Menstrual cycle is the length of your cycle from the first day of your last period to the beginning of the next period. A normal menstrual cycle ranges from 21 to 35 days. Anything less than 21 or greater than 35 days is considered abnormal. Menstrual periods can be longer or shorter and can be heavy or light.

What are the causes of menstrual irregularities

  • Stress
  • Pregnancy
  • Contraceptive use
  • Breastfeeding
  • Menopause
  • Thyroid problems
  • Excessive exercise
  • Medications
  • Eating disorders
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Endometriosis

The most common menstrual irregularities experienced by women include;

  • Amenorrhea
  • Oligomenorhea
  • Menorrhagia
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Polymenorrhea
  • Intermenstrual bleeding

Amenorrhea: this is otherwise known as Absence of menstruation. It is seen when a woman is to expect menarche (first menstruation) which usually should be around ages 11-16 or when she stops getting her period for at least 3 months and she is not pregnant. The most common cause of amenorrhea is pregnancy. Other causes may be due to disorders of the reproductive tract or malfunction of any reproductive organ. Signs common with amenorrhea includes; pelvic pain, headache, milky nipple discharge, acne.

Treatment

This is given by a doctor after several tests like ultrasound is done. Treatment depends on the cause identified. Medications are given to correct dysfunction and sometimes surgery might be necessary

Oligomenorrhea: This is a condition of infrequent menstruation among women. Usually, periods occur every 21 to 35 days, a diagnosis of oligomenorrhea is made after 90 days without a period. Oligomenorrhea is indicated if after 35 days you don’t see your period and you are not on any birth control medication.

Treatment

Oligomenorrhea isn’t a serious menstrual disorder. Menstrual period are corrected or adjusted with use of hormonal birth control use. Relaxation techniques and meditation to cope with stress is an added remedy. Embracing a good dietary regimen is of added importance as well.

Menorrhagia

Is the medical term for menstrual periods which are abnormally heavy and prolonged. It is a common concern among women although the blood loss is not always severe to be termed menorrhagia. Menorrhagia can lead to extreme weakness and anemia if not controlled.

Treatment

After the doctor confirms the case through investigative tests like; ultrasound, blood tests and pap smear. Medications such as oral contraceptives and non-steroidal inflammatory drugs  to control excessive and prolonged  bleeding are prescribed.

Dysmenorrhea

This is a medical term for painful periods. It is commonly reported menstrual disorder. Pain occurs right before menstruation starts as prostaglandin release is high in the blood. However, dysmenorrhea varies in different individuals. It is influenced by factors like stress, diet, medications and disorders in the reproductive system

Treatment

Medications are often recommended to relieve pain. Other home remedies like; the uses of hot water bottle sleep, exercise and relaxation techniques are used to get added relief.

Polymenorrhea

This is a form of abnormal uterine bleeding. It describes a menstrual cycle lower than 21 days. It is often difficult for women with polymenorrhea to get pregnant because the ovulation periods and menstrual periods are irregular, shorter and unpredictable.

Treatment

This is done based on the underlining cause identified. A need to see a doctor is necessary.

Inter-menstrual bleeding: this is otherwise known medically as metrorrhagia. It is uterine bleeding experienced at irregular intervals, particularly between periods. It is a cause of spotting experienced between one period to another. Causes include; hormonal imbalance, cancer, miscarriage, dryness, stress, growth in cervix

Treatment

This is recommended after doctor discovers underlining cause of condition