Oligomenorrhoea (short and weak menstrual period)
What is an oligomenorrhoea?
Oligomenorrhoea is defined by the WHO (World Health Organization) when the overall female cycle is prolonged or when too short and weak periods occur. The opposite is the menorrhagia (long and heavy menstrual period).
Among other things, a distinction can be made between the so-called primary and secondary oligomenorrhoea: Primary oligomenorrhea is present when there is too rare or too short and weak menstruation in an affected woman since the first menstrual period (menarche).
In a secondary oligomenorrhoea, the menstruation after the menarche initially met the norm and only over time, too short or too weak and weak menstruation developed.
Cycle prolongation in oligomenorrhoea may be at least 35 days and no more than 90 days. Often, an oligomenorrhoea occurs at the beginning of puberty or at the beginning of menopause.
Possible causes of oligomenorrhea are many. If an oligomenorrhea occurs in the first post-menarche or menopause, it may be an expression of the hormonal changes that take place in the female body.
But also different diseases can lead to an oligomenorrhoea. For example, there may be disorders that affect ovarian function or hormonal disorders that produce too much male hormone.
Also disorders of the thyroid function (both lower and over functions) or tumors such as the uterine cancer can lead to an oligomenorrhoea. In addition, oligomenorrhoea may be psychologically favored (for example due to high levels of stress) and may also be the result of anorexia.
Last but not least, the practice of competitive sports in women can lead to the onset of oligomenorrhoea.
Symptoms, complaints & signs
The main symptom of the disease is a rarely occurring menstrual period. The cycles are prolonged with oligomenorrhoea lasting 35 to 90 days. In rare cases, even longer periods are possible. The affected women usually had normal long cycles of about 24 to 30 days before the onset of oligomenorrhoea.
Normally, the bleeding is weaker and shorter than before. But they can also occur in their usual strength and duration. Rarely, there is very little bleeding and spotting, but it can last up to two weeks. Due to hormonal factors further cycle disturbances can occur in the affected women. This can lead to bleeding or increased menstrual problems.
Depending on the underlying disease and the cause of the Oligomenorrhoe may present other symptoms. The presence of ovarian cysts or polycystic ovarian syndrome can cause severe weight gain and obesity. Rarely does an increasing masculinization occur.
The affected people perceive increased body hair. It can also lead to beard growth on the face and simultaneous loss of head hair. Rarely does the clitoris enlarge and more muscle mass is formed. Is an elevated prolactin level cause of the oligomenorrhea, but the breasts of those affected from a milky liquid.
Diagnosis & History
The diagnosis of causes of oligomenorrhoea usually begins with a patient talk with the treating gynecologist; Patients are frequently asked about their medical history, which can often provide the doctor with information on possible causes of oligomenorrhea.
This is usually followed by a gynecological examination in which the ovaries, uterus and vagina are scanned. In order to be able to diagnose the causes of oligomenorrhea, these examination steps are often supplemented by the performance of an ultrasound examination.
In addition, blood tests can detect any hormonal or other diseases that may have led to oligomenorrhea.
In the course of an oligomenorrhoea, only the symptoms of a too-rare or too short and weak menstrual period usually appear. Depending on the cause of an oligomenorrhoea, it can come in individual cases, for example, overweight, fluid secretions from the breasts or strong body hair.
In this disease sufferers suffer from different complaints. However, the further course and the treatment of this disease depend strongly on the underlying disease, so that it can not be given a general course. As a rule, however, the patients suffer from a very weak menstrual period which, however, lasts for a long time.
Cycle disturbances and strong mood swings occur. Also, depression or other mental illnesses can occur due to illness and have a negative impact on the quality of life and also on the relationship with their own partner. Furthermore, sufferers of cysts on the ovaries and in many cases also on an excessively strong hair. The hairiness can also lead to reduced self-esteem or inferiority complexes.
Those affected feel uncomfortable in many cases and are ashamed of the complaints. Also, the desire to have a baby of the woman may not be fulfilled due to the disease. The treatment does not usually cause complications. With the help of hormones, the symptoms can be alleviated. In some cases, however, those affected depend on mental therapy. However, life expectancy is not affected by the disease.
When should you go to the doctor?
Oligomenorrhea almost always indicates a hormonal problem or at least a change that will not normalize on its own. Therefore, every woman, regardless of age, should consult the doctor if the menstrual period is short, weak, and less frequent than usual. A harmless form of oligomenorrhoea occurs in young girls immediately after the menarche, though not in every girl. While a few girls get their regular cycle immediately, others take a cycle or two to get regularity. However, if the menstrual bleeding does not come as often as it should, the gynecologist should be consulted.
