Can Vitamin D Deficiency Affect Hormones
At the end of the year-long study, the researchers found that those in the vitamin D group whose blood levels of the nutrient rose the highest from inadequate at baseline to normal, or replete levels had a corresponding drop in circulating estrogens and other sex hormones that are a known risk factor for breast …
Why Am I Having Periods That Last For Weeks
Most womens menstrual flow lasts a few days, often up to a week. Sometimes, however, women may have periods that last much longer, like having a period for 3 weeks. If a womans period is prolonged, irregular, or excessively heavy, it is called menorrhagia. This is a condition that may be controlled with the use of hormones or birth control therapy, or it may be a warning sign of a more serious, underlying health issue.
Causes of Prolonged Menstrual Bleeding
A womans entire menstrual cycle usually takes 21-35 days to complete. Young girls who have just started having periods or older women nearing menopause may notice variations of that schedule. The fluctuation of hormone levels, particularly estrogen, is often the cause for these inconsistencies. This is not abnormal for females in these age groups.
Another cause for prolonged periods may be dysfunctional uterine bleeding . DUB is a hormone dysfunction that may happen any time during a womans reproductive years, but it is most commonly found in women over 40. This condition is often successfully treated with hormones such as estrogen or progesterone. A combination of these two hormones may be prescribed in the form of birth control pills which act not only as contraceptives but also regulate the production of female hormones.
Other causes for long-lasting periods can include:
Fibroids, benign growths on the uterine wall
Should I Continue Using Birth Control During The Transition To Menopause
Yes. You can still get pregnant during perimenopause, the transition to menopause, even if you miss your period for a month or a few months. During perimenopause you may still ovulate, or release an egg, on some months.
But it is impossible to know for sure when you will ovulate. If you dont want to get pregnant, you should continue to use birth control until one full year after your last period. Talk to your doctor about your birth control needs. Learn more about different .
You cant get pregnant after menopause, but anyone who has sex can get . If you are not in a monogamous relationship in which you and your partner have sex with each other and no one else, protect yourself by using a male condom or correctly every time you have vaginal, oral, or anal sex. After menopause you may be more likely to get an STI from sex without a condom. Vaginal dryness or irritation is more common after menopause and can cause small cuts or tears during sex, exposing you to STIs.
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Summary And Clinical Implications
Although the classic description of the menopausal transition– as a stage first marked by increased variability in menstrual cycle lengths followed by increasing frequency of very long cycles until permanent amenorrhea occurs–describes the experience of the majority of women, marked differences occur in the magnitude of change in womens menstrual experience. Approximately 15-25% of women experience minimal or no change in menstrual regularity prior to their FMP. Short cycles are most frequent in the early transition while long cycles are most frequent in the late transition, with older age at menopause associated with longer menstrual cycles, both during the transition and throughout reproductive life. The duration and amount of blood loss during the menopausal transition is more variable, and women are most likely to experience excessive blood loss during this reproductive life stage, particularly during the late transition. Excessive bleeding is most often associated with ovulatory cycles in this reproductive phase, although spotting and bleeding more than eight days are associated with anovulatory cycles. Heavy bleeding during the transition is more common in obese women and in women with leiomyomas.
Facts You Should Know About Menopause
- Menopause is defined as the absence of menstrual periods for 12 months. It is the time in a woman’s life when the function of the ovaries ceases.
- The process of menopause does not occur overnight, but rather is a gradual process. This so-called perimenopausal transition period is a different experience for each woman.
- The average age of menopause is 51 years old, but menopause may occur as early as the 30s or as late as the 60s. There is no reliable lab test to predict when a woman will experience menopause.
- The age at which a woman starts having menstrual periods is not related to the age of menopause onset.
- Symptoms of menopause can include abnormal vaginal bleeding, hot flashes, vaginal and urinary symptoms, and mood changes.
- Complications that women may develop after menopause include osteoporosis and heart disease.
- Treatments for menopause are customized for each woman.
- Treatments are directed toward alleviating uncomfortable or distressing symptoms.
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Symptoms Of The Menopause
Most women will experience menopausal symptoms. Some of these can be quite severe and have a significant impact on your everyday activities.
Common symptoms include:
- reduced sex drive
- problems with memory and concentration
Menopausal symptoms can begin months or even years before your periods stop and last around 4 years after your last period, although some women experience them for much longer.
I Got My Period A Week Early What Does It Mean
If your period occurs early, then it may be due to non-pregnancy causes like stress or hormonal changes in your body. Early signs of menopause can cause an early period too. However, period that occurs a week early is likely due to pregnancy.
Now its your turn. Do you have early menstruation? Let us know your symptoms and if we could help.
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Frequently Asked Questionsexpand All
Yes. Although its normal for periods to change as you near menopause, you should still talk with your obstetriciangynecologist about bleeding changes. Abnormal bleeding sometimes can be a sign of health problems. Its especially important to tell your ob-gyn if you have bleeding after menopause.
If you have any bleeding after menopause, or if you have any of the abnormal changes in your monthly cycle listed above, its important to see your ob-gyn to find out the cause. Many things can cause abnormal bleeding, including
Polyps are noncancerous growths that attach to the wall of the uterus. They also may develop on the endometrium . These growths may cause irregular or heavy bleeding. Polyps also can grow on the cervix or inside the cervical canal. Polyps on the cervix may cause bleeding after sex.
After menopause, the uterine lining may become too thin. This can happen when a woman has low levels of estrogen. The condition is called endometrial atrophy. As the lining thins, a woman may have abnormal bleeding.
The risk factors for endometrial cancer include
early age when periods started
older age at menopause
long-term use of medications containing high doses of estrogen
treatment with a drug called tamoxifen
certain tumors of the ovaries
Changes To Your Periods
The first sign of the menopause is usually a change in the normal pattern of your periods.
