Oh, it's that time of the month again. Apart from the usual crankiness and feelings of exhaustion, menstrual cycle can actually say a lot about your health. This cycle is a monthly series of changes in a woman's body that prepares it for potential pregnancy.
Every month, one of the ovaries releases an egg through a process called ovulation. During this time, hormonal changes prepare the uterus for pregnancy. When ovulation occurs but the egg is not fertilized, the uterus sheds the lining through the vagina, and this is the menstrual period.
Tracking your menstrual cycle is important so you can understand what is normal for you such as the time for ovulation. To find out what's normal for you, keep a record of your menstrual cycle. Start by tracking the date when your period begins every month so you know the regularity of your cycle. Take note of flow and changes happening in your body every month as well. When irregularities happen, you can easily identify them and consult a doctor to find out if they signal serious health problems. Below, you'll find some of the things that don't normally occur with menstrual periods.
If you spend lots of money on sanitary napkins and tampons because you change more than five times a day, don't ignore it. It can be a sign of a medical problem.
- Fibroids: Women with heavy menstrual flow may possibly have fibroids, which are benign tumors in the uterus that distort the uterine wall. This can worsen the bleeding when you shed uterine lining. Not all fibroids cause bleeding. Some cause pain or pressure on the rectum, belly or bladder. Visit your doctor if you suspect that your menstrual flow is heavier than normal. Fibroids can be treated using ultrasound surgery, uterine artery embolization, hysterectomy, and so on.
For women who have light flow of menstruation, this can be due to birth control pills such as low-dose combination or progestin-only pills.
- Hormonal Imbalances: But if you're not on a hormonal birth control, this problem can be due to an imbalance in pituitary or thyroid hormones.
- Müllerian Anomaly: It can also be caused by a Müllerian anomaly but only rarely. This refers to a malformed uterus or imperforate hymen, which inhibits blood from flowing out. It's a must to see your doctor for this problem particularly if you're not on birth control pill.
When you miss your period, it can either mean you're pregnant or you're in menopause. If you're sure you're not pregnant and if you're too young for menopause, then there are a lot more other possible explanations as to why you're having an irregular cycle.
It can be:
- perimenopause (early transition out of childbearing years)
- weight loss or gain
- medications like antidepressants
It can also be a sign of endocrine problems such as:
- thyroid disease
- polycystic ovary disease
It's important to get medical consultation regarding this problem to obtain appropriate treatment immediately.