8 types of abnormal menstruation: Causes, Symptoms and some Questions

Menstruation in girls is completely natural and a daily occurrence in their lives. After a certain age, such incidents are revealed in girls' lives. A girl's menstrual period typically lasts 4 to 7 days and occurs every 28 days. If a girl menstruates within this period, then it is normal but if it goes beyond this period ie, less than 21 days or more than 35 days in the menstrual period, then it is considered abnormal. And these unusual menstrual events are harrowing for a girl.

8 types of abnormal menstruation: Causes, Symptoms and some Questions
So attention should be given to this abnormal menstrual cycle. In this case, women's abnormal menstrual cycle can be of different types. Among them, in today's post, we will discuss 8 types of abnormal menstrual cycles in girls. This post will also cover the causes, symptoms, risks, and treatment of abnormal menstrual cycles in girls. Several questions will also be answered. So keep reading the post carefully.

What are menstrual irregularities?

A woman's normal menstrual cycle typically lasts four to seven days and occurs every 28 days. However, depending on the age difference, it may be more or less. But if a girl's menstrual cycle is shorter than 21 or 24 days and longer than 35 or 38 days, or the length of the menstrual period varies significantly from month to month, it is considered abnormal menstruation. Doctors call it oligomenorrhea. These abnormal menstrual cycles in girls can be due to various reasons. The reasons we have outlined in a fence of our own. If you want to know, keep reading.

What causes an abnormal menstrual cycle?

There are many reasons why a woman's menstrual cycle may be abnormal. Among those reasons are some widespread reasons and some important ones. Anyway, below we have listed all the reasons.

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  • The start of menopause (usually between the ages of 45 and 55).
  • Puberty is when you start your periods.
  • Pregnancy – a missed period is often an early sign of pregnancy.
  • Exercising too much.
  • Losing or gaining a lot of weight.
  • Stress and anxiety.
  • Viruses or other illnesses.
  • Birth control pills.
  • Uterine cancer or ovarian cancer.
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease.
  • Thyroid or pituitary gland disorders.
  • Primary ovarian insufficiency.
  • natural hormonal shifts.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome.
  • Thickening of or polyps on the uterine lining.
  • Travel.
  • Eating disorders.
  • Morning sickness.
  • Uncontrolled diabetes.
  • Hyperprolactinemia.
  • Endometrial polyps (benign overgrowth of the lining of the uterus).
  • Medications, such as steroids or anticoagulant drugs (blood thinners).
  • Surgery, scarring, or blockages in your uterus, ovaries, or fallopian tubes.
  • Exercise routines that result in very low body fat (long-distance runners, dancers, or gymnasts).
  • Hormonal contraception like the progestogen-only pill, contraceptive injection, and intrauterine system (IUS).

Apart from the reasons mentioned above, there can be many other reasons for abnormal menstruation. However, the above-mentioned reasons are most common in girls with abnormal menstruation.

What are the symptoms of irregular menstruation?

At this stage, we see the symptoms that appear in girls when their periods are abnormal. I will highlight those symptoms. The abnormal menstrual cycle is very painful for a girl. When a girl has an abnormal menstrual cycle, there are many symptoms. The symptoms are listed below.

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  • Painful periods 
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Menstrual cycle shorter than 24 days
  • Menstrual cycle longer than 38 days
  • Light bleeding
  • Headaches 
  • Intense pain or cramping
  • Bleeding or spotting after s*ex
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Food cravings
  • Fatigue
  • Lower back pain
  • Bleeding or spotting between menstruation
  • Difficulty conceiving or infertility issues
  • A menstrual cycle that changes by more than 20 days each month, etc

 8 types of abnormal menstruation

However, the length and severity of these menstrual cycle symptoms are not the same for all girls. However, a menstrual cycle is considered abnormal when it is shorter or longer than a normal one or when the periods are too light, heavy, too frequent, occur after menopause, or last longer. Abnormal menstrual cycles in women can be of different types. Most of which have a variety of treatment options to relieve symptoms. But you should pay close attention to the mentioned 8 types of abnormal menstrual cycles in girls. Which are discussed below.

