Menstruation is the time of month when the womb (uterus) sheds its lining and vaginal bleeding occurs. It is often called "a period."
Periods vary widely from woman to woman. Some periods are punctual, some are unpredictable. On average, a woman gets her period every 21 to 35 days. A period usually lasts about three to five days. Irregular periods may require treatment.
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You are losing more or less blood during a period than usual.
The number of days that your period lasts varies.
There are different names for different types of irregular periods.
Oligomenorrhea refers to infrequent periods. The time between periods is typically 35 days or more. Women with oligomenorrhea have fewer than six to eight periods a year.
Metrorrhagia refers to irregular but frequent periods.
Menometrorrhagia refers to longer or heavier periods that are irregular but frequent.
Amenorrhea refers to an absence of periods for three to six months or longer.
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 estrogen and progesterone can disrupt the normal pattern of your period. That's why young girls going through puberty and women approaching menopause commonly have irregular periods.
Usually no treatment is needed for irregular periods caused by puberty and menopause. 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 control
Here are some treatment options:
Treating underlying disease. It is important to treat any underlying diseases that cause irregular periods. If you have irregular periods, your doctor will run blood tests to check hormone levels and thyroid function.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) are two common causes of irregular periods in women. Treatment of these disorders can be complex and varies from woman to woman. In general, the goal of treatment is to restore the balance of hormones in the body. Women with PCOS may be given birth control pills or other hormones to trigger a period.
Hyperthyroidism is treated with:
Medicines that reduce the amount of thyroid hormone made by the body.