You may start having either unusually light or heavy periods.
The frequency of your periods may also be affected. You may have them every 2 or 3 weeks, or you may not have them for months at a time.
Eventually, you’ll stop having periods altogether.
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Two Years Or More Without A Period
There are also a few women that will go for two years or more and find that they get a period back. This is not really very common. And as far as we’re concerned, once you have not had a period for two years, then that’s…you’re well and truly through the menopause.
So if you get any kind of bleeding, either a proper period, or you just get a little bit of smearing, or you get a little bit of spotting, then it really is important that you just get this checked out by your doctor just to make sure that there isn’t anything else going on.
So I hope this has given you a little bit of a better picture of one of the more puzzling aspects of what can happen to your periods as you approach the menopause.
If any of you have any other questions on this or you’ve had a slightly different combination, then please do get in touch, and I’ll be happy to answer your questions. And I will see you next week for another A.Vogel Talks Menopause.
Treating Post Menopause Bleeding
If you have postmenopausal bleeding it is important to have it investigated.
You will most likely be referred to a gynaecologist who may:
- ask you questions about the history of your health
- examine you
- do a blood test
- look at the inside of your vagina and cervix using special tongs . At the same time, they may take a tiny sample of your cervix for testing .
The kind of treatment you have will depend on what is causing the bleeding.
- Atrophic vaginitis and thinning of the endometrium are usually treated with drugs that work like the hormone oestrogen. These can come as a tablet, vaginal gel or creams, skin patches, or a soft flexible ring which is put inside your vagina and slowly releases the medication.
- Polyps are usually removed with surgery. Depending on their size and location, they may be removed in a day clinic using a local anaesthetic or you may need to go to hospital to have a general anaesthetic.
- Thickening of the endometrium is usually treated with medications that work like the hormone progesterone and/or surgery to remove the thickening.
Before treatment there are a number of tests and investigations your gynaecologist may recommend.
All treatments should be discussed with you so that you know why a particular treatment or test is being done over another.
You Have A Cervical Polyp
The are polyps found in the cervix usually caused by high estrogen level or inflammation. If you have a cervical polyp, then these are some of the symptoms you may have
- Bleeding after period has ended
- Vaginal bleeding after sexual intercourse
- Thick white vaginal discharge
- Black period blood if there is an obstruction of the cervix outflow
Home Remedies: Vitamin E Black Cohosh And Herbs
Some women report that vitamin Esupplements can provide relief from mild hot flashes, but scientific studies are lacking to prove the effectiveness of vitamin E in relieving symptoms of menopause. Taking a dosage greater than 400 international units of vitamin E may not be safe, since some studies have suggested that greater dosages may be associated with cardiovascular disease risk.
Other alternative therapies for menopause symptoms
There are many supplements and substances that have been advertised as “natural” treatments for symptoms of menopause, including licorice, dong Quai, chaste berry, and wild yam. Scientific studies have not proven the safety or effectiveness of these products.
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Reasons To Worry About Spotting After Period
Can Menopause Be Treated
Menopause is a natural process that your body goes through. In some cases, you may not need any treatment for menopause. When treatment for menopause is discussed, its about treating the symptoms of menopause that disrupt your life. There are many different types of treatments for the symptoms of menopause. The main types of treatment for menopause are:
It is important to talk to your healthcare provider while you are going through menopause to craft a treatment plan that works for you. Every person is different and has unique needs.
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Hormone Treatment And Therapy
Estrogen and progesterone therapy
Hormone therapy , or menopausal hormone therapy , consists of estrogens or a combination of estrogens and progesterone . This was formerly referred to as hormone replacement therapy . Hormone therapy controls the symptoms of menopause-related to declining estrogen levels , and HT is still the most effective way to treat these symptoms. But long-term studies of women receiving combined hormone therapy with both estrogen and progesterone were halted when it was discovered that these women had an increased risk for heart attack, stroke, and breast cancer when compared with women who did not receive HT. These risks were most pronounced in women over 60 taking hormone therapy. Later studies of women taking estrogen therapy alone showed that estrogen was associated with an increased risk for stroke, but not for heart attack or breast cancer. Estrogen therapy alone, however, is associated with an increased risk of developing endometrial cancer in postmenopausal women who have not had their uterus surgically removed.
Hormone therapy is available in oral , transdermal forms . Transdermal hormone products are already in their active form without the need for “first pass” metabolism in the liver to be converted to an active form. Since transdermal hormone products do not have effects on the liver, this route of administration has become the preferred form for most women.
With Menopause Better Late Than Early
Despite the health advantages that late menopause promises, Ann, 52, hopes this is the last year she will have to put up with menstrual periods.
“I wish I could have stopped getting them after my last child was born, and that was 14 years ago,” said Ann, a south suburban teacher who asked that her last name not be used.
Although Ann has missed some periods, she will not reach menopause officially until she has one period-free year.
The average age of menopause is 51, according to the North American Menopause Society. Thanks to estrogen highs and lows that accompany perimenopause, which precedes menopause, many women endure symptoms including hot flashes, vaginal problems and bone loss.
For Ann, perimenopause has meant heavy, lengthy periods. For Lily , a north suburban retiree, it meant cramps like she never had when she was younger. Now age 60, Lily reached menopause at age 55.
“Thank goodness for ibuprofen,” Lily said.
Long after many of her friends had bought their last box of tampons, Lily said, she was afraid she was bound to “set the world record” for late menopause. In retrospect, though, Lily said she’s happy to have had the added years of estrogen protection.
“Periods are a hassle, so many women would love to flick the ‘off’ switch after they are finished having babies,” said Dr. Karen Deighan, a gynecologist at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood. “But, overall, late menopause is a good thing.”
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A big ‘change’ in attitude
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