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Each and every woman experiences their period or menstrual cycle differently. But, most women experience a menstrual cycle every 28 days with a menstrual flow that’s about four to seven days. If your periods are more extended, shorter, or heavier than usual, it’s probably nothing to worry about. However, if any abnormalities persist, it may be a sign of a more significant problem.
In this blog, the team at Endometriosis Treatment Center of America (ETCOA) discuss everything you need to know about your menstrual cycle, possible causes of an irregular period, and when to seek medical care.
Understanding Your Menstrual Cycle
The average length of a menstrual cycle is 28 days, which refers to the number of days between the first day of your period, to the day before your next period. Though it’s not abnormal for some women to have shorter or longer cycles, it generally should be consistent from month to month (give or take a few days off).
While every woman experiences periods differently, you may be dealing with an abnormal period if you experience any of the following:
- Your menstrual cycle changes ( i.e., the number of days between your periods changes rapidly)
- You are bleeding more heavily less than usual
- You go several months without having a period
- You experience severe cramps or pain
Causes of Abnormal Periods: Lifestyle Factors
There are many different causes of abnormal periods, but most causes result from hormonal changes. Some common lifestyle causes of irregular periods include:
- Weight change
- Switching birth controls
- Being pregnant
- Medical conditions
Causes of Abnormal Periods: Medical Conditions
Two of the most common causes we see at ETCOA are endometriosis and PCOS. Endometriosis occurs when your endometrial tissue, which you typically shed each month during your menstrual cycle, grows outside your uterus. This condition can cause abnormal bleeding, pain, and severe cramps.
On the other hand, PCOS occurs when your body produces too many androgens, a type of hormone. This hormone affects ovulation and can lead to a delay or absence of a menstrual flow.
When to Seek Treatment for Abnormal Periods
You should seek medical help if your periods suddenly differ from the norm, such as:
- Bleeding heavier than normal
- Spotting between periods
- More frequent periods
- Foul-smelling discharge
- A period that lasts longer than seven days
- Nausea or vomiting during your period
- Severe pain anytime during your cycle
If you sense abnormalities before, during, or after your menstrual cycle, we recommend keeping a journal to document any symptoms. That way, you can articulate what’s different when you speak with your doctor. If you’re more tech-savvy, there are numerous mobile applications that you can download to track your cycle as well. Some of our favorites include Flo, Clue, and Magic Girl. Each of these apps can help you keep track of your flow days, symptoms, and more.
Many women are wary of seeking help for problems relating to menstruation, as they feel the provider won’t take their pain seriously. However, ETCOA takes your concerns very seriously—no matter how small or large they may be. You know your body better than anyone else, and you’ll likely know when you are experiencing an abnormal period.
Abnormal Period Treatments from ETCOA
If you are dealing with abnormal periods, we’re here to help. We have years of experience helping women with abnormal periods regain control of their lives—ensuring their periods do not stop them from carrying out their daily activities.
We achieve this goal in many ways, from providing access to pain relief to comprehensive treatment. For example, if you receive a formal diagnosis of endometriosis, we may suggest treatments such as anti-inflammatory medication or hormonal therapy.
If you’d like to learn more, please do not hesitate to get in touch today. A team member would be happy to talk you through our treatments or answer any questions you may have to put your mind at ease.
Suffering from Abnormal Periods? Call Us Today!
Proudly serving Birmingham & Lake Orion, MI, we can help those suffering from abnormal periods. With years of experience, we offer numerous effective treatments so that you can live your life to the fullest. We also provide tele-health appointments so you can find healing—no matter where you are! Call us at (248) 731-2155 or contact us online to schedule an appointment!