It is known that the menstrual cycle varies from woman to woman and that both the duration and the intensity of menstruation can vary. In addition, various cycle disorders can also occur, as a result of which a woman's periods suddenly become irregular or remarkably heavy. In the following we will explain which cycle disorders are possible, what causes they can have and when they are a case for your gynaecologist.
Cycle disorders - the most important facts at a glance
- It is quite normal for young women to take some time for their menstrual cycle to settle down.
- Cycle disorders can affect the frequency of bleeding and the strength and duration of menstruation.
- Intermittent bleeding and severe menstrual pain are also among the possible cycle disorders that can affect women.
- Cycle disorders can be triggered by psychological factors and an unhealthy or stressful lifestyle, among other things.
- In addition to factors that are relatively easy to influence, such as stress, various diseases can also be the cause of cycle disorders.
- To be on the safe side, women should always consult their gynaecologist if they experience irregularities in their cycle.
- Any treatment that may be necessary depends on the results of the medical examination.
Menstrual cycle irregularities in young women
Menstrual irregularities can have many different causes. In young women, for example, it is not unusual for periods to be very irregular at first and for their duration and intensity to vary. This is simply because the cycle has to settle down first. It can take up to two years for this to happen.
In this case, there is usually no reason to worry. Of course, this only applies as long as there are no other abnormalities such as vision problems, headaches or sudden weight loss. In this case, young women should also consult a gynaecologist as soon as possible to find out the cause of their cycle disorders and to treat them if necessary.
What are cycle disorders?
Menstrual irregularities can occur in different forms. For example, disturbances in the frequency of bleeding are possible. Women may have their periods too infrequently or too often. In some cases, menstruation may not occur at all.
Apart from this, irregularities in the duration and intensity of menstrual bleeding are also among the possible cycle disorders that can occur in women. If a woman's period lasts longer than seven days, for example, this is called menorrhagia. If the amount of bleeding during menstruation exceeds 70 millilitres, it is a very heavy menstrual bleed. Both often occur together and can have both harmless and serious causes.
Intermittent bleeding and spotting are also possible menstrual disorders. Last but not least, excessive menstrual pain, which is known to affect many women, is also a possible form of cycle disorder.
Possible causes of cycle disorders
Cycle disorders can have many different causes. In many cases they are triggered by fluctuations in the hormone balance. Apart from this, various organic causes, such as tumours, endometriosis or malformations of the reproductive organs, are also conceivable as triggers for cycle disorders.
In addition, infectious diseases, chronic illnesses such as diabetes, as well as being overweight or underweight, or a permanent high level of physical stress due to competitive sports can also lead to menstrual irregularities in women. Last but not least, psychological factors such as high stress in everyday life or serious problems in a relationship can also contribute to menstrual disorders.
When are menstrual irregularities a case for the gynaecologist?
If you notice irregularities in your cycle, it is of course always advisable to consult your gynaecologist. This is the only way to find out whether the cause of your menstrual irregularities is harmless or whether treatment is necessary.
This is especially true if you have not had a period for more than three months and you are not pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have unusually infrequent or frequent bleeding, or if you have very heavy menstruation that interferes with your daily life.
You should also get a check-up if you are experiencing heavy menstrual cramps or regular bleeding. It is also recommended that girls who have not yet had a period at 15 make an appointment with their gynaecologis.
Diagnosis of menstrual irregularities
Your gynaecologist can examine you and find out the cause of your cycle problems. If you have any medical conditions, are taking certain medications or are under a lot of psychological stress, it is important to tell your gynaecologist so that she can take this into account in her diagnosis.
After your consultation, your doctor may ask you to keep a diary of your menstrual cycle for a period of time, detailing the strength, length and frequency of your periods, as well as any symptoms you may be experiencing, such as abdominal cramps or spotting.
Of course, your gynaecologist will also carry out a gynaecological examination and, if necessary, other tests. These might include an ultrasound scan, a hormone test or a hysteroscopy.
What can help with menstrual irregularities?
Whether and how your cycle irregularities need to be treated depends, of course, on their exact cause. If the irregularities in your menstrual cycle are caused by stress, a heavy workout load or a strict diet, for example, it can often be enough to counteract these factors. If you cut down on your daily routine, exercise less or eat a balanced diet, your menstrual cycle will often return to normal on its own.
Apart from that, hormone treatment or even surgery may be necessary to get rid of your cycle problems. Your gynaecologist will advise you on the basis of the results of the examination and tell you which treatment measures are possible for your cycle disorders.
Cycle disorders - our conclusion
As you can see, there are many different types of cycle irregularities and many possible causes. You should therefore take any long-term irregularities in your menstrual cycle seriously and, if in doubt, do not hesitate to seek advice from your gynaecologist.
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