Normally, Oligomenorrhoe can also occur after pregnancy and childbirth, because even now, the cycle must first normalize. Short-term oligomenorrhea also occurs after stopping hormonal contraception. These are all natural causes and no reason for the visit to the doctor.
Sudden onset of oligomenorrhea, on the other hand, should be the occasion for a checkup with the gynecologist, because if a woman previously had a normal cycle and this changes, there is a reason. Middle-aged women could come to menopause. However, oligomenorrhoea may also indicate hormonal imbalances, endocrine disorders, or a physical condition that must be diagnosed in good time.
Treatment & Therapy
Whether a medical treatment of the Oligomenorrhoe necessary or meaningful depends mainly on the causes of Oligomenorrhoe:
If a menstrual period that is too rare or too short and weak is due to hormonal disorders and if a woman has a desire to have children, hormonal therapy methods, for example, can be used. If an over- or under-function of the thyroid gland has led to oligomenorrhea, this dysfunction can be counteracted inter alia with a drug treatment in order to combat oligomenorrhea.
Even with a tumor present as a reason for an oligomorrosis, a successful tumor treatment can lead to the fact that the Oligomenorrhoe also regresses. Anorexia as a cause of oligomenorrhoea is often treated using combined treatment:
While often a nutrition-related bodybuilding therapy, which is to contribute to the achievement of a normal weight in an affected woman, this therapy module is usually supplemented by an individually oriented psychotherapy. Successful therapy can lead to a decrease of the existing oligomenorrhoea.
Outlook & Forecast
The prognosis for oligomenorrhoea depends on the factors that caused the cycle disorder. If the short and weak menstrual period occurs in times of heavy physical or mental stress, the menstrual cycle often returns to its natural rhythm after the end of the strenuous phase of life. Learning relaxation techniques and a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and enough sleep can support this process.
Oligomenorrhoea, which occurs in early puberty, is usually also untreatable and enters a normal menstrual cycle as soon as hormone production has been absorbed into the young woman's body. If the short and weak menstrual period is based on a mental illness such as anorexia nervosa, a longer-term psychotherapeutic care of the patient to stabilize the body and psyche may be necessary.
Organically induced oligomenorrhoea can often be completely eliminated by effective treatment of the underlying disease. In case of over- or under-function of the thyroid, drugs are used, while functional disorders of the ovaries or tumors are usually treated surgically. If the weak menstrual period is caused by a polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), hormone therapy may help in the maturation of eggs and ovulation in women with unmet need for children. This treatment increases the chance of pregnancy significantly.
Prevention of oligomenorrhea can be prevented by identifying and treating possible causative diseases at an early stage. Hormonal factors that can lead to oligomenorrhoea can be positively influenced by various behavioral measures: Oligomenorrhea can be prevented as a result of hormonal factors such as measures such as stress reduction, adequate sleep, healthy diet, abstinence from nicotine and the avoidance of underweight and overweight,
In most cases, the person concerned in Oligomenorrhoe no special or direct measures of follow-up care are available, so that the person concerned in this disease should usually seek medical attention at an early stage. In most cases, self-healing does not occur, so a visit to a doctor is always necessary for the patient.
The sooner a doctor is contacted, the better is usually the further course of the disease. In most cases, the oligomenorrhoea is treated by taking different medications. It is always important to ensure a regular intake and also to a correct dosage of the medication to relieve the symptoms permanently and sustainably.
In case of ambiguity, questions or side effects, a doctor should also be consulted first. Most sufferers also depend on the support of their own family or partner, which can also prevent depression or other mental upsets. Oligomenorrhea does not reduce the life expectancy of the person affected.
You can do that yourself
If the Oligomenorrhoe on puberty or shortly before the menopause due to the natural hormone change, it is usually not bothersome - a treatment is therefore not necessary. If a woman's wish to conceive can not be met as a result of the cycle disturbance, she should measure her basal body temperature and maintain a menstrual calendar for a certain period of time: these records make it easier for the physician to investigate the causes.
In addition to any necessary medical treatment, some medicinal plants have proven to be useful against a too short and weak menstrual period: Here is especially chasteberry to call, which can compensate for hormonal disorders and stabilize the menstrual cycle with prolonged use. In Far Eastern medicine, ginger and aloe vera are used to stimulate the menstrual period. If the Oligomenorrhoe due to stress or great mental stress, regular relaxation exercises such as autogenic training or yoga can have a balancing effect. In physical overuse, such as excessive exercise, helps reduce the scope of training, underweight-related cycle irregularities usually lie down after reaching normal weight again.
If an eating disorder is the cause, psychotherapeutic treatment should be provided. A healthy lifestyle with a well-balanced diet, a balanced balance of activity and recovery, and a substantial abstinence from nicotine can also have a beneficial effect on the menstrual cycle.