How to find out whether your Periods are Normal or Abnormal?

Normal menses or periods are the inevitable part of every woman’s life and even the smallest of irregularity in the menstrual cycle can fill your life with stress and irritation. How to know if there is any abnormality or are your periods irregular? Here are some of the abnormalities in the menstrual cycle and their possible causes –

Cycle Duration

A normal period cycle occurs at an interval of 21 to 35 days each month. Any menstruation that occurs before 21 days or after 35 days is abnormal.(Irregular Menstrual Cycle)

if the cycle occurs before 21 days every month then this condition is known as Polymenorrhea. These periods are very common in adults, in teenagers at the time of puberty at the start of their periods or in women who are nearing menopause (end of menses) after 40yrs on an average. Some of the common causes of frequent menses are infections, after abortion or delivery, frequent intake of i-pill, or cysts (Endometriosis). Menses that occurs every month more than 35 days apart, are called Oligomenorrhea. There could be various causes of delayed periods every month that could be age-related (during adolescence and while approaching menopause), excessive weight gain or weight loss or, stress or anxiety are also responsible for delayed menstruation, hormonal imbalances such as PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), or any metabolic disorder like Thyroid abnormality can also lead to this condition.

Menstrual Flow

Menstrual flow is considered to be normal if there are no clots in the blood and bleeding lasts for around 2 to 7days. menses are called abnormal, if there is scanty bleeding and lasts lesser than 2 days or if there is the presence of clots and flow lasts more than 7 days.

Menstrual flow that is scanty and last for lesser than 2 days is called Hypomenorrhea. Common causes of Hypomenorrhea are disease conditions like Tuberculosis, multiple abortions (D & C’s), etc. Decreased flow during periods is not of much concern if fertility is not in the question. If you have kids and do not plan on extending your family then reduced flow is not that big of an issue. However, for younger women who intend to become pregnant later on, decreased flow is a serious concern. They should surely consult a gynaec for further inquiries.

clots in the bleeding or bleeding that generally last for more than 7 days, is called as Menorrhagia, which can lead to anaemia in women. There are several reasons for extreme flow during periods e.g. tumours, cysts, fibroid, Polyps, cancer etc. This condition needs immediate medical attention and should not be ignored for longer.

Painful Periods

menstruation that is extremely painful and is of sufficient magnitude so as to interfere with day to day activities or if there is so much of pain that you might need a painkiller or injection almost every month, then this is unusual. Normally, there is only a mild discomfort or cramping that too on the first day. If pain stays on for more than 2 days during menstruation then this is also abnormal.

Extreme pain during periods is called as Dysmenorrhea. It can either be present since the start of periods, also called as Primary Dysmenorrhea or certain times, menses can become painful in your 30s or 40s (Secondary Dysmenorrhea).

Primary dysmenorrhea is more common and normally gets cured on its own after the pregnancy and vaginal delivery. Painkillers can be one of the options, which is usually taken now and then for relief from pain. In certain cases, the pain during periods gets more severe every month and requires quick consultation from a gynaecologist as a rarely abnormal uterine anatomy (Rudimentary horn) can also cause the pain .

Secondary dysmenorrhea must not be ignored as it could result from fibroids, adenomyosis, infection, polyps, etc. Immediate consultation from a gynaecologist must be done.

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