Breast lumps are uneven bumps and growths you can feel over your breasts.
An average menstrual cycle lasts approximately 28 days, although most women have menstrual cycles that vary and can range from slightly longer to slightly shorter than the stipulated average.
Menstrual cycles are temperamental at times. While some women may notice the gap between the end of their last periods and the start of their next period constantly changing, others may have missing or infrequent menses.
There are two types of irregular periods, these are:
Amenorrhoea, also known as the absence of menses and can be further categorised into:
Oligomenorrhoea, also known as infrequent irregular menses and is defined by fewer than 6-8 periods per year.
Women with irregular periods may experience the following symptoms:
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you are advised to consult your doctor to evaluate your symptoms further.
Irregular periods can be normal in some women. However, for others, there may be underlying medical conditions that require intervention/attention to re-establish a normal period cycle.
Below are some common medical causes of irregular or ceasing of periods:
Be honest and open when sharing your medical history with your doctor. This will help him/her come to the most accurate diagnosis with regards to your irregular periods.
You are advised to seek medical attention if your period:
Irregular periods and the underlying cause(s) can be diagnosed with clinical history and physical examination which involves a full body examination including abdominal and pelvic examinations.
Depending on your condition, you may be required to undergo the following:
For sexually active patients, a pregnancy test will be offered. Depending on individual cases, further investigations such as blood tests, hormonal tests, ultrasound of the pelvis, MRI of the brain, and genetic testing may also be advised or conducted.
The goal of treatment is to treat the underlying condition and restore fertility in women who are in the reproductive phase of their life. How can we make irregular periods regular? This depends on the cause of the irregular periods.
Let’s take a look at some general treatment options for irregular periods:
Do speak to your doctor for further understanding on individual treatment and management of your irregular periods.
You are advised to consider moderate exercise; some women can restore a regular menstrual cycle with healthy moderate exercise. Exercises such as yoga, have also been clinically proven to alleviate premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms as there is an increase in the production of endorphin and serotonin, commonly known as the ‘happy’ hormones.
In terms of diet, a healthy balanced diet, high in fibre, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and vitamin D is also important. Fatty meals high in saturated fats, salt, carbohydrates, and caffeine should be reduced or avoided.
You are encouraged to discuss your daily lifestyle when sharing your concerns regarding irregular periods with your doctor.
Some women with irregular periods may have difficulty in getting pregnant as they may not ovulate regularly. Hence, it is good practice to speak to your doctor if your menstrual cycle is abnormal.
Depending on individual medical circumstances, your doctor may advise hormonal medication or fertility treatment to facilitate the process of conceiving naturally.
Some women may notice their period irregularity since young/puberty— this can be normal. Occasionally, period cycles may also become irregular due to stress, lifestyle changes, medical conditions, illnesses, vaccinations, etc.
You are encouraged to discuss your symptoms with your doctor so that he/she can come up with a concerted plan to screen for any underlying medical issues that may be the cause of your irregular periods and manage accordingly.
Painful period cramps, also known as dysmenorrhea, can be a debilitating condition that affects many female’s quality of life — having this symptom monthly can be a big bummer in life.
Some women have absent or infrequent menses. While some ladies are not bothered with missing their menstrual period, a miss of 3 periods (either consecutively or throughout a year) warrants a visit of your doctor’s clinic.