Menstruation is a major stage of puberty in girls and refers to physiological changes happening in women at regular intervals of 21-35 days. Menstrual period prepares women for sexual reproduction and fertilisation and having regular menstrual cycle is a clear sign of healthy individual. Any abnormalities such as delayed or early menstrual periods, excessive pain & bleeding during the periods indicate that you might be suffering from certain gynaecological conditions and require immediate medical intervention.
Menstrual irregularities – Abnormalities in menstrual cycle of woman is called as menstrual irregularities. Various menstrual irregularities include:
- Amenorrhea – No menstrual periods until the age of 16 years or absence of menstrual periods in the absence of pregnancy
- Dysmenorrhoea – Painful menstruation periods
- Menorrhagia – Excessive bleeding which lasts for 8 to 10 days
- Oligomenorrhoea – Irregularmenstrual periods or getting periods frequently
- Premature ovarian failure – Normal function of the ovary is stopped prior to when menopause is expected
- Uterine Fibroids – Non-cancerous tumours observed in women of child bearing potential
- Endometriosis – Tissues lining the uterus from inside grow outside the uterus (normally the tissue grows inside the uterus)
Woman may experience other symptoms such as burning while urinating, fever, painful bowel movements, vaginal discharge, painful cramps, and lower back pain. Menstrual irregularities should be diagnosed early to prevent complications such as infertility (inability to get pregnant), anaemia, haemorrhage, and uterine cancer.
I will discuss all the options for treatment providing you choices for both medications or surgery.
Treatment will depend on the cause, but may include:
- medication – such as prostaglandin inhibitors, hormone replacement therapy or antibiotics
- dilatation and curettage (D&C) – involving dilation and gentle scraping of the lining of the uterus
- change of contraception – it may be necessary to explore methods of contraception other than the IUD or hormones
- surgery – to remove tumours, polyps or fibroids or to treat ectopic pregnancy
- treatment of underlying disorders – such as hypothyroidism or a bleeding disorder
- hysterectomy – the removal of the entire uterus is a drastic last resort, generally only considered in cases where treatment for abnormal uterine bleeding, unless serious disease, such as cancer, is also present.