1. Menorrhagia (Heavy or Prolonged Periods)

One of the most common types of irregular menstrual cycles in women is menorrhagia. This can cause heavier bleeding than a girl's normal period or make your period last longer than the average menstrual cycle of five to seven days. This condition again has three types. That is-

  • Polymenorrhoea (menstrual cycle shorter than 21 days)
  • Metrorrhagia (bleeding between periods)
  • Postmenopausal (menstrual periods after menopause)

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Menorrhagia is mostly caused by hormonal fluctuations in women. A hormone called estrogen or progesterone must be produced in sufficient quantity in the body of women to keep the menstrual cycle normal. And if the production of this hormone is disrupted, then this problem can occur. Also, this problem can be caused due to various other reasons like –

  • Liver or kidney infections
  • Vaginal infections
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Leukaemia
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Certain medications
  • Changes in diet and exercise
  • Non-cancerous uterus tumors
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • High concentration of endothelin

2. Polymenorrhoea

Polymenorrhoea is a part of menorrhagia. You will be surprised to know that polymenorrhea can make a girl experience periods twice a month. Polymenorrhea is a type of abnormal menstruation that occurs more frequently than the normal menstrual cycle. And this can lead to prolonged bleeding. Polymenorrhea can be caused by hormonal imbalances in your body such as high-low estrogen levels, frequent shedding of the uterine lining, etc. You may also have irregular periods due to stress, uterine fibroids, various medications, polyps, thyroid disorders, or reproductive conditions such as PCOS. If you have any doubts about this, contact your doctor immediately.

3. Dysmenorrhoea (Painful Periods/Period Cramps)

Every woman among us has experienced painful periods at least once in her life. For some, it may also be a part of regular menstrual routine but it is nothing to worry about. But if your cramps are extremely painful and long-lasting and prevent you from going about your day normally, you may have dysmenorrhea. Because dysmenorrhea is a condition characterized by extreme pain and menstrual cramps during menstruation. This can happen to a woman due to various reasons like –

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  • Uterine fibroids
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Pelvic inflammatory diseases (PID)
  • Abnormal pregnancy conditions
  • Abnormal pregnancy
  • Tumors or infections in the pelvic cavity
  • Uterine fibroids (non-cancerous growths in the uterus)
  • Endometriosis (abnormal tissue growth outside of the uterus)

4. Amenorrhea (Absent Periods)

Amenorrhea is a menstrual disorder in girls characterized by absence or missed periods of more than three cycles. Amenorrhea can again be of two types: primary and secondary. Primary amenorrhea usually prevents girls from starting a normal menstrual cycle during puberty. Secondary amenorrhea is when your previous regular menstrual cycle becomes increasingly absent and causes it to be absent. This condition is usually experienced by us women during various stages of life like pregnancy, breastfeeding, or menopause. Maybe it can also occur due to certain health conditions such as

  • PID
  • Obesity
  • Intense exercise
  • Thyroid gland disorders
  • Birth defects
  • Birth control pills or devices
  • Obesity and eating disorders
  • Sudden weight gain or loss
  • Ovulation abnormality

5. Oligomenorrhoea (Infrequent Periods)

Oligomenorrhea is an abnormal menstruation in girls when a girl does not menstruate for more than 35 days, resulting in the girl having only four to nine periods a year. This abnormal menstruation usually occurs due to hormonal imbalance in the body of girls. However, it can also include several other factors such as:

  • PCOS
  • PID
  • Diabetes
  • Intense exercise
  • Intrauterine adhesions
  • Sudden weight gain or loss
  • Stress and depression
  • Thyroid gland disorders
  • Obesity and eating disorders

6. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

PMS is commonly used to describe a variety of physical and emotional symptoms that occur 1 to 2 weeks before a girl's period begins. About 75% of us women experience mild symptoms during menstruation. However, when these mild menstrual symptoms of a woman become severe and interfere with daily activities, it is called PMS. PMS has more than 150 documented symptoms of abnormal menstruation, the most common of which are feelings of depression and disinterest in daily activities. In addition, several other symptoms may appear.

