Irregular Menstruation by Dr Annapoorna Venkat

Irregular Menstruation by Dr Annapoorna Venkat

I’m in my late 40s. I used to have regular menstruation but for the past months, my menstruation has become irregular. My friends told me that they had the same experience prior to their menopausal period.  I would like to know what causes the irregularity in a woman’s menstrual cycle. Should I be worried about this? Is there any health screening or test that can determine if this irregularity is due to menopause?

If you are in your late 40s, you may be close to    menopause and  experiencing perimenopausal symptoms. Menopause occurs around 50 years of age. Some may experience it earlier (premature menopause) and others may experience it after 55 years of age (late menopause).

Irregular menses may be one of the first signs indicating that a woman is going through menopause. Other symptoms of menopause may include hot flushes, night sweats, palpitations, emotional upsets, vaginal dryness and loss of libido.

Menopausal symptoms are due to decreasing female hormones in the body and can be troublesome sometimes.
Effective treatment is available for such menopausal symptoms.

Basic screening tests to detect cholesterol and lipid problems, kidney and liver disorders, bone and joint diseases are useful in diagnosing diseases in different systems of the body. Screening for menopause would include mammogram and ultrasound of breasts to rule out breast cancer and bone densitometry to rule out osteoporosis.

A pelvis ultrasound will detect ovarian cysts, fibroid and other growths in the uterus, while a pap smear is important to rule out irregular bleeding causes from the cervix.

It is important to see a gynaecologist because menstrual irregularities can also be caused by a variety of other conditions such as hormonal imbalances, infections, malignancies, diseases and certain medications. Contraceptive use and pregnancy can also cause irregular menses.

Your gynaecologist will, after examining you, advise you on any special investigations and treatment required if there are other problems which are not due to menopause.
Regular exercise and supplementary calcium and vitamins are recommended to maintain good health in menopause. This should be tailored to individual needs, hence should be based on doctor’s advice.

Dr (Mrs) Annapoorna Venkat

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Brief Bio
Dr Annapoorna has 33 years of hands-on O&G experience from India, UK, Malaysia and Singapore. Her experience includes management of high- and low-risk pregnancies, adolescent gynaecology and benign gynaecological problems in women. She was an Assistant Professor at the National University of Singapore until 30 April 2015. She has taught and conducted workshops for undergraduate and postgraduate medical students and nurses. She has also held workshops on contraception and sexual assault for doctors who are undertaking the Obstetrics and Gynaecology (O&G) training. Dr Annapoorna has published numerous papers in medical journals and written chapters for books related to O&G. She was also the department Patient Safety Officer, analysing major safety issues and sentinel events and implementing safety plans. In addition, she has delivered educational public lectures and participated in interactive TV talk shows and events, highlighting the essential aspects of O&G.


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