- Irregular Periods
- Ovarian cancer
1. Irregular Periods
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 bleeding may require treatment.
What Are Irregular Periods?
You may have irregular menses 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 : Bleeding of more than 20 days in individual cycle lengths over a period of one year.
- Absent Menstrual Bleeding : No bleeding in a 90-day period.
- Heavy Menstrual Bleeding : Excessive menstrual 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 : 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 oestrogen and progestrone 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:
- Having an intra uterinedevice (IUD)
- Changing birth control pills or using certain medications
- Excessive exercises
- Polycystic ovary disease (PCOS)
- Pregnancy or breastfeeding
- Oveactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism
- Thickening of or polyps on the uterine lining
- Uterine fibroids
A less common cause is severe scarring (adhesions) of the lining of Usually, no treatment is needed for irregular periods caused by puberty and menopause unless they are excessive or bothersome. It is also normal for your period to stop when you are pregnant.
Treatments for irregular periods due to other causes may include:
- Correcting or treating underlying disease
- Changing your type of birth pill
- Lifestyle changes, including weight loss
Leucorrhoea is a thick, whitish or yellowish vaginal discharge. There are many causes of leukorrhea, the usual one being oestrogen imbalance. The amount of discharge may increase due to vaginal infections or STD and also it may disappear and reappear from time to time, this discharge can keep occurring for years in which case it becomes more yellow and foul-smelling; it is usually a non-pathological symptom secondary to inflammatory conditions of vagina or cevix
Leukorrhea can be confirmed by finding >10 WBC under a microscope when examining vaginal fluid.
Vaginal discharge is not abnormal, and causes of change in discharge include infection, malignancy, and hormonal changes. It sometimes occurs before a girl has her first period, and is considered a sign of puberty. Causes can be physiological, inflammatory or parasitic etc.
PCOD is a problem in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance. It can cause problems with your periods and make it difficult to get pregnant. PCOS also may cause unwanted changes in the way you look. If it isn’t treated, over time it can lead to serious health problems, such as diabetes and heartdisease.
Most women with PCOS grow many small cyst on their ovaries. That is why it is called polycystic ovary syndrome. The cysts are not harmful but lead to hormone imbalances. Early diagnosis and treatment can help control the symptoms and prevent long-term problems.
Symptoms tend to be mild at first. You may have only a few symptoms or a lot of them. The most common symptoms are:
- weight gain and trouble loosing weight
- Extra hair on the face and body. Often women get thicker and darker facial hair and more hair on the chest, belly, and back.
- Thinning hair on the scalp.
- irregular periods Often women with PCOS have fewer than nine periods a year. Some women have no periods. Others have very heavy bleeding.
- Fertility problems. Many women who have PCOS have trouble getting pregnant (infetility).
- Regular exercise, healthy foods, and weight control the key treatments for PCOS. Treatment can reduce unpleasant symptoms and help prevent long-term health problems.
- Try to fit in moderate activity and/or vigorous activity often. Walking is a great exercise that most people can do.
- Eat heart-healthy foods. This includes lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, and whole grains. It limits foods that are high in saturated fat, such as meats, cheeses, and fried foods.
- Most women who have PCOS can benefit from losing weight. Even losing 10 lb (4.5 kg) may help get your hormones in balance and regulate your menstrual cycle.
- If you smoke, consider quitting. Women who smoke have higher androgen levels that may contribute to PCOS symptoms. It can be hard to deal with having PCOS. If you are feeling sad or depressed, it may help to talk to a counselor or to other women who have PCOS.
- 4. Endometriosis Endometriosis (en-doe-me-tree-O-sis) is an often painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside your uterus (endometrial implant). Endometriosis most commonly involves your ovaries, bowel or the tissue lining your pelvis. Rarely, endometrial tissue may spread beyond your pelvic region. In endometriosis, displaced endometrial tissue continues to act as it normally would — it thickens, breaks down and bleeds with each menstrual cycle. Because this displaced tissue has no way to exit your body, it becomes trapped. When endometriosis involves the ovaries, cysts called endometriomas may form. Surrounding tissue can become irritated, eventually developing scar tissue and adhesions — abnormal tissue that binds organs together. Endometriosis can cause pain — sometimes severe — especially during your period. Fertility problems also may develop. Fortunately, effective treatments are available. The primary symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain, often associated with your menstrual period. Although many women experience cramping during their menstrual period, women with endometriosis typically describe menstrual pain that’s far worse than usual. They also tend to report that the pain has increased over time. Common signs and symptoms of endometriosis may include:
- Painful periods (dysmenorrhea). Pelvic pain and cramping may begin before and extend several days into your period and may include lower back and abdominal pain.
- Pain with intercourse. Pain during or after sex is common with endometriosis.
- Pain with bowel movements or urination. You’re most likely to experience these symptoms during your period.
- Excessive bleeding. You may experience occasional heavy periods (menorrhagia) or bleeding between periods (menometrorrhagia).
- Infertility. Endometriosis is first diagnosed in some women who are seeking treatment for infertility.
- Other symptoms. You may also experience fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, bloating or nausea, especially during menstrual periods. The severity of your pain isn’t necessarily a reliable indicator of the extent of the condition. Some women with mild endometriosis have extensive pain, while others with advanced endometriosis may have little pain or even no pain at all. Endometriosis is sometimes mistaken for other conditions that can cause pelvic pain, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or ovarian cysts. It may be confused with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a condition that causes bouts of diarrhea, constipation and abdominal cramping. IBS can accompany endometriosis, which can complicate the diagnosis.
- 5. Infertility The main complication of endometriosis is impaired fertility. Approximately one-third to one-half of women with endometriosis have difficulty getting pregnant. For pregnancy to occur, an egg must be released from an ovary, travel through the neighboring fallopian tube, become fertilized by a sperm cell and attach itself to the uterine wall to begin development. Endometriosis may obstruct the tube and keep the egg and sperm from uniting. But the condition also seems to affect fertility in less-direct ways, such as damage to the sperm or egg.
- Damage to fallopian tube
- Hormonal causes.
- Cervical causes.
- Uterine causes.
- Unexplained infertility
- 6. Ovarian cancer Ovarian cancer does occur at higher than expected rates in women with endometriosis. But the overall lifetime risk of ovarian cancer is low to begin with. Some studies suggest that endometriosis increases that risk, but it’s still relatively low. Although rare, another type of cancer — endometriosis-associated adenocarcinoma — can develop later in life in women who have had endometriosis.
- 7. Fibroids Fibroids are the most frequently seen tumors of the female reproductive system. Fibroids, also known as uterine myomas, leiomyomas, or fibromas, are firm, compact tumors that are made of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue that develop in the uterus. It is estimated that between 20 to 50 percent of women of reproductive age have fibroids, although not all are diagnosed. Some estimates state that up to 30 to 77 percent of women will develop fibroids sometime during their childbearing years, although only about one-third of these fibroids are large enough to be detected by a health care provider during a physical examination. In more than 99 percent of fibroid cases, the tumors are benign (non-cancerous). These tumors are not associated with cancer and do not increase a woman’s risk for uterine cancer. They may range in size, from the size of a pea to the size of a softball or small grapefruit.
- Heavy or prolonged menstrual periods
- Abnormal bleeding between menstrual periods
- Pelvic pain (caused as the tumor presses on pelvic organs)
- Frequent urination
- Low back pain
- Pain during intercourse
- A firm mass, often located near the middle of the pelvis, which can be felt by the physician IN some cases, the heavy or prolonged menstrual periods, or the abnormal bleeding between periods, can lead to iron-deficiency anemia, which also requires treatment.
- Dr. Anaswara Dev