Irregular Period Treatments
Published on 08/02/22
A menstrual cycle is considered to start from the first day of a period to the next. On average that cycle is about 28 days but can vary per person and per month. A period is considered regular if its cycle lasts 24 to 38 days, anything outside of that time frame – your period might be irregular.
Treatment for irregular periods will depend on the reason for the irregularity.
What Causes Irregular Periods?
There are many reasons a woman may be experiencing menstrual irregularity. The most common cause for period irregularity may look like long term bleeding. A period that is much heavier than the average and lasts longer than 7 days is called menorrhagia. Some of what might cause this could be:
Hormonal changes – which is commonly an excess of hormones like estrogen or progestin which help to regulate the lining of the uterus – which causes additional bleeding. Certain hormone imbalances tend to occur more often in people who are just starting a menstrual cycle or approaching menopause
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) – this disorder can affect the timing and length of a menstrual cycle. It is a metabolic and hormonal disorder that affects both the adrenal glands and ovaries. The body creates an overproduction of “male” hormones and has insulin resistance. 87% of women who deal with irregular periods have PCOS.
Thyroid/Pituitary disorders – 44% of women in a study with thyroid problems had irregular periods. Hypothyroidism (where the body doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone) and hyperthyroidism (where the body produces too much) can affect menstrual irregularity.
Medications – heavy bleeding can be a side effect of birth controls such as IUDs. As well as hormone medications and some anti-inflammatory medication.
Medical Conditions – some medical conditions have been known to cause menstrual irregularity such as endometriosis, benign growth, pelvic inflammatory disease, sexually transmitted infections, blood disorders, and cancers.
Non-Disease Related Irregular Periods
Aside from medications and medical conditions, there are non-disease related causes for irregular periods. Some of these may look like:
Stress and Anxiety – hormone balance is also dependent on our levels of chronic stress. Short-term anxiety and constant stressful environments and situations can cause an irregular cycle and even a missed period.
Age and Perimenopause – when we’re younger, the early stages of menstruation can take a couple of years to stabilize and fall into a pattern. On the contrary, as we age and transition into menopause, periods can become irregular. If you miss more than two periods in a row, this might signify the early stages of perimenopause. This is common among 70% of women.
Birth Control – adapting to hormonal medications and birth control can affect the regularity of a period. Not just birth control pills but implants, IUDs and rings.
Breast-Feeding – almost a natural birth control, breastfeeding can cause no period or ovulation at all
Eating Disorders, Extreme Weight Loss and Dieting – periods can become irregular or even disappear when underweight, dieting, dealing with an eating disorder and/or illness and extreme exercise.
Miscarriages or Stillbirth – when an embryo or fetus dies before the 20th week of pregnancy as a miscarriage, or 20 weeks after pregnancy as a still birth. These events can cause the body to take a couple of months before there’s a regular period again.
The types of treatments used for irregular periods are decided based on the type of irregularity and lifestyle factors – advanced maternal age, perimenopausal, trying to conceive, etc.
Treatments that are suggested for heavy or long periods could include:
- Varying medications that could contain tranexamic, progestin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications.
- Hormone releasing intrauterine devices like an IUD
For treatments of irregular and especially painful periods include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications
- Different types of contraceptives
- Injectable hormone therapy
- Birth control pills
- Heating pad on the stomach to relax the muscles
If the irregular periods are due to structural issues and the prescribed medical management is not effective, then there are a few things to consider:
- For endometriosis – endometrial ablation: this removed and cauterized blood vessels in the endometrial lining of the uterus through burning.
- Uterine artery embolization – this is a procedure that blocks blood flow to the uterus
- Surgical removal of issues such as uterine fibroids or polyps
If a doctor is looking to treat menstrual irregularities that are entirely absent, infrequent or irregular, they may suggest:
- Cyclic progestin
- Oral Contraceptives
- Treatments based on the current disorder causing the irregularities
Should You Be Concerned If You Are Dealing With Irregular Periods?
What a lot of women don’t talk about is how common this can be. A couple of irregular periods throughout the year is normally nothing to be too concerned about. If you are dealing with anything that seems abnormal: heavy periods, irregular periods, painful periods, are unable to conceive, or think you might be heading towards menopause, it is important to see a doctor. Not only could there be an underlying problem or health condition, but your healthcare provider may be able to provide you with answers and a customized plan on how to find a solution.
If you are not on contraceptives or heading towards perimenopause or menopause, this should signal you to make sure to set an appointment with your healthcare provider. Not only to prevent any reocurring issues but prevent future ones.
If Your Looking For Period Treatments Call Rosh Maternal & Fetal Medicine In NYC
Irregular and heavy periods are common but you shouldn’t accept them as normal.
Both can signal an underlying health problem that should be treated to prevent serious problems from developing. You can count on the extensive experience of the doctors at Rosh Maternal & Fetal Medicine to identify the cause and effectively treat irregular and heavy periods. If you have any questions about your menstrual periods, call their office in the Midtown East area of New York City, or schedule an appointment online.
Ignoring irregularities during your period could lead to serious health concerns. For expert diagnosis and care to help you get back to enjoying your life, book an appointment at Rosh Maternal & Fetal Medicine online or by phone today.