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Menstrual Problems: Diagnosis and Treatment

Women’s menstrual cycles often come with uncomfortable symptoms. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), which occurs one to two weeks before a woman’s period begins, causes a variety of physical and emotional symptoms.

Heavy periods or menorrhagia, in which there is more menstrual bleeding than normal, is most commonly caused by hormonal imbalance, particularly progesterone and estrogen.

Some women do not have their periods, a condition known as amenorrhea or absent periods. The most common cause of amenorrhea is pregnancy. Other causes include problems with the reproductive organs or with the glands that help regulate hormone levels.

Painful periods or dysmenorrhea occur when your uterus contracts as your period begins, causing painful cramps. Extremely painful periods are likely linked to an underlying medical problem such as fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and abnormal tissue growth outside of the uterus (endometriosis).

To diagnose your menstrual problem, your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and their duration. Your doctor will perform a physical examination and a pelvic exam to check your reproductive organs and see if there are any signs of inflammation in your vagina or cervix. A Pap test will be done to rule out cervical cancer or other underlying conditions. Other tests include blood test, endometrial biopsy (to extract a sample of your uterine lining for analysis), hysteroscopy (your doctor will insert a small camera into your uterus to search for any abnormalities), and ultrasound of your uterus.

Treatment depends on the menstrual problem that is diagnosed. This includes contraceptive pills for PMS, hormone replacement therapy for hormonal imbalance, and antibiotics for PID. Talk to your doctor for more information.

References:
https://www.healthline.com/health/menstrual-problems#diagnosis. Accessed 28 January 2020
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/amenorrhea/symptoms-causes/syc-20369299. Accessed 31 January 2020

 

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