Periods are the part of the menstrual cycle in which the females have vaginal discharge. During periods, the endometrium (the inner lining of the uterus) is shed, which causes bleeding that is released through vagina. Usually, periods occur during puberty, between the age of 10-16 and continue until a female reaches menopause, which comes around 45-55 years of age.
Irregular periods, medically known as oligomenorrhea can occur due to various reasons including hormonal or other changes. Hormonal imbalance or change in the body, methods of contraception, strenuous exercise or some certain medical conditions can cause irregular periods. The normal duration of a female’s menstrual cycle is 28 days. But the duration of the menstrual cycle varies from woman to woman. Periods are called irregular when the duration of a menstrual cycle is more than 35 days or if the duration of each menstrual cycle varies.
Typically, a menstrual cycle is called abnormal or irregular in the following cases:-
- If periods last longer than 7 days
- If missing 3 or more menstrual cycle in a row
- If periods occur less than 21 days (known as polymenorrhagia)
- If periods occur more than 35 days (known as oligomenorrhea)
- If the blood flow of periods is much heavier or lighter than the usual
- Excessive cramps, pain, nausea or vomiting during periods (known as dysmenorrhea)
Irregular periods are caused by hormonal imbalance or underlying several health conditions. There are various possible reasons that lead to irregular periods. It is always a good idea to consult with an expert gynaecologist if you are experiencing this problem. Below are the common causes of irregular periods:-
- Uterine fibroids
- Eating disorders
- Excessive exercises
- Depression or stress
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Primary ovarian insufficiency
- Sudden weight loss or weight gain
- Hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism
When To See A Gynaecologist In Case Of Irregular Periods?
You should visit a gynaecologist if you do not have a regular monthly period cycle, abnormally heavy or light periods, excess bleeding between period cycles or frequent spotting. If you are experiencing heavy or frequent periods, you lose a lot of blood. Due to this, you may suffer from other problems such as weakness, anemia, feeling lightheaded or dizzy. You should visit a gynaecologist right away if you notice bleeding after menopause or bleeding during pregnancy as they are a cause of concern that needs immediate medical attention.
Sometimes, structural problems or scarring in the uterus or fallopian tubes can also lead to irregular periods. In such cases, the gynaecologist may recommend surgery to correct the structural problems or birth defects.
Precisely, you should visit a gynaecologist for irregular periods if you experience the following:-
- Sudden high fever
- Unusual hair growth
- Discharge from nipple
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
- Bleeding after sexual intercourse
- Sudden weight gain or weight loss
- Bleeding or spotting between periods
- Severe abdominal or pelvic pain or cramps
- Heavy bleeding that needs more than one tampon or pad in an hour
You should see a gynaecologist as soon as possible if you experience irregular periods or other problems related to menstrual cycle.
Treatment Of Irregular Periods
Treatment of irregular periods depends on the cause of the problem. In most of the cases, the gynaecologist cures irregular periods by treating underlying causes such as endometriosis, fibroids, PCOS, etc. The surgical treatment for these conditions is a hysterectomy. During this surgical procedure, the gynaecologist removes the uterus. After analyzing the condition, the expert doctor may decide to remove the whole or only some part of the uterus. Below are the four types of hysterectomy that a gynaecologist performs.
Subtotal Hysterectomy: During this procedure, the gynaecologist takes out only a small part of the uterus while leaving the cervix intact.
Total Hysterectomy: As the name itself suggests, the gynaecologist removes the whole uterus including the cervix during this procedure.
Hysterectomy And Oophorectomy: In this surgical procedure, the gynaecologist removes the uterus as well as one/both the ovaries and or fallopian tubes.
This can be further categorized into three categories depending on the procedure of hysterectomy.
Abdominal Hysterectomy: During this procedure, the gynaecologist makes a large incision in the abdomen and removes the uterus through the incision.
Vaginal Hysterectomy: In vaginal hysterectomy, the gynaecologist takes out the uterus through a small cut made in the vagina.
Laparoscopic Hysterectomy: In this procedure, the gynaecologist makes 3-4 small incisions. After that the gynaecologist takes out the uterus with the help of a camera-mounted device called laparoscope.
Prevention Of Irregular Periods
There are several holistic remedies that a woman can follow to get the menstrual cycle back on track. Below are the following things that you can do to prevent irregular periods.
Practicing yoga on a regular basis can be helpful if you are suffering from irregular periods. Apart from reducing menstrual pain, yoga also helps in coping up with symptoms such as depression and anxiety. Yoga is considered beneficial as it regulates hormones as well as menstruation cycles.
Obese women are more likely to suffer from irregular periods, especially heavy bleeding and severe pain. The fat cells impact the hormones responsible for ovulation in a negative way. Hence, balancing a healthy weight becomes extremely important for a woman experiencing irregular periods. Also, to maintain a healthy weight, you should exercise on a regular basis.
If you experience any symptoms of irregular periods, you should see a gynaecologist as soon as possible. Delaying can lead to other serious complications. To get the best guidance and treatment, we would suggest you to contact Pristyn Care. They have highly experienced and skilled gynaecologists. You can book an appointment with one of their best gynaecologists now.