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Women's Health

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Treating Irregular Periods

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Menstruation is the time of month when the womb (uterus) sheds its lining and vaginal bleeding occurs. This is known as a menstrual period.

Periods vary widely from woman to woman. Some periods are punctual, some are unpredictable. On average, a woman gets her period every 24 to 38 days. A period usually lasts about two to eight days. Irregular periods may require treatment.

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What Are Irregular Periods?

You may have irregular periods if:

  • The time between each period starts to change.
  • You are losing more or less blood during a period than usual.
  • The number of days that your period lasts varies significantly.

There are different terms for different types of irregular periods:

  • Irregular Menstrual Bleeding (IrregMB): Bleeding of more than 20 days in individual cycle lengths over a period of one year.
  • Absent Menstrual Bleeding (amenorrhea): No bleeding in a 90-day period.
  • Heavy Menstrual Bleeding (HMB): Excessive menstrual blood loss that interferes with the woman’s physical, emotional, social, and material quality of life and can occur alone or in combination with other symptoms.
  • Heavy and Prolonged Menstrual Bleeding (HPMB): Less common than HMB. It is important to make a distinction from HMB given they may have different etiologies and respond to different therapies.
  • Light Menstrual Bleeding: Based on patient complaint, rarely related to pathology.

 

Do Irregular Periods Need Treatment?

Treatment of irregular periods depends on the cause and your desire to have children in the future. Irregular periods can be caused by many different things. Changes in your body's level of the hormones estrogen and progesterone can disrupt the normal pattern of your period. That's why young girls going through puberty and women approaching menopause commonly have irregular periods.

Other common causes of irregular periods include:

A less common cause is severe scarring (adhesions) of the lining of the uterus, a condition known as Asherman syndrome.

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