Abnormal Menstruation (Periods): 
Types, Causes & Treatment

Periods are a normal and undetachable part of women's lives. They come and go monthly, and for most women, they're not a problem. However, some women don't have regular periods or experience other symptoms during their menstrual cycle that make them worry about the health of their reproductive organs or overall well-being. This article explores what types of abnormal menstruation exists and what causes them, as well as tips on how to treat irregular periods - including when you should seek medical attention.

Dr Disha Sridhar

I am a Gynaecologist Obstetrician ( MD, DNB OBGYN) with an emphasis on INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE.

What is Abnormal Menstruation? 

Abnormal menstruation (also known as irregular periods), is any type of period that does not follow the normal pattern.

The most common symptoms include:

  • Irregular menstrual cycle, which means having a variation in your menstrual cycle from one month to another. For example, if you normally have a 28-day cycle, and this month it was 32 days long instead.
  • Heavy or light bleeding during menstruation. This can occur if you experience a sudden change in blood flow (e.g., after childbirth) or when bleeding more than usual for no apparent reason at all! It's important to note here that jet-black discharge may indicate something else entirely, such as an infection, so try contacting your doctor right away if this happens.
  • Longer than usual duration between periods. some women have abnormal period cycles lasting up to six weeks without needing any intervention, while others might go through what's called "luteal phase defect" where ovulation fails due to low levels of progesterone—this condition can result in extremely irregular periods which are painful too.

Types of Abnormal Menstruation

The first step to determining whether or not your period is abnormal is to determine what is normal for you. If you're having trouble remembering how long it has been since your last period, write down the date and time of each day that you have a menstrual cycle. 

What causes abnormal menstruation?

Abnormal menstruation can be caused by several factors, including:

  • Hormonal imbalance- Menstrual irregularities may result from a condition that disrupts the balance of hormones in your body. This can happen when you have too much or too little progesterone or estrogen in your blood. 
  • Stress- Periods that are delayed for more than two weeks and menstrual periods that are heavy and painful may be due to stress and anxiety. In this case, it is important to take steps to reduce stress if possible because it's unlikely that taking hormonal contraceptives will help you regulate your menstrual cycle at this point.
  •  Menopause- Stressful events such as childbirth or surgery often cause irregular bleeding during perimenopause (the lengthy transition period before menopause). However, if changes like these occur suddenly without any previous reason for concern about possible problems with ovulation or hormone levels, then they most likely signify early signs of menopause rather than something else entirely unrelated, such as PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome).

Symptoms of abnormal periods

There are several symptoms that can indicate an abnormal period, such as heavy bleeding, irregular menstrual cycle, bleeding between periods, random spotting, and painful periods (pain may be sharp and localized to the lower abdomen or pelvic area, but it may also radiate through the back and legs). The details are followed below:

Irregular periods

Irregular periods are a common occurrence and not necessarily cause for alarm. However, if you have irregular periods and are concerned about them, it's important to be aware of the signs that might indicate a serious condition. If you have any of these symptoms, it's best to see your doctor:

  • Painful cramps
  • Excessive bleeding (more than normal)
  • Periods lasting longer than seven days

Bleeding between periods

If you have bleeding between periods, this is called menorrhagia. It's also very common in women with anemia. Other causes of abnormal bleeding include hormonal imbalances, fibroids, and other conditions that can cause uterine cancer (endometrial hyperplasia) or make it more likely for you to develop fibroids.

Additional factors that may contribute to abnormal vaginal discharge are stress, exercise levels, PCOS, and the amount of sleep you get every night.

Heavy or painful periods

  • Heavy Bleeding: This can include a heavy flow of blood, clots, and/or spotting between periods.
  • Painful Periods: Periods that are painful to the touch or when you're walking around. Pain during sex is also a common symptom of abnormal periods.
  • Abdominal Pain: or backache (menstrual cramps). Backaches are common during your period and usually only occur for a few days each month; however, if your pain lasts longer than expected or gets worse over time, it could be an indication that something is wrong with your reproductive system (uterus).
  • Leg Pain: or cramps in the thighs and buttocks area may also indicate an underlying health condition such as endometriosis – inflammation of the tissue lining the uterus – adenomyosis –which occurs when endometrial tissue grows into other parts of a woman's uterus – fibroids - benign tumors), polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

Bleeding after menopause

Menopause is the time in a woman's life when her menstrual cycle stops, and she stops having periods. Most women experience menopause between ages 45 and 55, but it can happen earlier. As you get older, your ovaries stop producing eggs and make less estrogen (the hormone that regulates your reproductive organs). The lining of your uterus also becomes thinner and less thick. When these changes occur, they can cause bleeding outside of your normal period time frame. In other words, you may have bleeding that is not related to your period at all. This type of abnormal bleeding is called menorrhagia or abnormally heavy menstruation.

