You Lost A Ton Of Blood During Or After Childbirth
This is a very rare condition, says Dr. Akopians. Losing a lot of blood deprives your body of oxygen, which can end up damaging the pituitary gland and cause something called Sheehans syndrome. That, in turn, drastically reduces the glands production of all types of hormones, including those that control your menstrual cycle. This hormone production not only impacts your menstrual cycle, but it can affect other parts of your body, like your thyroid. So if your doctor is concerned about this, they will likely refer you to an endocrinologist for diagnosis and treatment.
The bottom line: While having a lighter period than normal isnt necessarily cause for alarm, dont ignore the change. Track your cycle for a couple of months, and if it doesnt go back to your normal, make an appointment with a gynecologist.
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Uterine Defects: Structural Oddities That Can Lead To Menstrual Cramps And Infertility Too
While a female fetus is still in its mother’s uterus, its own uterus develops from two structures known as Müllerian ducts. In some cases, the uterus does not form correctly, which can cause infertility, period pain, and painful intercourse. For women with structural anomalies such as a bicornuate uterus , septate uterus , unicornuate uterus , uterus didelphys menstrual cramps stem from blockages and membranes dividing the uterus and vagina.
What Causes Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
Heavy menstrual bleeding can have many causes, ranging from hormone-related issues to various medical conditions and even stress.
The hormones that your body produces, like estrogen and progesterone, help regulate your menstrual cycle, including how heavy your periods are. Having a condition that causes your hormones to become imbalanced can lead to heavy period bleeding. Causes include:
- Birth control pills and injectables .
Failing to remove contraceptive devices when needed can also cause abnormal uterine bleeding.
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What Are Menstrual Cramps
Menstrual cramps are throbbing, aching cramps you get in your lower belly just before and during your period. Theyâre some of the most common, annoying parts of your period. They can strike right before or during that time of the month. Many women get them routinely.
Cramps can range from mild to severe. They usually happen for the first time a year or two after a girl first gets their period. With age, they usually become less painful and may stop entirely after you have your first baby.
Your doctor may call your cramps dysmenorrhea.
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What Tests Will Be Done To Diagnose Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
Your provider will do a physical exam and a pelvic exam. Many non-invasive procedures are available that can help your provider diagnose what’s causing your bleeding, such as:
- A sonohysterogram to check for problems in the lining of your uterus. A sonohysterogram allows your provider to see the inside of your uterus while it’s filled with saline. It offers higher accuracy and sensitivity when detecting abnormalities in your uterine cavity than an ultrasound without saline.
- A hysteroscopy to check for polyps, fibroids or other irregular tissue in your uterus. Hysteroscopy allows your provider to inspect your vagina, cervix and uterus. Your provider can remove growths that may be causing your bleeding, like fibroids or polyps, during a hysteroscopy.
You may have other tests, depending on your age and how severe your symptoms are. Other tests may include:
- A blood test to check for signs of anemia, clotting issues, or thyroid disease.
- A Pap smear to study cells from your cervix for changes that may indicate cancer.
- An endometrial biopsy to check uterine tissue for cancer cells or other irregularities.
- Transvaginal ultrasound to check the appearance of the organs and tissues in your pelvis.
- Magnetic resonance imaging to check for abnormal structures inside your uterus when an ultrasound doesn’t provide enough information.
- A cervical culture to test for infection, as indicated by your medical history and the results of your physical exam.
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How To Track Periods
Keeping track of when periods occur can help people recognize any irregularity and spot patterns. For example, if someone starts birth control or experiences a stressful event, they may notice that this affects their period.
People can track periods in a diary, on a calendar, or with a period tracking app. Begin by marking the first day of a period, and continue marking the days when bleeding occurs. Within a few months, a person can tell if their periods are regular.
Some people also note down any symptoms, how light or heavy the bleeding was, and any factors that might have affected it. It can be useful to show this record to a doctor when speaking with them about irregular periods.
Reason For Painful Cramps: Cervical Stenosis
The cervix is located between the uterus and the vaginal canal it opens into the vaginal canal. Cervical stenosis is a condition where the cervix is really narrow and blocks the passage between the uterus and the vaginal canal. It is a genetic condition or it may develop later as a result of other conditions or procedures.
Cervical stenosis causes cramps because the blood finds it hard to pass through and causes painful pressure in the uterus, so it results in lots of cramps.
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Medicine For Period Cramps
To alleviate menstrual cramps you can go for pharmacological treatment or home remedies. Both have their pros and cons. Medicines work fast and bring relief immediately. However, drugs might negatively impact the bacterial flora of your digestive system. Home remedies, on the other hand, despite their gentler effect on your organism, usually arent enough to combat menstrual cramps.
As far as the former go, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are recommended for severe menstrual cramps. They impede the synthesis of prostaglandins. Such medicines include:
Keep in mind that NSAIDs might irritate your gastric mucosa. They shouldnt be used regularly. At length, they may cause stomach ulcers. Analgesics containing acetylsalicylic acid reduce the pain, but might intensify menstrual bleeding. There are also antispasmodics which might help with menstrual cramps.
In some cases, your doctor might prescribe monophasic hormonal birth control to reduce the symptoms of menstrual cramps. Gynaecological examination should precede such treatment. Additionally, a breast check and medical tests should be carried out.
Menstrual Cramp Causes And Risk Factors
Menstrual cramps happen because of contractions in the uterus, or womb, which is a muscle. If it contracts too strongly during your menstrual cycle, it can press against nearby blood vessels. This briefly cuts off oxygen to the uterus. Itâs this lack of oxygen that causes your pain and cramping.
