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Causes of longer menstrual period




causes of longer period



Overview



Causes of longer  menstrual period.The duration and severity of menstrual bleeding varies from woman to woman. It’s known as menorrhagia if a woman’s menstrual period is excessively heavy, prolonged, or irregular.Symptoms of menorrhagia include a menstrual period that lasts longer than seven days, and bleeding is so heavy that you must change your tampon or pad more than once per hour. You should see your doctor if you have excessively heavy or prolonged menstrual periods that interfere with your daily life.Excessive bleeding can cause anemia, or iron deficiency, and may signal an underlying medical condition. In most cases, a doctor can successfully treat abnormal periods.

Read also: Treatment of  premenstrual syndrome

What Causes longer Menstrual Periods?


Heavy or irregular periods can be due to a variety of factors, including:

1.Medications


Some anti-inflammatory drugs, anticoagulants, or hormone medications can affect menstrual bleeding.

Heavy bleeding can be a side effect of intrauterine devices used for birth control.

2.Hormone Imbalances


The hormones estrogen and progesterone regulate the buildup of the lining of the uterus. An excess of these hormones can cause heavy bleeding. Hormone imbalances are most common among girls who began menstruating in the past year and a half. They’re also common in women who are getting close to menopause.

3.Medical Conditions


PID


Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and other infections can cause irregular periods, as can endometriosis. This is a condition in which tissue that lines the inside of the uterus begins to grow elsewhere inside the body. This can cause heavy bleeding, as well as pain.

Inherited Blood Disorder


Heavy menstrual bleeding can also be due to some inherited blood disorders that affect clotting.

Benign Growths or Cancers


Cervical, ovarian, or uterine cancer can all cause heavy bleeding, but these conditions are not common. Benign, or noncancerous, tumors in the uterus can cause heavy bleeding or long periods.Benign growths in the uterine lining (endometrium) can cause a heavy or prolonged period. These growths are known as polyps, when the growth is made up of endometrial tissue, or fibroids, when the growth is made up of muscle tissue.causes of longer period

Other Possible Causes of longer menstrual period


Annovulation


Lack of ovulation, or anovulation, results in a lack of the hormone progesterone, causing heavy periods.

Adenomyosis


When glands from the uterine lining embed in uterine muscle, heavy bleeding can occur. This is known as adenomyosis.

Ectopic Pregnancy


You should contact your doctor if you bleed during pregnancy. Normal pregnancy interrupts menstruation. Some spotting during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester, is often nothing to worry about. Seek immediate medical attention if you bleed heavily during pregnancy. It can be a sign that the fertilized egg implanted in the fallopian tube rather than the uterus, which is called an ectopic pregnancy. It can also indicate a miscarriage. Your doctor will be able to help you figure out what’s causing any bleeding during pregnancy.causes of longer period

What Are the Symptoms of Heavy or Irregular Periods?


The length of the menstrual cycle and amount of blood flow is unique to each woman. However, most women have a cycle that ranges from 24 to 34 days. Blood flow averages about four or five days, with a blood loss of about 40 cc (3 tablespoons). It’s important to remember that these are just averages, and that your “normal” may fall outside of these ranges.

A blood loss of 80 cc (5 tablespoons) or more is an abnormally heavy flow. Signs that your flow may be abnormally heavy include soaking through more than one tampon or sanitary pad in an hour, for several hours at a time. You may need to double up on sanitary pads, or use both a tampon and a pad. An abnormally heavy flow may cause you to wake up during the night because you need to change protection. You may not be able or willing to participate in your normal activities because your flow is too heavy. Sometimes, an abnormally heavy flow will contain large blood clots, or last more than a week. Also, an abnormally heavy flow can cause you to experience the following symptoms, which may be an indication of anemia:

  • fatigue

  • pale skin

  • shortness of breath

  • dizziness

While every woman’s cycle is different, irregularities such as bleeding mid-cycle or bleeding after intercourse are abnormal symptoms.

When Should I Seek Medical Care?


