Uterus contains two different types of tissue. Its inner, thin tissue is called the endometrium. The thick outer tissue is called myometrium. Menstruation (monthly period) occurs 10-14 days after ovulation (release of the egg). In women with regular ovulation and menstruation, the endometrium is prepared for pregnancy each month. If the woman does not get pregnant that month, the endometrium is shed during the menstrual period. This manifests itself as menstrual bleeding. Since ovulation no longer occurs in menopause, the endometrium does not grow and shed. So menstrual bleeding is not expected.
Under normal conditions, each menstrual bleeding is expected to be less than 5 pads per day and last for 2-7 days. Having a menstruation every 24-35 days is considered normal. Disruption of this order is defined as irregular periods.
There are some definitions about irregular periods. These definitions are as follows:
Hypermenorrhoea: The amount of menstrual bleeding is higher than normal (heavy bleeding)
hypomenorrhea: The amount of menstrual bleeding is very low compared to normal
Menometrorrhagia: Abnormally heavy, prolonged, and irregular uterine bleeding.
Menorrhagia: Heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding
Metrorrhagia: Vaginal bleeding at irregular intervals, particularly between the expected menstrual periods.
Oligomenorrhea: Menstrual periods occurring at intervals of greater than 35 days
Polymenorrhoea: Menstrual cycles with intervals of 21 days or fewer
The definitions here are extremely important as they greatly affect the treatment process.
Causes of Irregular Periods
A healthy menstrual cycle depends on the level of hormones and the general health of the woman. If some problems occur here, irregular menstrual cycles can be triggered. Initially, menstrual delay or early menstrual period occur and after a while it becomes clear that menstrual irregularities are experienced. Primary factors causing this problem can be listed as follows:
- Abnormal changes in hormone levels
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Fibroids in the uterus
- Adverse effect of the drugs used
- Being under stress
- Some adversities occurring in the uterus
- Negative effects of uterine cancer
The factors mentioned here may not cause irreguler periods in every woman. However, it should not be forgotten that these are the main causes of the aforementioned disease in general.
In every age group, irregular periods result from different causes and have different importance.
How is an Irregular Period Treated?
In order to treat irregular periods, a correct diagnosis must be made. Temporary menstrual irregularities can be followed up and resolved with recommendations without treatment. The purpose of managing irregular periods is to identify the underlying problem and to provide treatment accordingly. For this purpose, gynecological examination, blood tests and sometimes endometrial biopsy may be required. According to the underlying cause, the ideal treatment is planned.