In women, the advent of menstrual cycle normally happens between the ages 9 - 13 years and ends with menopause occurring between 50 - 55 years of age. Every month, a woman has a menstrual cycle which is somewhere between 25 - 35 days. Each month the body prepares itself for pregnancy which occurs if the egg released by the ovaries gets fertilized by the sperm and then implants itself in the uterine wall. If this occurs, the woman is said to be pregnant. However, if there is no fertilization, the uterus sheds the lining which results in menstruation or bleeding that a woman experiences once every month. However, sometimes there can be certain abnormalities or irregularities in this menstrual cycle as a result of some mild or severe causes. One such menstrual abnormality is polymenorrhea, a condition wherein the menstrual period occurs too frequently.
What is Polymenorrhea?
Polymenorrhea is a type of dysfunctional uterine bleeding in which the periods occurs at much shorter intervals, usually less than 21 days. In other words, it means that the time between the ovulation and the next menstrual cycle, called luteal phase is too short. Unlike spotting or metrorrhagia, in polymenorrhea the next period occurs shortly after the previous one. The condition can be bothersome if it the periods start occurring sooner than expecting, and on a regular basis. This can lead to complications during pregnancy or even infertility. There are various causes that lead to this condition as described below:
Causes of Polymenorrhea
One of the most common causes, not only for polymenorrhea but many other health ailments is stress. Be it physical, emotional, or environmental stress, it affects the hormonal balance in the body and causes menstrual irregularities. However, the good point is it is a mild cause, which can be managed by consuming medications and performing stress-relieving exercises.
Menopause refers to the time period in a woman's cycle wherein there is a permanent cessation of menstrual cycle. The phase leading up to menopause is called perimenopause in which the female body undergoes numerous hormonal imbalances, resulting in various symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, depression, menstrual irregularities like polymenorrhea, etc.
Another probable cause is endometriosis, which is the growth of endometrial cells found inside the uterus or surrounding the it. These cells attach themselves to the ovaries or fallopian tubes, forming lesions in those areas. The condition causes symptoms like heavy and painful periods, spotting between periods, abnormalities in menstrual cycle or pain during intercourse.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD)
Sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea can also result in polymenorrhea in many women. Chlamydia is caused by bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis and leads to severe abdominal pain, vaginal discharge, and irregularities in menstruation. Likewise, gonorrhea is caused by bacterium Neisseria, and results in excessive itchiness in the vaginal area, abnormal bleeding or discharge, and a burning sensation during urination.
Other causes include frequent ovulation due to hyperactivity of the anterior pituitary gland, constitutional disorders like malnutrition or psychological disturbances, and chronic pelvic inflammation.
Treatment for polymenorrhea mainly depends upon its underlying cause. Hence, it is recommended that one should diagnose the causes with a competent doctor or gynecologist in order to deal with the problems associated with menstrual irregularities.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.