You should see your gynecologist once a year for a checkup. However, you should make an appointment right away if you have bleeding or spotting in the following circumstances:

  • between periods

  • after sex

  • while pregnant

  • after menopause

Other indicators that you should consult your doctor include the following:

  • if your periods consistently last for more than a week

  • if you require more than one tampon or sanitary pad in an hour, for several hours in a row

  • severe pain

  • fever

  • abnormal discharge or odor

  • unexplained weight gain or loss

  • unusual hair growth

  • new acne

  • nipple discharge


Keep track of your menstrual cycles, including how long your blood flow lasts, and how many tampons or sanitary pads you use during each cycle. This information will be helpful at your gynecological appointment.

Avoid products that contain aspirin because they may increase bleeding.

How Are Heavy or Irregular Menstrual Periods Diagnosed?


If you have abnormal menstrual periods, your doctor will probably begin with a pelvic examination. They will take your medical history, and you should list all the medications and supplements you’re taking.

Depending on your specific symptoms, diagnostic testing may include:

Pap Smear


This test is to check for various infections or cancerous cells

Blood Tests


Blood tests will be used to check for anemia, blood-clotting problems, and thyroid function.

Pelvic Ultrasound


A pelvic ultrasound will produce images of your uterus, ovaries, and pelvis.

Endometrial Biopsy


If your doctor wants to evaluate possible issues with your uterus, they may order an endometrial biopsy, in which a sample of your uterine tissue is taken so it can be analyzed. They may also use a diagnostic hysteroscopy to view the inside of your uterus. For a hysteroscopy, your doctor will use a lighted tube to view the uterus and remove the polyp.causes of longer period

Sonohysterogram


They may also use a sonohysterogram, an ultrasound that involves the injection of fluid into your uterus to help make an image of your uterine cavity. Your doctor will then be able to look for polyps or fibroids.

Pregnancy Test


Your doctor may request a pregnancy test.

What Are the Treatment Options for Heavy or Irregular Menstrual Periods?



Treatment will depend on your overall health, the reason for your menstrual abnormalities, and your reproductive history and future plans. Your doctor will also need to address any underlying medical conditions, such as thyroid dysfunction. Treatments may include the following.

Medication


Possible medication treatments your doctor may suggest include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can reduce mild blood loss.

  • Iron supplements can treat anemia.

  • Hormone replacement injections can treat hormonal imbalances.

  • Oral contraceptives can regulate your cycle and shorten periods.

You can work with your doctor to find alternatives if your irregularities are due to medications you are already taking.

Medical Procedures


D&C


Dilation and curettage, also known as D&C, is a procedure in which the doctor dilates your cervix and scrapes tissue from the lining of your uterus. This is a fairly common procedure and generally cuts down on menstrual bleeding.

Surgery


Surgery is the common treatment for cancerous tumors. Surgery is also an option to treat fibroids, but it’s not always necessary. Removal of polyps can occur using a hysteroscopy.

Endometrial Ablation


Endometrial ablation is a procedure used in women who have had no success with medications to control heavy bleeding and related symptoms. In this procedure, the doctor will destroy the uterine lining, leaving little or no menstrual flow. Endometrial resection removes the uterine lining. This procedure significantly decreases your chances of a future pregnancy, so women who plan on having children should discuss and consider other treatment options.causes of longer period

Hysterectomy


Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus and cervix. This may be the preferred treatment for those with cancers or fibroids. It can also treat endometriosis that hasn’t responded to other less invasive forms of treatment. A hysterectomy will end your ability to bear children. Your doctor will also remove your ovaries, if necessary. This results in premature menopause.causes of longer period

What Are the Complications Associated with Heavy or Irregular Menstrual Periods?


Heavy blood flow isn’t always a sign that something is wrong. However, excessive loss of blood can deplete the body’s supply of iron and cause anemia. A mild case of anemia can cause fatigue and weakness. A more severe case can result in the following symptoms:

A very heavy flow can also cause painful cramping, or dysmenorrhea, which sometimes requires medication.causes of longer period

Worst complications of sexually transmitted infections/STD


sexually transmitted infections

Overview


Leaving sexually transmitted infections  (STIs) or STDs untreated can lead to an array of problematic health complications.

Even though many STIs don’t necessarily cause noticeable symptoms it is still important to get tested and treated.

Here we will discuss the most common complications and what they might mean for your general health in the long term.

Read also: Common HIV signs and symptoms in men and women

Here are the complications of sexually transmitted infections


1...Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)


Image result for sexually transmitted infections

PID is a common infection contracted by women and is caused by bacteria which progresses from the vagina or cervix to the upper genital tract.