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  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Mild cramps
  • Sore, tender breasts

7. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

PMDD is a more severe form of PMS. Among us, women with a history of depression, mood disorders, and postpartum depression are at a higher risk of PMDD. Those of us who experience this irregular period experience a variety of symptoms such as irritability, mood swings, and anxiety. These PMDD symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years of a woman's depression. You can distinguish between PMDD headaches and migraines.

8. Hypomenorrhoea (Extra Light Periods)

Hypomenorrhea is the opposite of menorrhoea. It is characterized by lighter periods in girls. These periods usually last less than two days in girls and are often less than 80ml. Girls can experience this condition by using hormonal contraceptives such as oral contraceptives and IUDs. Also, there are more reasons for this condition to occur which include:

  • Low body fat
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Obesity
  • Stress and depression
  • Intense exercise
  • Intrauterine adhesions (scar tissues on the uterus)
  • This condition can occur at any stage in a woman’s life, but it is more common in the period leading up to menopause and directly after puberty.

What are the risks of the above types of abnormal menstruation?

A girl's health may be at risk when she has irregular periods. However, these risks may vary from area to area. However, below is a list of the most common risks.

  • Risk of Bone Health.
  • Risk Cardiovascular health.
  • Risk Metabolic issues.
  • Risk Thyroid Dysfunction.
  • Risk Sexual Dysfunction.
  • Risk Adverse pregnancy outcomes, etc.

Abnormal Menstruation Diagnosis and Treatment

If you suspect that you may be suffering from any form of abnormal menstruation after reading what has been discussed so far in this post, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible for treatment. But before that, you should make a record of the frequency and duration of your period. Write down any additional symptoms you experience during your period, such as cramps, extreme fatigue, etc., and be prepared to discuss your health with your doctor. 
Another important thing is that you can do a series of tests and a physical exam to make sure that your menstrual problems are not related to any underlying health problems. To get rid of irregular menstruation, you can take different types of medicines such as Pain relievers, Tranexamic acid, Antibiotics, etc. But always take these medicines as prescribed by the doctor for abnormal menstruation. And if medicine does not work, you can do different types of surgery.

The conclusion of some FAQs is given below:

1. What is the main reason for irregular periods?

There are many reasons for irregular menstruation in girls. But some of the main reasons are intense exercise, sudden weight loss or gain, mental stress, various medical conditions, etc. And the most common cause of abnormal menstruation in girls is hormonal imbalance. Also, age-related medications and menopause, breastfeeding, pregnancy, birth control pills, etc. can cause irregular periods.

2. Are irregular periods a serious problem?

Irregular periods are an underlying health condition that is important to address and identify. But the best way to know if this is a serious problem for you is to visit your doctor and get yourself checked.

3. When should I check if my period is irregular?

When you notice that your normal period has stopped suddenly and is not occurring for less than 21 days or more than 35 days, it is considered an irregular period. It should also be checked if you haven't had a period for six months or more.

4. How many days is a normal period last?

A girl's normal period usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Which usually happens every 28 days. However, it may be less or more depending on the age difference.

5. Which tablet is used for irregular periods?

There are many types of tablets available in the current market for women with irregular periods. However, among these, the most commonly used and popular drugs are Medroxyprogesterone (Provera, Depo-Provera). However, before taking any medicine, you must consult a doctor.

6. At what age do periods become irregular?

Usually, girls start their normal menstrual periods when they enter puberty. In fact, there is no specific age for girls to experience irregular periods, it can happen at any time for any reason. However, the incidence of irregular menstruation is more common among women aged 30 to 40 years.

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