Menstrual (Period) Problems
From an early age, women learn how to handle periods and their symptoms. But we should not be accepting unnecessary and often debilitating pain and discomfort!
What is menstruation?
A period (menstruation) happens when a woman’s body deals with a pregnancy that didn’t happen.
In the premenstrual phase, the women’s ovaries produce and release an egg into the fallopian tube, which is known as the ovulation period.
If a sperm does not fertilise the egg it then moves down to the uterus and the period starts.
Monthly bleeding can be manageable, particularly if the bleeding pattern is light and regular.
However many women are unfortunate to have heavy, painful or irregular periods or to experience intense premenstrual syndrome (popularly known as PMS) which can make life a misery.
Heavy menstrual bleeding can become even more troublesome when approaching menopause (perimenopause).
If you are having difficulty with your periods, for whatever reason, there are simple strategies which will help.
Going on the pill, or having an IUD may be just what you need, but in order to advise you correctly, we need to see you and may need to undertake some simple investigations such as an ultrasound scan or basic blood tests, (to check for anaemia or thyroid problems).
Taking a pill or having an IUD can also provide effective contraception (birth control), but even if you are not sexually active, these methods may help to manage period problems, depending on the cause.
An ultrasound scan can help diagnose common problems such as fibroids (benign tumours inside or around the uterus).
Endometriosis can be visualised on an ultrasound scan but may need a laparoscopy to make a definitive diagnosis.
Adenomyosis is a condition which can be diagnosed on ultrasound scan which is similar to endometriosis and can cause heavy painful periods.
PCOS (PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome) can cause periods to be irregular. PCOS needs to be managed by clinicians who really understand the syndrome, as it can cause not just period problems, but acne, obesity and even early-onset diabetes.