Infected women can experience pain around the lower abdomen, discomfort during sex or urination, heavy periods, bleeding inbetween periods, unusual discharge, a fever or nausea and vomiting. It can be caused by untreated chlamydia or gonorrhoea infections.

According to official statistics, 10-15 per cent of women with chlamydia[1] who do not seek treatment go on to develop PID, which can also be linked to cases of female infertility.

2..Infertility


Failure to treat STIs can make both men and women infertile.

A couple might be diagnosed as infertile after one whole year of failing to conceive.

Female infertility caused by STIs may occur due to damage to the fallopian tubes.

Male infertility can be the result of an infection in the testes often attributed to chlamydia. This can result in a reduction in the number of sperm being produced making it more difficult to conceive.

Studies have found that sexually active adolescents and young adults aged between 15-24 years[2] are the group most at risk of contracting STIs, with half of all newly diagnosed STIs falling into this age range.

In the short term, this particular age group might not think about the impact that infertility can have on their future. However, it should be noted that infertility can lead to relationship difficulties and mental health problems.

3..Miscarriage and Ectopic Pregnancy


Some STIs can cause permanent damage to the female reproductive organs.

This can create problems when trying to conceive, as detailed above, or during pregnancy.

PID can lead to scarring which makes it difficult for fertilised eggs to pass from the ovaries into the womb. This may increase the chances of the egg getting stuck in the fallopian tube.

If the egg starts to develop outside of the womb this is known as an ectopic pregnancy which can lead to immediate health complications and even be fatal.

According to a study by the National Centre of Biotechnology Information (NCBI) around 40 per cent of ectopic pregnancies[3] can be attributed to infectious factors, including STIs.

The bacteria from some sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia can cause the foetus to die in the uterus. A primary infection of genital herpes contracted during pregnancy can also cause miscarriage.

4..Epididymo-orchitis


Image result for scrotal swelling

Epididymo-orchitis is a condition that some men may contract if they do not access STI treatment.

Epididymitis refers to swelling found in part of the testis involved in making sperm. Orchitis is the clinical name given to swelling of the testis.

This condition is most commonly caused by STIs such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea. These two STIs infect the urethra but the bacteria can also progress into the testes if left untreated.

As outlined in a paper commissioned by the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) some rare cases of epididymo-orchitis can lead to a reduced sperm count[4] which can reduce fertility.

5..Increased Risk of HIV


Those who fail to seek treatment for STIs increase their risk of becoming infected with HIV[5] if they continue to have unprotected sex. According to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) women infected by chlamydia are up to five times more likely[6] to contract HIV if exposed.

Therefore the treatment of STIs is important in the prevention and reduction of HIV. HIV causes serious damage to the body’s natural immune system, eventually shutting it down completely. There is no cure for HIV and symptoms have to be closely managed throughout a person’s life.

6..Spread of Infection


If you leave an STI untreated and have unprotected sex there is a high possibility that you will spread the infection to your sexual partner. Women can also pass some STIs onto their baby during childbirth which can cause complications.

          Syphilis


Image result for sexually transmitted infections

A syphilis infection can progress through three stages if left untreated.

Stages one and two can cause unpleasant symptoms, however, the third stage can be extremely dangerous and cause organ failure, stroke, paralysis, blindness, deafness, heart disease and dementia.

                  How to Avoid sexually transmitted infections Complications





Image result for sexually transmitted infections


The possible complications caused by leaving STIs untreated are numerous and in some cases extremely harmful to the infected person’s general health.

STI treatment should be started as soon as possible to reduce the chances of becoming infertile. It is important to remember that many STIs can be asymptomatic and initially present no obvious cause for concern.

Even though typical STI symptoms might not be present there is still a possibility that an infection has been contracted. Therefore it is important for anyone who has sexual contact or intercourse without protection to be regularly screened.

Summary


Once you see any sign of sti it's your time to seek treatment from the health facility. some complications of stis like syphilis can led to a mental health problem.

