There are many things that can affect your menstrual cycle. Even chronic stress or heavy physical activity can disrupt your cycle and cause amenorrhea. But apart from such obvious and easily detectable causes, your changes in the menstrual cycle can be caused by more serious health problems.
Below are 8 health conditions that can cause changes in your menstrual cycle.
1. Cervical or uterine polyps
Cervical and uterine polyps can lead to changes in your menstrual period. Polyps are tissue growth that can develop on the wall of the uterus. They rarely cause noticeable symptoms but may contribute to issues like irregular bleeding and spotting between periods. It is important to seek medical help if you have polyps because they may be precancerous. In this case, your gynecologist may recommend surgery to remove them and prevent cancer.
The polycystic ovarian syndrome is a health condition that can affect your menstrual cycle in many ways. It affects your body’s ability to ovulate. The cause of this issue isn’t totally clear, but it is often related to excessive levels of androgen hormones. This hormone may cause issues like excessive face and body hair, acne, irregular menstruation, or amenorrhea. Women with PCOS often suffer from insulin resistance, which makes them more vulnerable to diabetes.
3. Sexually transmitted diseases
There are a wide variety of sexually transmitted diseases that can affect your menstrual cycle. Conditions like yeast infections, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and others can lead to itching, unusual vaginal discharge, and bleeding can be confused for period spotting. This is important to get STDs treated ASAP. Untreated infections can cause a variety of serious health consequences including pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility.
4. Uterine fibroids
Uterine fibroids are a widespread health concern that affects up to 80 percent of women by the time they reach age 50. Fibroids are non-cancerous growth that don’t increase your risk of cancer. Fibroids rarely cause serious health issues, unlike they become too big and cause pressure on the nearby organs. While fibroids rarely cause symptoms, sometimes they can lead to heavy menstrual bleeding, pain, or cramping. To relieve these symptoms, you need to visit the best fibroid doctor to get them treated.
5. Thyroid disorders
Both underactive (hypothyroidism) and overactive(hyperthyroidism) thyroid may affect your menstrual cycle. When you have hypothyroidism the periods usually become heavier and longer. Hyperthyroidism usually causes lighter and less frequent periods. Thyroid disorders are the most common cause of menstrual changes. If you experience menstruation changes, it is crucial to visit your gynecologist to get the adequate diagnosis.
Endometriosis is a condition in which endometrial cells that create the lining of the uterus start growing in other parts of the pelvis. About 11 percent of women of reproductive age develop this condition. Endometriosis can lead to painful menstrual cramps, pain during sex, spotting between periods, and heavy menstrual bleeding. There is no treatment for endometriosis, but a doctor can help you relieve the symptoms with the help of hormonal therapy and medications.
Perimenopause is a period around menopause. During this period women experience major menstrual cycle changes. Five years before menopause your cycle may start getting shorter. Over time you may begin to skip periods. This doesn’t cause major complications or pain. In cases when your periods become very heavy or you feel pain, it is important to see your gynecologist to rule out the risk of other health problems.
8. Gynecologic cancer
Gynecological cancer is the worst cause of menstruation changes. Cancer may affect any part of your reproductive system including ovaries, uterine, and cervical. It may cause a variety of symptoms like heavy periods, irregular bleeding, and painful periods. Other common symptoms of cancer include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, weakness, and eating problems. If you suspect you have cancer, visit your gynecologist as soon as possible.