenstrual disorders etc.. can be one of the reasons.

Understanding the types of menstrual irregularities:

  • Menorrhagia: It’s when you have prolonged and excessive menstrual bleeding. Hormonal conditions that affect the uterus can cause heavy bleeding.
  • Oligomenorrhea: For those who experience periods that are so infrequent, you may wonder where your period has gone for more than 35 days in a month.
  • Metrorrhagia: With Metrorrhagia, your cycle’s length varies and is often inconsistent.
  • Bleeding between periods: It’s as if your period forgot its appointment and unexpectedly appeared. Contraceptive usage, infection, injury, endometriosis or polyps in your uterus can be some of the reasons for bleeding between your periods.

Common causes of menstrual irregularities

Menstrual abnormalities can be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from brief to more severe problems:

Stress and lifestyle
Unhealthy eating habits, rapid weight changes, excessive exercise, and stressful lifestyles can all disrupt your hormone balance. The remedy? Sometimes, all it takes is lowering your stress level and achieving peace of mind

Hormonal Imbalances: 
Diseases like thyroid problems or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) can cause hormonal imbalances. Medical intervention may be necessary for them.

Certain medicines, such as anticoagulants or contraceptives, can make periods unpredictable. If this pattern persists, it’s crucial to bring up alternative medications with your doctor.

Uterine Growths:
Uterine polyps or fibroids can cause severe or prolonged bleeding. They may occasionally require a quick procedure to return your periods to their regular phase.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID):
STIs frequently cause PID and can result in unpredictable bleeding. If this happens, you need to schedule a doctor’s appointment.

Pregnancy and Miscarriage: 
You guessed correctly. Occasionally, the irregularity can also be caused due to “Pregnancy.” It’s time to get advice from a specialist. Support and attention are essential if it turns out to be a miscarriage.

Hormonal variations might cause irregular periods as you get closer to the menopausal stage. Although it is natural, discussing it with a healthcare professional might help manage the symptoms.

When to consult a doctor?

Now that you know the potential cause of the twist in your period, when should you visit the doctor? Here are the reasons;

Severe Pain:
See a doctor if your menstruation pain is so painful that it affects your day-to-day activities.This is especially true if it is accompanied by symptoms that are cause for concern, such as fever or vomiting.

Heavy Bleeding:
Suppose you’re using one pad or tampon per hour for several hours or passing big clots that look scary or unusual. In that case, you should have your doctor’s number handy.

Irregular Cycles:
An irregular cycle that occurs occasionally is not a severe problem. Still, you should let your doctor know if it lasts three or more processes.

Missed Periods and Negative Pregnancy Test:
If you’ve been having unprotected intercourse and your period is missing, it’s time to take a pregnancy test. Talk to your doctor if it’s damaging when your period hasn’t shown up after a few months.

Bleeding Between Periods: 
Your healthcare practitioner should be alert to any unexpected bleeding between your scheduled period days

Underlying Health concerns: 
Suppose you have underlying health conditions like PCOS, endometriosis, or thyroid concerns. In that case, you should inform your doctor whenever irregularities appear.

To all adolescent women: 
Young women just starting their menstrual journey should see a doctor if their cycles continue to be irregular after the first few years.Your menstrual cycle is your body’s version of a robust code that only you can interpret. You may take control of your health by recognising the typical reasons for your menstrual abnormalities and when to consult a doctor.

Keep in mind that your reproductive health is specific to you. Your healthcare professional is only a phone call away if something seems strange or causes concern.  So equip yourself with the right knowledge, and embrace a calm period journey.

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