Menstruation is a major stage of puberty in girls and refers to physiological changes happening in women at regular intervals of 21-35 days. Menstrual period prepares women for sexual reproduction and fertilisation and having a regular menstrual cycle is a clear sign of a healthy individual. Any abnormalities such as delayed or early menstrual periods, excessive pain & bleeding during the periods indicate that you might be suffering from certain gynaecological conditions and require immediate medical intervention.
- Menstrual irregularities: Abnormalities in the menstrual cycle of a woman is called menstrual irregularities. Various menstrual irregularities include:
- Amenorrhea: No menstrual periods until the age of 16 years or absence of menstrual periods for 3 consecutive months without being pregnant.
- Dysmenorrhoea: Painful menstruation periods.
- Menorrhagia: Excessive bleeding which lasts for 8 to 10 days.
- Oligomenorrhoea: Irregular menstrual periods or getting periods frequently.
- Premature ovarian failure: Normal function of the ovary is stopped.
- Uterine fibroids: Non-cancerous tumours observed in women of child-bearing potential.
- Endometriosis: The tissues lining the uterus from the inside, grow outside the uterus (normally the tissue grows inside the uterus).
Symptoms observed in patients with menstrual irregularities include burning sensation while urinating, fever, painful bowel movements, vaginal discharge, painful cramps, and lower back pain.
Menstrual irregularities should be diagnosed early to prevent complications such as infertility (inability to get pregnant), anaemia, haemorrhage, and uterine cancer.
- For amenorrhoea, medroxyprogesterone is given.
- For dysmenorrhoea, ibuprofen and naproxen are given to relieve pain.
- For menorrhagia, iron supplements and anti-prostaglandin medications are given. In severe case of menorrhagia, surgeries such as thermal balloon endometrial ablation, transcervical resection of the endometrium (TCRE), and hysterectomy will be done.
- For endometriosis, hormonal preparations, pain relievers will be given to shrink the tissues. Laparoscopic surgery is done to remove the tissues lining the uterus.
- Fibroids can be treated by medications that can slow or stop the growth of cancer and will relieve you from pain. Surgery can also be done to remove the fibroids.