Irregular cycles, irregular periods, irregular menses, oligomenorrhoea
Irregular menstruation or irregular periods occur mainly due to imbalance of hormones in the body. Hormone fluctuation in the body occurs due to stress, hectic lifestyle disrupting estrogen production, unhealthy diet, sudden loss or gain in weight, malnourishment, contraception, medication, hormonal birth controls using pills or injection, puberty or menarche or menopause and excessive workout. Irregular menstruation may require women to consider treatments. Before reaching out to medication or surgery women usually try to resolve the issue with lifestyle changes and with home remedies and natural or herbal supplements. Apart from irregular menses women also suffer from severe pain due to spasms during the periods. When the natural remedies and lifestyle changes do not seem to work, women resort to medication and surgery. Some women may also have irregular periods due to polycystic ovary syndrome. So treating PCOS can also help in treating irregular menses. Treating thyroid disorders also helps in treating irregular menstruation. The medical treatment type actually depends upon the underlying cause of the periods becoming irregular. Women can in fact resort to combination of approaches to treat the irregularity of your periods.
Menstrual irregularities can be due to several underlying causes. Irregular menstruation due to anovulatory bleeding, that is, infrequent menses or no menses or irregular menses can be rectified using treatments with oral contraceptives, nutritional therapy for eating disorder and counselling and with the help of cyclic progestin. Irregular menstruation can also be due to ovulatory bleeding where the woman suffers from heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding. Such condition can be treated by inserting a hormone releasing intrauterine device and medications containing tranexamic acid or progestin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Irregular periods due to ineffective medical management or any other structural reason can be treated by removing uterine fibroids or polyps surgically, hysterectomy, endometrial ablation or by cauterizing blood vessel in the uterus’ endometrial lining or also by uterine artery embolization which blocks the flow of blood to the uterus. Painful menstruation or dysmenorrhoea can be treated with the help of oral contraceptives or hormone therapy. There are other medications that help regulate menstruation are hormonal implants, IUD containing progesterone, vaginal contraceptive rings. Doctors may also prescribe an insulin-lowering drug called metformin to ensure ovulation and regular menstruation. Taking progesterone for 10-14 days every month also helps regulate menstruation. Irregular menstruation can also be fixed by treating an underactive or an overactive thyroid because due to the production of abnormal levels of thyroid hormones also, your periods become irregular.
Women who have attained puberty and do not get regular menstruation cycles every month are eligible for the treatment. Also, if the irregular periods are coupled with cramps, abnormal bleeding, thyroid disorders causing irregularity in the periods, women detected with polycystic ovary syndrome are also eligible for the treatment.
Women whose irregular menstruation is due to underlying causes like ovarian cancer, heart diseases, diabetes, obesity or those who are in the menopause or menarche phase cannot directly resort to treatment for irregular menstruation. The aforementioned diseases first need to be treated and only then their irregular menstruation can be treated.
The side effects are based mainly on the irregular levels of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone. The side effects due to oral contraception are irregular bleeding, bloating, mood changes, sudden gain or loss in weight, tenderness of breasts. There could also be potential risks due to oral contraceptive if the person is already suffering from high blood pressure or a deep vein thrombosis, or even a smoker. This is because hormonal contraception has been reported to cause insulin resistance, increase cholesterol levels and also cause abnormal glucose tolerance. Metformin is the drug that has shown very less side effects and also very minor ones like gastrointestinal problems like abdominal bloating, vomiting and nausea and loss of appetite.
After you have started receiving treatment to cure the problem of irregular periods, it is always suggested to adopt some lifestyle changes like quit smoking and drinking alcohol, or using drugs, also getting rid of stress from life. If the irregular menstruation is due to some other underlying cause like obesity, heart disease or diabetes or PCOS, it is recommended to exercise regularly, cut on too much sugar intake and alike. It is important to intake appropriate amount of nutritional supplements like iron and vitamins with recommendation from the general physician. General hygiene must be taken care of post treatment or surgery. If the patient is also under some other medication, must discuss with their general physician if such medication should be continued after irregular menses treatment or not.
It depends on the underlying cause of irregular periods and there is no fixed duration after which the problem will be completely fixed. For instance, if the condition is due to obesity, the periods would get regulated when the body weight has reduced to considerable level, if it is due to diabetes, then it will be regulated when the blood sugar level is under control and so on.
The cost of treatment for irregular menstruation can again vary depending upon the underlying cause. Even then we can say that the cost can range from Rs. 300 to Rs, 2000.
The results, that is, regular periods will again depend upon how much the underlying cause is kept under control. Regular menses will also depend on healthy lifestyle like no smoking, shortened levels of alcohol intake and so on.