Amenorrhea causes and treatment

 amenorrhea causes and treatment

Overview


Amenorrhea means not menstruating or having a period. There are two types of amenorrhea: primary and secondary. Amenorrhea causes are based on their types.  When a girl reaches age 16 and has not had a period, she may have primary amenorrhea. When a woman who has been having periods misses three in a row, she is considered to have secondary amenorrhea. Amenorrhea is expected in certain circumstances, including during pregnancy, lactation, and menopause. Secondary amenorrhea is more common than primary amenorrhea.
Amenorrhea is a sign of another condition, not a disease itself. Many things can cause it, including low body weight, hormonal imbalances, stress, and problems with the pituitary gland. Usually, the underlying condition is not serious.

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms of primary amenorrhea may include:
  • Headaches
  • Abnormal blood pressure
  • Vision problems
  • Acne
  • Unwanted hair growth
Symptoms of secondary amenorrhea may include:
  • Nausea
  • Swollen breasts
  • Headaches
  • Vision problems
  • Being very thirsty
  • Goiter (an enlarged thyroid gland)
  • Darkening skin
Hot flashes, mood changes, depression, and vaginal dryness are common with estrogen deficiency.

What Causes It?

Both primary and secondary amenorrhea can have several causes.

Primary amenorrhea

  • Lack of reproductive organs, such as uterus, cervix, or vagina
  • Problems with the pituitary gland
  • Anorexia
  • Stress
  • Too much exercise
  • Abnormal chromosones
  • Malnutrition

Secondary amenorrhea

  • Pregnancy or breastfeeding
  • Polycystic ovaries
  • Using some types of birth control
  • Taking some types of medicines, such as corticosteroids
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Low body weight
  • Too much exercise
  • Thyroid problems
  • Pituitary gland tumor
  • Stress
  • Premature menopause (menopause before age 40)
  • Malnutrition
  • Autoimmune diseases

What to Expect at Your Provider's Office

Your doctor may ask you to take a pregnancy test, then do a physical exam, which will include an internal pelvic exam. Your doctor may also order lab tests to check your hormone levels and to learn how well your thyroid is working. Other tests may include computerized tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or ultrasound.

Treatment Options

Your doctor will determine which treatment is right for you based on the cause of your amenorrhea. Treatments include hormone therapy, psychological counseling and support, and surgery, among others.

Drug Therapies

Your health care provider may suggest the following:
  • Birth control pills or hormones to help you start menstruating.
  • Estrogen replacement for low levels of estrogen caused by ovarian problems, hysterectomy, or menopause. Women with an intact uterus should get estrogen plus progesterone. Estrogen, or hormone replacement therapy (HRT), has both benefits and risks. Post-menopausal women who take HRT have higher risk of breast cancer, stroke, heart disease, and blood clots in the lungs. However, for some younger women, the benefits may outweigh the risks. Talk to your doctor to decide what is best for you.
  • Progesterone to treat ovarian cysts and some problems with the uterus.
  • Metformin to treat cysts in the ovaries and support ovulation.

Complementary and Alternative Therapies

Maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly can keep your body healthy. Other alternative therapies may help your body make and use hormones properly.

Nutrition and Supplements

Be sure to eat a healthy diet. Limit processed foods, and eat foods with heart-healthy fats (unsaturated fats) rather than saturated fats. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Eat more whole grains, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids found in cold-water fish, nuts, and seeds. Diets that are very low in fat can raise your risk of amenorrhea. In addition, these supplements may help:
  • Calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, vitamin K, and boron. Women who do not have periods are at higher risk of osteoporosis, and these vitamins and minerals may help keep bones strong. Vitamin K can interact with blood-thinning medications such as warfarin (Coumadin) and clopidogrel (Plavix).
  • B6 may reduce high prolactin levels. Prolactin is a hormone released by the pituitary gland, and women with amenorrhea often have higher levels of prolactin.
  • Essential fatty acids: Evening primrose or borage oil. These fatty acids may increase the risk of bleeding, especially if you take blood thinners such as clopidogrel (Plavix) or warfarin (Coumadin).
Progesterone is sometimes available as an over-the-counter oral supplement. However, you should never take progesterone without your doctor's supervision.

