Abnormal Menstrual Periods
Pelvis | Gynecology | Abnormal Menstrual Periods (Symptom)
Menstrual irregularities are characterized by abnormalities of a woman’s menstrual cycle. They can include conditions in which menstruation is irregular, heavy, painful, or does not occur at all.
The characteristics of the abnormality are the duration, interval, and amount of vaginal bleeding and these can define the type of abnormality responsible for the bleeding.
An abnormal duration of menstrual bleeding can be either bleeding for too long of a period called hypermenorrhea, or too short of a period, known as hypomenorrhea. The interval of the bleeding can be abnormal in several ways. A woman's menstrual periods can occur too frequently - polymenorrhea or too seldom - oligomenorrhea. Additionally, the duration can vary excessively from cycle to cycle (metrorrhagia).
The flow of bleeding can also be abnormal. Menorrhagia is associated with too much bleeding, while a low volume is called hypomenorrhea. The combination of excessive bleeding combined with bleeding outside of the expected time of menstruation is referred to as menometrorrhagia.
Abnormal bleeding, especially within a few hours of sexual intercourse, may indicate a disorder of the cervix, such as cervical ectopy or cancer of the cervix. For older women, sex may damage the walls of the vagina, which become thinner and more fragile after the menopause, causing bleeding.
The causes of menstrual irregularities include the following: pregnancy, hormonal imbalances or changes, infection like sexually transmitted diseases and other infections, malignancy such as cervical, uterine or vaginal cancer, trauma, and certain medications.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Early diagnosis and treatment of menstrual irregularities reduces the risk of serious complications, such as infertility and metastatic uterine cancer. Treatment of menstrual irregularities varies and depends of the individual case, the underlying cause, the severity of symptoms, and the presence of any complications.