Today, various menstrual irregularities are one of the most common problems in gynecology. According to statistics, every woman at least once faced such a problem. The attention of gynecologists will deserve not a single case of a failure of the menstrual cycle, which is associated with stress, climate change or illness, but systematic delays that indicate serious illnesses. Why delays occur and what is the role of hormones in this — MedAboutMe will tell.
Menstrual cycle: becoming
For most girls who were born in the open spaces of Russia, the first menstruation begins between 12 and 13-14 years of age. The menstrual cycle is not immediately established, and various kinds of failures can be recorded. If a girl over 14 years of age has not begun menstruation, it is necessary to consult a specialist and conduct a series of studies.
In order to make sure that everything is normal, it is necessary to evaluate the duration of the menstrual cycle, that is, the number of days from the start of menstruation to the next. This period should be a minimum of 21 days, and a maximum of 33. Alarming signs indicating menstrual irregularities can be considered delays of more than 10-14 days, this condition is called oligoovulation. There is also a downside to the coin, when the cycle duration is less than 16-20 days.
An alarm signal can be considered a sudden increase in the duration of the menstrual cycle. Suppose, at first, the menstrual cycle lasted 23-24 days, and then suddenly increased to 28-30 days.
Looking for the guilty: diseases
When treating patients with menstrual problems, doctors begin to rule out the most likely causes of these disorders. One of the most common causes of violations are various diseases, infections of the female reproductive system. It is precisely these reasons that doctors exclude in the first place. For this, the following are carried out:
- interview and examination of a woman: identification of gynecological diseases;
- examination of a vaginal smear to exclude infections such as chlamydia, ureaplasma, mycoplasma, identify the pathogen and prescribe appropriate treatment. Gynecologists note that if menstrual irregularities occurred due to infection, then after treatment it does not recur.
If the cause was hidden in chronic inflammatory processes, violations can be repeated. It is more difficult when the menstrual cycle is disrupted due to the work of hormones. Blood and thyroid tests may be needed to rule out hormonal problems. Hypo- or hyperthyroidism is associated with menstrual irregularities, and various adrenal dysfunctions also have their effect.
Some diseases suffered by girls in childhood — rubella, chickenpox — can find their response in the gynecological field. Sometimes such diseases affect the process of laying follicles, and menstrual cycle failures can appear literally from the first menstruation. Unfortunately, girls do not always immediately focus on the existing problem, and mothers attribute everything to the process of the formation of the menstrual cycle, which is why the diagnosis is too late.
Cycle Disorders: Are Hormones Necessary?
To prescribe hormones or not is decided on an individual basis. If a woman experiences short delays, and the reason lies in diseases of the gynecological sphere, structural changes in the ovaries, then it is possible to regulate the menstrual cycle by vitamin therapy and non-drug methods, for example, physiotherapy. The effect of such exposure should not be expected quickly, it may take several months.
If pronounced changes in the hormonal background are detected, which may be evidenced by delays for several months, without the use of hormones, it is not possible to correct the situation and control it. Often such changes are accompanied by various developmental disorders of the uterus. With a disease such as polycystic ovaries, long and regular menstrual irregularities can be recorded, so patients with such a diagnosis are on dispensary records.
Rules for hormone treatment
As a rule, hormones are prescribed for long courses, and between them it is necessary to give the body a «rest» from the intense effects of drugs. These activities are necessary to restore the body and in order to avoid gaining excess weight.
Gaining excess weight is just one of the main problems that worries women. For the correct selection of hormones, a thorough study is necessary, including the calculation of insulin resistance. The data obtained will allow predicting the risks of gaining excess weight while taking hormones. But you can control weight gain, because oral contraceptives increase appetite, not weight itself.
What could be dangerous?
Menstrual disorders can be considered as a distant prospect for the formation of serious female diseases and even tumor processes. All these conditions are associated with unpleasant pain and deterioration of well-being. A delay in menstruation threatens to slow down the renewal of the inner layer of the uterus, so hyperplasia is formed — a thickening of the inner layer of the uterus, polyps.
In the absence of treatment for several years, there is a 20% risk of developing cancer. Also, due to inadequate production of hormones and an irregular menstrual cycle, there is a threat of infertility. Even if pregnancy occurs, there remains an increased risk of miscarriage.
Every woman should understand that the menstrual cycle is an indicator that reflects the state of women’s health. Cycle disorders are a dangerous symptom that should not be ignored, because this is a clear signal of health problems. Self-diagnosis in this matter will help to take action in time. Every woman should strictly monitor the menstrual cycle and analyze its possible changes. As soon as they have been identified, it is necessary to consult a specialist and look for the cause of these changes.
Obstetrics / Ed. Savelieva G.M. — 2000
Features of hormonal correction of menstrual dysfunction in women over 40 years old / Saidova R.A., Aleksanyan S.G., Mkoyan L.A., Kuptsova T.I. // Issues of gynecology, obstetrics and perinatology — 2009 — T. 8 No. 4