5 Top Problems with Menstrual Cycles

woman having menstrual problems

Your menstrual period is a hormonal process that takes place once a month. The average woman will experience about 450 periods in her lifetime, so you would expect these cycles to operate like clockwork. For some women, their menstrual cycle begins and ends at the same time each month, but for other women, menstrual disorders can create disruptions in their day-to-day life. In some of these disorders, physical and emotional symptoms such as pain, heavy bleeding, and mood swings can make daily activities like attending school or work impossible, and may also be indicative of a more serious health issue. If you suffer from any of the following problems with your menstrual cycle, our professionals at Kernodle OB work with you to help regulate your periods.

Menstrual Pain

Menstrual pain that accompanies menstrual periods is referred to as dysmenorrhea. Pain, usually in the pelvic region, is the most common problem that women experience with their periods. While an over the counter pain medication can usually help, there are other treatment options available depending on the severity and cause of the pain. Dysmenorrhea is typically broken up into two categories. Primary dysmenorrhea is more common and is caused by contractions in the uterus. Secondary dysmenorrhea is usually caused by a specific health problem such as endometriosis or ovarian cysts.

Irregular Periods

Irregular periods are defined by menstrual cycles that either begin 24 days or less after the ending of your last period or if your cycle begins 38 days after the ending of your last period. Irregular periods are also defined as a variation in the length of the menstrual cycle. While it’s normal for irregular periods to occur in teenage girls and perimenopausal women if you are experiencing irregularity in your menstrual cycle outside of these age ranges, call your doctor to help you get your cycles regulated.

Heavy Bleeding

Heavy menstrual bleeding can cause major disruptions in daily life. If you find that you’re needing to change your tampon or pad every one or two hours, passing blood clots larger than a quarter, or having a period that lasts longer than eight days, your bleeding may be indicative of other medical problems.

Abnormal Bleeding

Abnormal bleeding is characterized by bleeding that occurs outside of your menstrual cycle. Examples of abnormal bleeding include reoccurring bleeding after sex, and spotting in between cycles. Possible causes of unusual bleeding range from hormonal changes to certain cancers, so make sure you see your doctor determine what may be the underlying condition for your abnormal bleeding.

Missed Periods

When women experience a missed period, many women’s first thought goes straight to pregnancy, but there are many different reasons why a menstrual cycle may be skipped. When periods don’t occur for more than three months in a row, or if periods don’t begin before the age of 15, a condition called amenorrhea may be the cause of the prolonged absence of periods. When amenorrhea occurs outside of pregnancy or breastfeeding, it could indicate that your ovaries have stopped making normal amounts of estrogen, which could lead to more serious health problems in the future. 


Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) & Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

These menstrual disorders can disrupt daily life in a physical and emotional way. About 30% to 40% of women experience PMS symptoms such as bloating, fatigue, mood swings, depression, and inability to concentrate. PMDD is a more severe disorder than PMS and is characterized by intense irritability, mood swings, and anxiety that significantly interfere with day-to-day life. While there are no specific diagnostic tests for either of these disorders, your doctor can help you manage your PMS and PMDD symptoms.

Talk to Your OB/GYN

The physicians, nurses, and medical staff at Kernodle OB/GYN offer a comprehensive list of gynecological and obstetric services to the women in Burlington and Mebane, NC. If you have questions about menstrual disorders or are facing irregularities with your period, call us at (336) 538-2367 to make an appointment.


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