Spotting randomly throughout your cycle after your period

This is a sign of pregnancy. A woman's body releases an egg during ovulation, which begins the menstrual cycle. After ovulation, this egg has 24 hours to be fertilized by sperm before it dies, and the uterus sheds its lining through menstruation. If an egg isn't fertilized within that time frame, it gets expelled from the body as part of the menstrual flow. If you're pregnant and have no signs of bleeding during this time or spotting afterwards (or if you've missed several periods in a row), then you may want to consider talking with a healthcare provider about getting checked for early pregnancy or miscarriage issues.

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)

Bacterial vaginosis is most common among women under 30 years old who aren't sexually active yet but can also affect older women too—even those who don't have sex regularly or at all because they're still virgins. It's caused by an overgrowth of bacteria that normally live inside our bodies but shouldn't grow out of control as they do here; symptoms include abnormal discharge with a fishy smell often accompanied by itching around your vaginal area too. Correcting these conditions requires treatment from either your doctor or another medical professional such as a Gynecologist.

How are irregular menstrual periods diagnosed?

When it comes to diagnosing irregular menstrual periods, you may need to undergo a pelvic exam and/or blood tests.

  • Pelvic Exam: A pelvic exam is performed by your doctor or a gynecologist (a doctor who specializes in female health issues). During the exam, the doctor will look for signs that indicate something might be wrong with your reproductive organs. She/he will also feel around for lumps or growths in your uterus and ovaries. If they find anything unusual during the exam, they might order additional tests to check for cancerous tumors and other problems associated with abnormal menstrual cycles.
  • Blood Tests: Your doctor may order a blood test or urine test to determine whether there's an imbalance of hormones causing your periods not to occur regularly—known as a polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). This condition can cause irregular menstruation along with other symptoms like excess hair growth on the face and chest area, acne breakouts, headaches, depression, anxiety disorders, oily skin, and dandruff.

What are the treatment options for irregular menstrual periods?

Treatment depends on the cause of an abnormal period.

●       Non-hormonal birth control

●       Hormonal birth control

●       Pelvic floor exercises

●       Oral contraceptives

●       Surgical removal of polyps or uterine fibroids

●       Lifestyle changes (such as eating, sleeping, and exercising)

You may need to try a few different treatment options before you find one that works for you. If your irregular periods are caused by other health issues, like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), your doctor may prescribe medications to treat that condition first. Never follow self-medication without consulting your doctor. It may worsen your condition.

When should you seek medical attention for abnormal menstruation?

You must see your doctor if you have a fever, severe pain, or heavy bleeding. If you have severe cramps that last for more than 12 hours with little or no relief from over-the-counter pain medications, this may be another sign of an underlying health condition.

If your period suddenly starts lasting longer than usual, becomes abnormally heavy, or if you experience sudden mood swings or weight gain during your period, that too could mean something isn't right with your body. Many women have experienced some form of an abnormal period. It's best to consult with a doctor to receive expert advice and treatment.

Best Integrative treatment in Bangalore for treating Irregular Periods

Women all over the world experience menstrual irregularities and abnormalities. While many women have no problems with their periods, others may experience pain, heavy bleeding, or spotting between periods. In some cases, these problems can be serious and require immediate medical attention. It's best to consult with a doctor if you're experiencing any of these symptoms so that they can offer expert advice on what treatment options are right for you. Dr. Disha Sridhar is one of the best gynecologists in Bangalore for treating Irregular Periods. She has expertise in INTEGRATIVE FEMALE GYNAECOLOGY AND REPRODUCTIVE ENDOCRINOLOGY and treats issues related to women's hormones, periods, fertility, and pregnancy.

She uses both conventional and alternative methods to cure PCOS and infertility cases. Even though she uses pharmaceuticals for treatment but she always prefers natural approaches first to treat PCOS naturally. With Truhealing protocol, hu dress if women have healed their period problems and fertility issues for good.

Contact her for all your PCOS and infertility-related issues. You can also visit her official website https://www.truhealing.com/ to know about her or to book an online appointment.

Consult with Dr. Disha for all your OBGYN problems

Dr. Disha offers comprehensive, integrative, state-of-the-art gynecological and obstetrical medical care for women throughout the life cycle.

Call +91 9980182168 / +91 8792201157  now to speak to her!


When is bleeding not normal?

Ans. Irregular painful periods and heavy bleeding are not normal.

What are the signs of Irregular menstrual periods?

Ans. If your periods last longer than 7 days; If your periods become irregular before 45 years of age; and if you have medical conditions like PCOS, these are the signs of irregular periods.

What causes irregular menstrual periods?

Ans. Causes of irregular menstruation periods are due to some medication, hormonal imbalance, too much exercise, stress, and PCOS.

Are irregular periods a sign of infertility?

Ans. Generally, irregular periods account for 30-40 % of infertility.

At what age do periods become irregular?

Ans. Generally, periods may become irregular at any age before 40, mainly between the early 30s and after the period of adolescence.

What is the Reason for Irregular Periods?

Ans. Hormonal imbalance, stress, eating disorders, and PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) are some of the reasons for irregular periods.

Are irregular periods normal?

Ans. Irregular periods are not normal. It may be due to some underlying health conditions like PCOS.

Originally published May 2, 2019

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