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Heavy, Prolonged or Delayed Menstruation
As women, it is important to understand what constitutes a normal menstrual cycle, and when our menstrual cycle is deviating from the norm.
A menstrual cycle is defined as the number of days from the first day of period, up to the last day, just before your next period begins. This forms one full cycle.
The average number of days in a normal menstrual cycle ranges from 28 days up to 35 days.
There are 4 different phases that make up a normal menstrual cycle, with the most prominent phase being the Menstruation phase.
The Menstruation phase refers to the number of days that a woman actively bleeds and menstruates. This usually lasts for an average of 5 to 7 days.
- 1 Heavy, Prolonged or Delayed Menstruation
- 1.1 What is Heavy or Prolonged Menstruation?
- 1.2 Causes of Heavy or Prolonged Menstruation
- 1.3 Complications of Heavy, Prolonged Menstruation
- 1.4 Treatment of Heavy, Prolonged Menstruation
- 1.5 What is Delayed Menstruation?
- 1.6 Causes Of Delayed Menstruation?
- 1.7 What to Expect When I See a Doctor for Delayed Menstruation?
- 1.8 Complications of Delayed Menstruation
- 1.9 Treatment of Delayed Menstruation
What is Heavy or Prolonged Menstruation?
This refers to bleeding that lasts longer than 7 days, or has a heavier than usual flow.
Heavy bleeding refers to bleeding that soaks through your pad or tampon every hour for several hours in a row, or needing to change pads or tampons at night.
Causes of Heavy or Prolonged Menstruation
It is important to see a doctor if you are experiencing heavy or prolonged menstruation.
Some causes can include:
Complications of Heavy, Prolonged Menstruation
Experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding that lasts for longer than usual can take a serious toll on your health.
The significant loss of blood can lead to serious complications like a low blood count, low iron and even low blood pressure. This can lead to symptoms like dizziness, shortness of breath or chest pain.
In serious conditions, losing too much blood can also lead to unnecessary strain on the heart which could end up becoming life threatening.
Treatment of Heavy, Prolonged Menstruation
The most important step towards treating heavy or prolonged menstruation is getting a proper diagnosis and evaluation by your doctor.
Your doctor will need to take a thorough history, perform a physical examination including a pelvic exam, as well as conduct the necessary investigations.
Treatment will then be tailored according to the underlying cause of abnormal bleeding.
Treatment can involve using medications to control the bleeding, hormonal medications or sometimes a referral to a hospital may even be necessary if your blood count is too low, or if a serious cause is suspected.
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What is Delayed Menstruation?
A delayed menstrual cycle occurs when your menstrual period deranges from the average duration of 28-35 days. While some people do have longer menstrual cycles of up to 45 days, any cycle that is delayed or out of the norm should be checked out by your doctor.
Causes Of Delayed Menstruation?
Causes of a delayed menstrual cycle will vary depending on your age group.
The most common and important cause of a delayed period is pregnancy. This is something that all sexually active women have to consider, if they experience any delay in their periods.
Other causes include:
What to Expect When I See a Doctor for Delayed Menstruation?
If you experience any delays, irregularity or changes in your menstrual cycle, you should see a doctor to get it checked out.
The first thing your doctor will do is to take a detailed history of your condition, which may include personal questions such as your sexual history.
It is also important for the doctor to have an idea on your usual menstrual patterns as well as your general lifestyle.
Next, a physical examination on the abdomen and vaginal area is carried out to look for any clues for the cause of your delayed menstrual period. The doctor will also look for signs such as excessive hair growth, acne or obesity.
After taking the history and performing the physical examination, your doctor may then order some investigations to find out what is causing your delayed menstrual period.
Complications of Delayed Menstruation
A delayed menstrual cycle could be a sign of an underlying condition, and should be evaluated by a medical professional.
Having a delayed menstrual cycle repeatedly over a prolonged period of time may lead to long term complications such as ovulation problems, fertility problems or even an increased risk of womb cancer.
Treatment of Delayed Menstruation
The treatment of delayed menstruation depends on the underlying cause. The most important step is to get an accurate diagnosis so that the appropriate treatment can be prescribed.
Dr Michelle Chia
After graduating from the National University of Singapore, Dr Michelle's journey allowed her to train in Women's Health and Aesthetic Medicine. Her experience has led her to be featured on multiple media platforms including Radio Stations and prominent Magazines like Her World, Women's Weekly and CLEO. Her work has also received recognition both locally and internationally in several Medical Conferences.
Ezra Clinic is a Women’s Health, Wellness and Aesthetic Clinic that is conveniently located at the top floor of Royal Square Medical Suites in Novena, Singapore’s Medical Health Hub.
Helmed by Dr Michelle Chia, Ezra Clinic is your chosen one stop clinic for all your Women’s Health and Wellness needs.