Medical Conditions That Can Affect Monthly Periods
Not all women experience regular periods. In a recent study about delayed menstruations or irregular periods, a lot of factors have been defined as some may have preexisting medical issues that affect their monthly due. “Irregular” period may mean one of these things: a delayed or missed period, light and shorter menstrual periods, or unusually heavy blood flow. Furthermore, menstrual periods that arrive less than 21 days or after 35 days after your last period can be a sign of something serious.
On the other hand, irregular period in itself may not be something that you should be scared of. However, your irregular period may be due to underlying medical conditions that should be addressed immediately. In such cases, it may be time to consult a medical personnel if your irregular period persists from three months or more.
While lifestyle changes can help reverse the onset of irregular periods, there are times that you may have to consider medical treatment to reverse its effects. Unless you are not pregnant, the following medical conditions may be the culprit that’s causing your irregular periods.
Common causes of irregular monthly periods
Also known as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, PCOS affects around 10 percent of women who have reached child-bearing age. Aside from affecting a woman’s ability to conceive, PCOS can also cause hormonal imbalance and weight fluctuations. In more serious cases, PCOS can also lead to other medical issues such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Aside from lifestyle changes, medical treatments are also available for women suffering from PCOS.
In case you are not aware, your thyroid gland located in your neck regulate your metabolism. Likewise, your periods depend on your thyroid gland’s overall health. For example, if your thyroid gland is underactive – called hypothyroidism -- you can experience delayed, missed, lighter or heavier monthly periods. That is why doctors recommend thyroid screening if you are experiencing irregular periods.
Perhaps you have heard of this before, but it is actually a serious reproductive health issue that can affect a woman’s fertility. This condition occurs when the endometrium, the lining inside your uterus, grows outside the uterus. It results to tremendous pain and heavier monthly periods with blood clotting. In such cases, your doctor may prescribe pain relievers to alleviate the feeling of pain. Some may have to take hormonal medication and even surgery as last resort.
Von Willebrand disease is a blood disorder that can also cause heavy bleeding during menstruation for more than a week. It is said that von Willebrand disease affects 24 percent of women who experience chronic heavy menstrual periods. Hormonal medications are often given to women experiencing heavy menstrual flow, but it may not work for some women with the disease.
Also known as pelvic inflammatory disease, this medical condition occurs when some parts of your reproductive organs become infected with a sexually-transmitted disease, such as Chlamydia or gonorrhea. This condition can result to irregular bleeding, fever, painful cramps, and vaginal discharge. Antibiotics can help manage PID; but if left untreated, it can lead to infertility.
This medical condition involves excessive muscle cell growth in your uterus. Although this condition is generally not fatal, it can cause some serious discomfort such as heavy bleeding among women. In such cases, treatments are available which can also save your fertility, coupled with lifestyle changes.
According to one study, women with type 1 diabetes may experience longer menstrual cycles and heavier periods. In the same study, women were given birth control pills to help regulate their menstrual cycles. On the other hand, women with type 2 diabetes and are overweight are also found to experience longer menstrual cycles. Given the effects of diabetes in a woman’s menstrual cycle, it is best to consult your doctor if you are experiencing irregular menstrual periods for any possible symptoms of diabetes.
Whether you’re underweight or beyond normal weight, weight fluctuations can put you at high risk of irregular periods. According to experts, hormones are disrupted when you are malnourish, exercise or diet too much, or eat too much. Such irregular eating patterns can result to irregular menstrual periods. In such cases, there are treatments and medications available for eating problems.
Among common types of cancers that claim women’s lives every year include cervical and ovarian cancers, to name a few. On the other hand, endometrial cancer can be confused with perimenopause, which is why you should consult your doctor if you are experiencing irregular bleeding and possibly rule out cancer in such cases.
Meanwhile, cervical and ovarian cancer also cause irregular bleeding, and is best to get checked or treated sooner before it’s too late. Who knows whether that simple irregular monthly period can actually be the start of an onset of cancer.