Abnormal Periods | Irregular Bleeding Los Angeles & Orange County, CA
Abnormal periods and irregular bleeding are common issues faced by many women worldwide. Understanding these conditions is crucial for maintaining reproductive health. In this article, the expert team at AllSafe Medical Group discusses the causes, symptoms, treatments, and prevention of abnormal periods and irregular bleeding.
If you, a partner, or a loved one are experiencing abnormal periods or irregular bleeding, don’t hesitate to contact us immediately at (562) 904-6031 or complete our contact form to discuss testing and treatment options.
What Are Abnormal Periods?
Abnormal periods, also known as irregular menstruation, can manifest in several ways. These include periods that occur fewer than 21 days or more than 35 days apart, missing three or more periods in a row, and menstrual flow that’s much heavier or lighter than usual. Understanding these irregularities is essential as they could indicate underlying health conditions.
What Causes Abnormal Periods?
Several factors can lead to irregular menstruation. These range from hormonal imbalances to severe medical conditions. Some of the more common causes include:
Symptoms of Abnormal Periods
Abnormal period symptoms can differ widely among individuals. Common signs include severe cramps, unusually heavy or light flow, periods lasting over a week, and spotting between cycles or after intercourse.
Severe Pain During Periods
Intense pain during your period isn’t normal. Conditions like endometriosis or uterine fibroids might be the culprits. If your pain disrupts your daily life, seek medical attention.
Heavy Menstrual Flow
Heavy periods can be a real concern. If you’re going through multiple pads or tampons every hour for several consecutive hours, it’s time to consult a doctor.
Menstrual Flow That Exceeds Seven Days
A period lasting more than a week now and then likely isn’t a serious concern. But if this is a regular occurrence, you might be at risk for developing iron deficiency anemia.
Bleeding or Spotting Between Periods
Spotting between periods isn’t typical. While the average cycle runs 21 to 35 days, normal bleeding usually lasts just a few days to a week. Anything outside of this range is considered abnormal.
Risks Associated with Abnormal Periods
Irregular periods can signal more serious health issues like PCOS or amenorrhea. If you’re experiencing abnormal cycles, it’s crucial to get checked by a healthcare provider to rule out any underlying conditions.
Amenorrhea is a condition where your periods have stopped completely. The absence of a period for 90 days or more is considered abnormal unless you’re pregnant, breastfeeding or going through menopause (which generally occurs between ages 45 and 55).
Oligomenorrhea is a condition where your periods occur infrequently. You may go more than 35 days between periods or have six to eight periods a year.
Dysmenorrhea is a medical term for painful periods and severe menstrual cramps. Some discomfort during your cycle is normal, but severe pain is a reason to see your provider.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that causes enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges.
Premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) is a loss of normal function of the ovaries before age 40.
Thyroid problems can cause hormonal imbalances that affect the menstrual cycle.
How to Treat Abnormal Periods
The treatment for abnormal periods depends on the underlying cause. Medications are often the first treatment for irregular periods. If medication doesn’t help, your provider may recommend surgery. Possible medications include hormonal birth control and pain management. Surgical treatments for irregular periods include endometrial ablation, polypectomy, myomectomy, and uterine artery embolization.
Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium, can often help manage cramping pains.
Hormonal Birth Control
Oral birth control pills contain hormones that prevent ovulation and typically reduce the severity of menstrual cramps. Hormonal IUDs are intrauterine devices that can maintain a thin endometrial lining to minimize heavy periods.
If your menstrual cramps are caused by a disorder like endometriosis or fibroids, surgery to correct the problem might help your symptoms. Surgical treatments for irregular periods include:
- Endometrial Ablation: a procedure that uses heat, cold, or different types of energy to destroy the lining of the uterus
- Polypectomy or Myomectomy: a procedure to remove endometrial polyps or uterine fibroids
- Uterine Artery Embolization: a procedure to block blood flow to the uterus
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by exercising moderately and eating nutritious foods can also help manage irregular periods. Applying a heating pad to the abdomen, taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, taking contraceptives, including injectable hormone therapy or birth control pills, using varied or less common treatment regimens can also help manage dysmenorrhea (painful periods).
When You Should See a Doctor for Abnormal Periods
If you have an abnormal period that is accompanied by acute pain during your period or between periods, foul-smelling vaginal discharge, fatigue or shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, fainting or dizziness, or fever over 102 F, it’s important to see a doctor. Also consult a healthcare provider if you experience unusual vaginal discharge, a burning sensation while urinating, a fever, or severe pain at any time.
Irregular Periods and Abnormal Bleeding Treatment in Los Angeles & Orange County, CA
Irregular bleeding or abnormal periods can be highly stressful for anyone experiencing them. That’s why the expert team of obstetricians, surgeons, and mothers at AllSafe Medical Group take a uniquely empathetic approach to helping women with irregular period issues.
If you’re experiencing irregular periods or abnormal bleeding, please don’t hesitate to contact the expert team at AllSafe Medical Group by calling (562) 904-6031 or completing our online contact form for treatment with the utmost discretion, compassion, and care.