A “normal” period is different for everyone. One person might experience a short, light flow every month, while another might experience heavier bleeding and cramping. However, if your periods have gotten notably more intense, irregular, or otherwise out of the ordinary, there might be a deeper problem at play.
At University Reproductive Associates, with offices in Hasbrouck Heights, Wayne, and Hoboken, New Jersey, our team can help you find out what might be causing issues with your menstrual cycle, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
What counts as “abnormal”
What’s abnormal depends on what’s considered normal for you. Your menstrual cycle is unique to your body, and it’s likely to change over your life.
Changes to your cycle can come in many forms, which is why it’s essential to track your period if you suspect something is amiss. Every month, try to log the following:
- When premenstrual syndrome (PMS) begins
- How long your bleeding lasts
- The heaviness of your flow
- Pain, including cramps, stomach upset, and headaches
- Hormonal changes, like mood swings, excess body hair, and acne
- If you experience spotting/breakthrough bleeding between periods
That log will not only help you identify changes to your periods, but it also provides our team with helpful diagnostic information.
Mild menstrual irregularities are not usually a cause for concern. However, if your cycle fails to stabilize or continues to worsen, your abnormal periods might be a symptom of an underlying condition.
5 Common causes of abnormal periods
Before going over potential diagnoses, there are many innocuous reasons for an irregular cycle. Changes to contraception (especially intrauterine devices), puberty, perimenopause, and breastfeeding can all cause abnormal periods.
If your problems are more persistent, it might be a symptom of the following:
- Endometriosis, a painful condition that causes tissue to grow outside the uterus
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder that affects the ovaries
- Uterine fibroids, usually benign muscular growths in the uterus
- Hyper/hypothyroidism, caused by an over/underactive thyroid
- Stress, including bodily stress caused by eating disorders or excessive exercise
Some of these conditions are often overlooked, misdiagnosed, or mistaken for something else, which is why you should enlist the help of our experts.
Our team at University Reproductive Associates has experience dealing with reproductive issues of all kinds and can help you get to the bottom of your symptoms.
Diagnosis and treatment
It can take time to discern what’s causing your abnormal periods, but identifying and logging your symptoms can make the process easier.
Our team will likely recommend additional diagnostics, such as blood tests, ultrasounds, pelvic examinations, and even exploratory surgery (laparoscopy). Once we have the full picture, we can begin suggesting potential treatments.
Depending on the cause of your irregular periods, these might include hormone therapy (HRT), a change in birth control, or a more targeted approach. If you want to get pregnant in the near or distant future, you can also discuss how to preserve your fertility.
Don’t let your abnormal periods become a normal part of your life. A consultation with our team at URA can help you find solutions and stability. To get in touch, call 201-288-6330 or request an appointment online.