You can also have cramps because of:
- Endometriosis, a condition in which the tissue lining the uterus grows outside of the uterus
- Fibroids in your uterus
- Adenomyosis, when your uterine lining grows into nearby muscle
- Pelvic inflammatory disease , an infection caused by bacteria that starts in the uterus and can spread to other reproductive organs
- Cervical stenosis, or a narrowing of the lower part of your uterus, caused by scarring, as well as a lack of estrogen after menopause
Certain things put you at a higher risk of menstrual cramps. Youâre more likely to have them if you:
- Are under 30
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It Could Be A Sign Of Pregnancy
While one of the clear signs of pregnancy is missing your period, it turns out that some women continue to experience bleeding or a light version of their period when theyre pregnant, says fertility expert Janet Choi, M.D., medical director at CCRM in New York. In fact, shes had patients whove been struggling to get pregnant go out drinking after a light version of their period shows uponly to later learn that they really are pregnant.
Unusually light periods or spotting could also indicate an ectopic pregnancy , which can be very dangerous. When in doubt, take a pregnancy test.
Youre On Hormonal Birth Control
Its common for folks on birth control to have spotting between periods or lighter flows in general. But typically birth control helps regulate things over time. If your bleeding pattern changes or doesnt get better on BC, speak with your doctor.
The nonhormonal IUD, on the other hand, can trigger heavy bleeding.
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Stress Is Messing With Your Body
You already know that stress can mess with your body in a lot of ways. While the usual day-to-day annoyances arent enough to throw your hormones out of whack, Dr. Choi says that major life stressorsfor example, grieving over a loss or suffering from depressioncan do just that. She also points out that overexercising can also wreak havoc on your period because of the stress it puts on your body physically.
What Causes Abnormal Menstruation
There are many causes of abnormal periods, ranging from stress to more serious underlying medical conditions:
Other causes of abnormal menstruation include:
- Uterine cancer or cervical cancer.
- Medications, such as steroids or anticoagulant drugs .
- Medical conditions, such as bleeding disorders, an under- or overactive thyroid gland, or pituitary disorders that affect hormonal balance.
- Complications associated with pregnancy, including miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy .
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Youre Using Hormonal Birth Control
One of the most common reasons for a lighter period is going on hormonal birth control some doctors even prescribe it to women with very heavy periods for that exact reason. So if youve recently started the pill, are using the patch or the ring, or gotten a hormonal IUD, and your periods have lightened up, its normal to have light cycles, to completely skip cycles, or have small amounts of dark or light blood.
How Are Heavy Periods Treated
The choice of treatment will depend on the cause of your bleeding. If a reason for the heavy bleeding is found, such as a fibroid, this will be treated.
However, sometimes no cause for heavy periods can be found. In these cases, heavy periods can be treated by medicines or by surgery, with the aim of decreasing the amount of bleeding. Some treatments may stop your periods completely and others may affect your fertility.Considerations for treatment include your age, general health, whether you require contraception or want to have children. Some treatments are ongoing and others are done one time.
Discuss all your options with your doctor to decide which is best for you.
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When Should I Get Medical Help For My Period Pain
For many women, some pain during your period is normal. However, you should contact your health care provider if:
- NSAIDs and self-care measures don’t help, and the pain interferes with your life
- Your cramps suddenly get worse
- You are over 25 and you get severe cramps for the first time
- You have a fever with your period pain
- You have the pain even when you are not getting your period
What Tests Might Be Needed For Heavy Periods
Your doctor might do or advise one or more of the following tests:
- An examination to see whether the bleeding is coming from your cervix, not your uterus. This is done in a similar way as a cervical smear or HPV screening test.
- Blood tests to look for anaemia, iron levels, thyroid disease or a bleeding disorder.
- An ultrasound of your uterus and ovaries to detect abnormalities in your uterus, such as polyps or fibroids.
- A cervical smear in which a sample of cells is collected from your cervix and then looked at to see if you have an infection, inflammation or changes in the cells that might be or cause cancer.
- A sample of the lining of the uterus to see whether there are any precancerous or cancerous changes.
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How Long Period Pain Lasts
Period pain usually starts when your bleeding begins, although some women have pain several days before the start of their period.
The pain usually lasts 48 to 72 hours, although it can last longer. It’s usually at its worst when your bleeding is heaviest.
Young girls often have period pain when they begin getting periods. Read more about starting periods.
Period pain that does not have an underlying cause tends to improve as a woman gets older. Many women also notice an improvement after they’ve had children.
Reasons For Sudden Heavy Periods
Periods come in all shapes and sizes – some are light and unproblematic whilst others can be heavy and painful. What if your period suddenly changes from light to heavy though? What are the reasons for this? Well, you neednt wonder about this question anymore as its the topic of todays blog! I hope that with this information to hand, youll be able to understand whats going on with your body a little better.
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Heavy Or Irregular Bleeding
A significant increase in the amount of bleeding during your period can be cause for concern. While every womans flow is different, excessive bleeding can be both a symptom and a cause of other problems. Bleeding that occurs outside of the span of your menstrual period is also an indication that you should speak to a healthcare provider.
Why Does My Period Hurt So Bad
Posted April 15, 2022
Many women experience pain and discomfort during their period. More than half of women say that they have pain for at least one day of every month due to menstruation. While painful periods are not uncommon, they are certainly uncomfortable.
There are two types of period pain: primary dysmenorrhea and secondary dysmenorrhea. Primary dysmenorrhea involves pain that usually starts with your very first period. Many women find that their period pain diminishes as they get older. Women who have given birth often find that their pain is less after that.
Secondary dysmenorrhea does not begin with your first periodit tends to occur later in life. Many women with secondary dysmenorrhea find that it gets worse over time this type of pain is usually caused by a reproductive disorder.
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