Most females have menstrual periods that last 4 to 7 days. A female’s period typically occurs every 28 days. However, normal menstrual cycles can range from 21 to 35 days. There are many causes behind irregular periods. A female has irregular periods if –
- Periods begin less than 21 days or more than 35 days apart
- Missing 3 or more periods in a row
- Much heavier or lighter flow than usual
- Periods that last longer than 7 days
- Extreme pain, cramping, nausea or vomiting
- Bleeding or spotting between periods,
- Bleeding or spotting after menopause or after having sex
What are the causes of irregular periods?
Changes in the level of the hormones estrogen and progesterone in the female’s body can disrupt normal periods. That is the reason why young females going through puberty and females approaching menopause commonly experience irregular periods.
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Common causes of irregular periods include:
- Uterine fibroids
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Eating disorders
- Premature ovarian failure
- Certain birth control pills or medications
- Too much exercise
- Pregnancy or breastfeeding
- Overactive thyroid or underactive thyroid
- Thickening of or polyps on the uterine lining
- Having an intrauterine device (IUD)
Consult an expert gynecologist if you have irregular periods or extreme symptoms of PMS.
When should you see a gynecologist for abnormal or irregular periods?
A female should consult a gynecologist if she has an irregular period cycle, abnormally heavy or light period flow, bleeding between periods, spotting or abnormal bleeding.
If a female is suffering from heavy or frequent periods, she may also be facing other problems such as weakness, anemia, feeling lightheaded or dizziness.
A female should visit a gynecologist right away if she has bleeding during pregnancy or after menopause. In some cases, irregular or abnormal bleeding can be a cause of concern and may need immediate medical attention.
A female should visit a gynecologist for irregular periods if she experiences-
- Heavy bleeding that requires more than one pad in an hour
- Bleeding or spotting between period cycle
- Bleeding or spotting after sex
- Abdominal pain and heaviness
- Pelvic pain
- High fever
- Abnormal vaginal discharge with a foul smell
- Unexplained sudden weight gain or weight loss
- Nipple discharge
- Unusual hair growth
A female should visit a gynecologist right away if she is experiencing irregular periods. Consult the best gynecologist for irregular periods or other menstrual problems to get relief from irregular periods. Talk to expert gynecologists at Pristyn Care for painless treatment for irregular periods.
What tests will the gynecologist do for irregular periods?
The gynecologist will ask you about your medical history and the nature of your previous period cycles. Also speak to your gynecologist if you have a family history of menstrual disorders or abnormalities. The gynecologist may suggest to undergo some medical tests to help diagnose the cause of irregular bleeding, including:
- blood tests
- pelvic examination
- abdominal ultrasound
- transvaginal and pelvic ultrasound
- CT scan
The treatment of irregular periods will normally depend on the cause, as mentioned below:
For puberty and menopause: Irregular periods which occur during puberty or as the female approaches menopause usually do not need treatment and resolve on their own.
PCOS and obesity: In cases of PCOS, or obesity losing weight can help stabilize the period cycle. A lower body weight means that the body will not need to produce so much insulin. This can result in lower testosterone levels and better ovulating.
Thyroid problems or Diabetes: if the female is suffering from irregular periods due to thyroid problems or uncontrolled diabetes, treatment for the underlying problem will be suggested. The gynecologist may prescribe medication, or suggest to undergo radioactive iodine therapy or surgery.
Birth control: If irregular periods are due to birth control pills, and it is likely to continue for several months, the female should talk to a gynecologist about other options if birth control pills are the reason for irregular menstruation.
If the bleeding is severe or cannot be controlled with non-surgical methods, the gynecologist may suggest the female to undergo hysterectomy..
In females over the age of 30 or 35, abnormal changes in the uterine lining start to be more common explanations for irregular periods and “breakthrough” bleeding in between the period cycles. When the female’s child-bearing is complete, there are other treatment options for heavy periods. The gynecologist may suggest hysterectomy if other treatment options have failed to treat the condition.
The surgical treatment for curing such conditions like irregular periods, heavy bleeding or other bleeding disorders is a hysterectomy. In this surgery, the surgeon will remove the uterus. After analyzing the condition, the gynecologist may decide if you need a subtotal or total hysterectomy. The gynecologist may also suggest hysterectomy and Oophorectomy, during which the uterus as well as one/both the ovaries and/or fallopian tubes will be removed. Consult the best gynecologists for hysterectomy surgery to get rid of irregular periods.