The frequency, duration and intensity of menstruation varies a lot among women. Abnormal menstruation does not always have to be examined, i.e. as long as the woman experiences no adverse effects. If your period lasts long or is very intense, or if the cycle is longer than 42 days and you have a desire to have children, you should consult a doctor.
Absence of menstrual period (amenorrhoea)
Some girls have not yet had a period at the age of sixteen. This is called primary amenorrhoea. This may be caused by an improperly developed uterus, a closed hymen or because they do not ovulate (anovulation)
If a woman has previously had periods, but not in the last six months, we speak of secondary amenorrhea. The most common cause is that there is no ovulation.
Very heavy bleeding during menstruation (menorrhagia)
The amount of blood loss during menstruation differs per woman. When the amount of blood loss is large, or when menstruation lasts a long time, this is called menorrhagia.
Heavy periods can be caused by abnormalities of the uterine lining. This can be too thick, or there may be polyps present. Another common cause of menorrhagia is myoma (fibroids).
Bleeding between periods and irregular menstruation (metrorrhagia)
Blood loss between periods is called intermenstrual bleeding. This may occur in the cycle at fixed or varying intervals, and the amount of blood loss can vary. Very irregular bleeding where there is no cycle recognizable is called metrorrhagia.
There are various causes of all intermenstrual and irregular bleeding. The cause may be harmless, such as irregular ovulation, a polyp or infection. But the complaint could also indicate another condition of the cervix or uterus.
In many cases, it is not clear what causes the severe blood loss. If heavy blood loss impedes daily life, or leads to anaemia, treatment may be considered. At the Wetering Medical Centre we aim to determine the cause of heavy periods in one visit, so that, if necessary, a treatment can be agreed.
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