Dysfunctional Menstrual Cycles in Early Stage of Menopause
While there’s no question that dysfunctional menstrual cycles are often something that can raise an alarm in women and are often caused by things like obesity, polycystic ovarian syndrome, or even stress, those who are going through menopause should pretty much expect this to occur. In fact, dysfunctional menstrual cycles are a key sign that menopause has been reached.
Understanding just what dysfunctional menstrual cycles are is the first step to this. Basically, this term refers to menstrual bleeding that is irregular in any way. This could include:
- Spotting between cycles
- Extremely heavy bleeding
- Mid-cycle bleeding
- Longer, shorter, or unpredictable lengths of time between periods
- Longer, shorter, or unpredictable durations of periods
- Any other type of menstrual period that isn’t normal for you or your body
That last point is important to remember. Every woman’s body is different, and as a result each woman will experience their menstrual periods differently. Because of this, one can’t simply compare her menstrual cycle to someone else’s and assume that since they’re different, dysfunctional menstrual cycles are occurring.
While this issue may be a sign of a serious condition, women who are in the stages of perimenopause will likely find that this is the cause of their dysfunctional cycles.
Basically, perimenopause is the period of time that is marked by a major hormonal transition which eventually leads to menopause. In most cases it’s actually referred to as ‘going through menopause’ by most women, though perimenopause is the medical term for it. During this period of time, the menstrual cycle will begin to alter somewhat. Changes may occur as much as a decade or more prior to menopause occurring and the sporadic nature of menstrual cycles will increase as menopause continues.
The main reason for a dysfunctional menstrual cycle comes down to hormones. Menopause occurs when the ovaries begin to produce less estrogen and other hormones. This triggers a sudden imbalance in hormonal levels in the body which in turn leads to a variety of different symptoms and side effects including dysfunctional cycles. Additionally, during this period of time the ovaries start to produce their final eggs.
Eventually, dysfunctional cycles will actually give way to no menstrual cycles at all. Menopause is said to occur when 12 months have passed consecutively with no menstrual period. The months leading up to this will be marked by a variety of physical and mental symptoms including menstrual cycle irregularities.
It’s important to remember that even in the early stages of menopause, these odd and irregular periods are very common. The changes may occur as early as 35 years of age or later and could begin without any additional symptoms at all. They’re actually usually the first signs that one is beginning to approach menopause, and often function as a kind of warning sign that larger changes and more noticeable side effects are on the way. In most cases they’re nothing to worry about, but it’s still usually a good idea to speak with a physician if you’ve noticed irregularities in your menstrual cycles.