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How Serious Is An Abnormal Period?
A female’s menstrual cycle is the key to her health. It should come once a month (every 21-35 days), for a few days at a time (2-7 days). On average a female’s period is regular and predictable, but sometimes it can be thrown off. Most often the causes are something simple like stress, exercise, or pregnancy. Yet, there are times when an abnormal period is the sign of a more serious issue. Period tracking can help a medical professional determine the best method of treatment.
Tracking a menstrual cycle
To determine the regularity of a menstrual cycle, there are a number of items to track. This includes the start and end date, the heaviness of flow, if there is any abnormal bleeding in between periods, the quality of the pain and any other changes such as mood or behavior.
What causes abnormal periods?
Abnormal periods can be caused by several non-threatening factors such as stress, exercise, pregnancy, and age. For example: younger females will experience irregularity at the onset of their menstrual cycles, and older females will experience irregularity as they enter menopause. In some cases excessive stress, emotional or physical trauma may also cause abnormal periods. There are a handful of other medical conditions that can also cause abnormal bleeding:
- Eating Disorders
- Thyroid Issues
Are there any abnormal periods that aren’t bad?
A lot of people may think that abnormal periods are only caused by a negative health condition. This is not always the case. There are a couple instances where age and activity level are the causes.
As women enter menopause periods may become irregular. Menopause is an age-related symptom mostly experienced by older women, in which the sex hormones decrease and menstrual cycles become very light and eventually stop.
Amenorrhea is a condition where, due to extreme exercise, a female’s menstrual cycle may become irregular and then eventually stop. Medical intervention is generally not needed, and the female’s menstrual cycle will start regulating again as soon as the intensity of the exercise is reduced.
What medications or therapies can be used for abnormal cycles?
The most common treatment used to regulate menstrual cycles is birth control. This can come in the form of a daily pill, an intrauterine device, patch, or arm implant. If the abnormal periods are due to an eating disorder, in talk therapy is recommended. More serious conditions (such as PCOS, PID, and Fibroids) may need additional medical intervention such as hormone therapy.
What is normal for one female may not be normal for another. One female may have short light periods, and another may have long heavy periods. All women are different. All periods are different. While several factors can cause abnormal periods, tracking and birth control can help regulate them.