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Bleeding disorders in women and the symptoms, such as menorrhagia, can be treated. Your life can be better if you know. Take the first step toward finding out if you are at risk for a bleeding disorder by taking a simple, online risk assessment at betteryouknow. Better if you seek care. Better if you get treatment. Find resources and information on bleeding disorders from the Better You Know campaign here.

Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options Skip directly to A-Z link. CDC Features. Section Navigation. Bleeding Disorders in Women. Minus Related Pages. Women with PMDD should experience a symptom-free interval between menses and ovulation. Therefore, it is important for patients to be carefully evaluated for the presence of an underlying mood disorder in order to develop the best treatment plan.

Back to Top. Menopause is defined as the permanent cessation of the menses. Perimenopause is defined as the transitional period from normal menstrual periods to no periods at all.

At this time menstrual periods gradually lighten and become less frequent. The transition to complete menopause may last anywhere from a few months to a few years. During the perimenopausal transition you may experience a combination of PMS and menopausal symptoms or no symptoms at all. The uterus contracts during your period to help the uterine lining leave the body.

Menstrual Disorders (The Experience of Illness)

Teens may get dysmenorrhea soon after they get their first period. For most women, primary dysmenorrhea gets less painful as they get older. But some women get severe menstrual pain. This type of dysmenorrhea is usually caused by another health problem. Pain from secondary dysmenorrhea usually gets worse as you get older. It also lasts longer than normal menstrual cramps. Problems that cause secondary dysmenorrhea include: Endometriosis.

This condition happens when the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus where it does not belong. In response to monthly changes in levels of the hormone estrogen, this lining breaks down and bleeds outside of the uterus and can cause swelling and pain. Uterine fibroids. Fibroids are tumors that grow in or on the wall of the uterus.

Periods: Menstrual symptoms, problems, and premenstrual symptoms

They are almost always not cancerous. Some women with fibroids experience pelvic pain and vaginal bleeding at times when they do not have their period. Ovarian cysts. Cysts are fluid-filled sacs on the ovary. When to see your doctor Talk to your doctor or nurse if over-the-counter pain medicine, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, does not help or if the pain interferes with daily activities like work or school.

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See your doctor to rule out other health problems if: You have blood clots in your menstrual flow that are larger than a quarter. Your pain happens at times other than just before your period or during your period. Period problem: Irregular periods. Causes of irregular periods include: Eating disorders.

The menstrual cycle

Irregular or missed periods can be signs of eating disorders, most often anorexia nervosa. But any eating disorder, including bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder, can cause irregular periods. Hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid, causes your thyroid to make more thyroid hormone than your body needs.


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Hyperthyroidism can also cause fewer and lighter menstrual periods than normal. High amounts of prolactin in the blood. This condition is called hyperprolactinemia hy-pur-pro-LAK-te-nee-me-uh. Prolactin is the hormone that causes breasts to grow during puberty and makes breastmilk after childbirth. It also helps control the menstrual cycle. About 1 in 10 women with irregular menstrual cycles has PCOS. POI happens when your ovaries stop working normally before age It can happen as early as the teenage years.

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Unlike women who go through premature menopause, women with POI may still have periods, though they are most often irregular. Women with POI may also still get pregnant. Pelvic inflammatory disease PID. Irregular periods can be a sign of PID, an infection of the reproductive organs. Studies show high levels of chronic long-term stress can lead to irregular periods. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes can cause irregular periods, but getting your diabetes under control can help your periods become more regular.

The extra fat in the body makes the hormone estrogen. The extra estrogen changes the normal menstrual cycle and can cause missed, irregular, or heavy periods.


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When to call the doctor You get irregular periods after having normal cycles. Your period happens more often than every 24 days or less often than every 38 days. Period problem: Heavy bleeding. Causes of heavy bleeding include: Problems with ovulation. In a normal menstrual cycle, your uterine lining builds up and thickens to prepare for pregnancy. If pregnancy does not happen, the uterine lining leaves your body during your period. If your hormones get out of balance or if you do not ovulate, the uterine lining can build up too much and bleed heavily and in an unpredictable pattern.

Problems with the uterine lining. If your hormones or uterine lining get out of balance, the uterine lining can bleed too much. This can cause heavy bleeding as the lining is pushed out during the next menstrual period. Thyroid problems. Hypothyroidism happens when your thyroid does not make enough thyroid hormones. Fibroids are made of muscle tissue that grows in or on the wall of the uterus. They are almost always not cancer.

They can cause pain and heavy or irregular bleeding. Uterine polyps. Polyps are an overgrowth of the endometrial tissue that lines the inside of the uterine wall. They are usually small. They are usually not cancer but can cause heavy or long periods. Certain medicines. Some medicines, such as blood thinners, can cause heavy or long periods. Pregnancy problems. Ectopic pregnancies can never end in a healthy pregnancy and are a medical emergency.

Bleeding disorders. Studies show that up to one in five white women with heavy periods has a bleeding disorder.