Herbs

The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, can trigger side effects and can interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, take herbs only under the supervision of a provider.
Most of the herbs listed below have not been studied specifically for treatment of amenorrhea, but they have been used traditionally. Many act like the hormone estrogen in the body. Talk to your doctor before taking them, and avoid these herbs if you have a history or family history of cancers associated with estrogen, including breast, cervical, uterine, and ovarian cancer.
  • Chaste tree: For high prolactin levels, chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus) may help the pituitary gland function normally and may reduce prolactin levels, but it must be taken for 12 to 18 months. One very small study found that 10 of 15 women with amenorrhea started having periods after taking chaste tree for 6 months. If you already use hormone therapy, do not use chaste tree except under your doctor's supervision. Chaste tree may interact with a number of medications, including chlorpromazine (Thorazine), haloperidol (Haldol), levodopa, metoclopramide, olanzapine (Zyprexa), prochlorperazine (Compazine), quetiapine (Seroquel), ropinirole (Requip), and risperidone (Risperdal). It also may make birth control pills less effective.
The following herbs have estrogen-like effects and are sometimes used to treat menopausal symptoms, although there are no clinical trials that show whether they work or are safe. People with a history of hormone-related cancers should consult a physician before using these herbs:
  • Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa), licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), and squaw vine (Mitchella repens): Black cohosh may interact with a number of medications processed by the liver, including acetaminophen (Tylenol), atorvastatin (Lipitor), carbamazepine (Tegretol), isoniazid (INH), methotrexate (Rheumatrex), and others. Licorice interacts with many prescription and over-the-counter medications, and can potentially cause a variety of side effects, so ask your doctor before taking it. DO NOT take licorice if you have high blood pressure or heart failure.
  • Lady's mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris) and vervain (Verbena officinalis): These are other herbs that may help stimulate menstrual flow. DO NOT take these herbs without your doctor's supervision. Your doctor should monitor your liver function if you take lady's mantle.
  • Kelp (Laminaria hyperborea), oatstraw (Avena sativa), and horsetail (Equisetum arvense): These three are rich in minerals that may help promote thyroid function. Avoid horsetail if you have diabetes, take lithium, or take a diuretic (water pill), such as hydrochlorothiazide or furosemide (Lasix).
  • Wild yam: Some people believe wild yam is a natural source of progesterone, but that is not true. Although it was once used to make progesterone in the laboratory, the body cannot make progesterone from wild yam.
DO NOT take the herb blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides). This toxic herb should not be used without strict medical supervision.

Homeopathy

Few studies have examined the effectiveness of specific homeopathic remedies. Professional homeopaths, however, may recommend treatments for amenorrhea based on their knowledge and clinical experience. Before prescribing a remedy, homeopaths take into account a person's constitutional type, which is your physical, emotional, and intellectual makeup.
  • Pulsatilla: For most menstrual problems, especially in women who have poor appetite and do not favor exertion; they may faint easily. They may be aggravated by heat and feel worse in the evening. They may like to be in the open air.
  • Sepia: For women with late or irregular menstruation. They may have a sallow complexion and experience frequent headaches, toothaches, and pain when bearing down. They may feel cold and want to be alone.
  • Graphites: For women with late or light menstruation. They may have a sallow complexion and experience a feeling of fullness or constipation and headaches. They often have a fair complexion.

Physical Medicine

The following help increase circulation and relieve pain from pelvic congestion:
  • Castor oil pack: Apply oil to a soft, clean cloth, place on abdomen, and cover with plastic wrap. Place a hot water bottle or heating pad over the pack and let sit on your abdomen for 30 to 60 minutes. You can safely use this treatment for 3 days, although it may be beneficial to use for longer. Talk to your provider to determine how long to use it.
  • Contrast sitz baths: Use two basins that you can comfortably sit in. Sit in hot water for 3 minutes, then in cold water for 1 minute. Repeat this 3 times to complete one "set." Do 1 to 2 sets per day, 3 to 4 days per week.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture may improve hormonal imbalances that can go along with amenorrhea and related conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). A few small studies of women with fertility problems, which are sometimes connected with amenorrhea, suggest that acupuncture may help promote ovulation.
Acupuncturists treat people with amenorrhea based on an individualized assessment of the excesses and deficiencies of qi located in various meridians. Acupuncturists believe that amenorrhea is often associated with liver and kidney deficiencies, and treatment often focuses on strengthening function in these areas.

Special Considerations

Becoming pregnant may be difficult or impossible. Amenorrhea also may cause pregnancy complications.

Amenorrhea can also raise the risk of developing osteoporosis.

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