During menopause and before menopause, various changes can be seen, such as prolonged menstruation, short cycles, heavy bleeding, and fresh blood. Under the supervision of a doctor, we will explain in detail the causes, types of menstrual abnormalities, possible diseases, and how to deal with them. Maybe menopause? We also provide a checklist.
Table of contents
- Changes in the menstrual cycle and menstrual blood volume as menopause and menopause approach
- Common Irregular Menstrual to Menopause Patterns
- What is menopause
- What is pre-menopause
- Maybe menopause? Checklist
- Types and symptoms of menstrual disorders
- Prolonged or unstoppable menstruation may be due to illness
- How to deal with menopause menstrual irregularities
- It is important to see a doctor early for prolonged menstruation, which is difficult to self-diagnose.
Changes in the menstrual cycle and menstrual blood volume as menopause and menopause approach
As you approach menopause or menopause, your menstrual cycle and blood flow may change. Irregular periods may be a sign that your period is over and you are going through menopause.
After the age of 40, hormonal imbalance begins to occur, and you may experience various menstrual problems, such as increased bleeding or less menstrual flow than usual.
Hormone secretion is not good and menstruation is irregular
The main cause of irregular menstruation during menopause is thought to be the decline in the function of the ovaries, which secrete two female hormones, estrogen and progesterone.
If the hormone secretion is not good, the lining of the uterus thickens, and if pregnancy does not occur, the lining of the uterus will be sloughed off as menstrual blood.
Pre-menopausal menstruation can be prolonged
Before menopause, menstrual periods can be prolonged, which is thought to be due to “functional bleeding”. Functional bleeding is bleeding that occurs outside of a normal menstrual period due to a hormonal imbalance due to a decline in ovarian function.
The symptoms vary from person to person, and menstruation may be prolonged, or the amount of menstrual blood may suddenly increase, or fresh blood may come out.
How long is a normal menstrual cycle?
What is a normal menstrual cycle and how long is it?
Generally speaking, a normal period lasts 3-7 days, with an average of 5 days. The menstrual cycle ranges from 25 to 38 days, with 28 to 30 days being the most common.
Menstruation is affected by physical condition and mental stress at that time, so it may be different from the expected date of menstruation, but it is said that there is no problem if it is about 2 to 5 days.
Common Irregular Menstrual to Menopause Patterns
The process of menopause varies greatly from person to person. Some people experience menstrual irregularities, such as heavy bleeding and irregular menstrual cycles, while others have had regular menstrual periods, but suddenly stop one day.
The most common pattern from irregular menstruation to menopause is:
- Late 30s to early 40s
: Increased bleeding on the 1st and 2nd days of menstruation, but shorter menstrual cycle (24 days or less)
- Mid 40
‘s Functional bleeding occurs due to hormonal imbalance. Some have anovulatory menses
- Late 40s
Irregular menstruation such as longer menstrual cycle. Menstrual bleeding may increase and the number of days may be longer. Then the menstrual cycle changes once every 2-3 months
- After age 50
Menopause (absence of menstruation for more than a year)
Anovulatory menstruation is bleeding but no ovulation, and many women are unaware that they are anovulatory. In the case of anovulatory menstruation, menstrual periods may be prolonged.
Menopause occurs when menstruation ceases for one year or more, and occurs at the age of 50 on average.
What is menopause
Menopause generally refers to the 10-year period of 5 years before and after menopause. When does menopause start and how does it occur?
When does menopause start? What is your age?
There are individual differences in the start of menopause! It usually starts in the mid 40’s.
The average age of menopause in Japan is around 50 years old, and menopause lasts about 5 years each before and after menopause.
However, the timing of menopause differs from person to person, so some people start in their mid-30s, while others start in their mid-50s. Those who reach menopause in their 30s become “premature menopause” and require early medical intervention.
Causes and mechanisms of menopause
Why does menopause occur? Female hormones have a lot to do with it.
Female hormones include estrogen, which is secreted from the ovaries, creates a feminine body, acts on the uterus to thicken the lining of the uterus that serves as a bed for fertilized eggs, and estrogen, which thickens the uterus. There is a corpus luteum hormone (progesterone) that prepares the membrane to make it easier for the fertilized egg to implant.
This female hormone is secreted in response to commands from the brain. decreases.
As a result of not being able to produce female hormones well, naturally the hormone balance collapses and the autonomic nervous system is disturbed. In other words, it’s a situation where even if the president of the company throws a gag, the employees don’t work. This is what causes the symptoms of menopause.
The main symptoms of menopause include “hot flashes” such as hot flashes, headaches, irritability, depression, and insomnia.
In addition, as one of the signs of menopause, disturbances in the menstrual cycle and menstrual flow also occur. This is because hormone secretion becomes unstable due to the decline in ovarian function. The amount of menstrual blood increases, conversely, the amount of menstrual blood becomes extremely small, and irregular bleeding occurs outside of the menstrual period.
Menopause is something that all women experience. Even if the symptoms of menopause appear, there is no need to worry, “Why am I the only one…”? It is important to have proper knowledge and face each other.
What is pre-menopause
Many people have heard about “pre-menopause” before full-scale menopause begins. In this section, we will introduce the age at which pre-menopause begins, the causes, and the mechanism.
When does pre-menopause start? What is your age?
Pre-menopause usually begins in the late 30s. It lasts until the mid-40s when full-scale menopause is reached. Menopause is around 50 years old, which is still some time away, but around this time, the amount of female hormones secreted gradually decreases toward menopause.
Causes and mechanisms of pre-menopause
The cause of pre-menopause is also greatly related to the secretion of female hormones. Female hormones are indispensable for building a woman’s body, such as skin, bones, blood vessels, and brain. A decrease in menstrual flow occurs.
Maybe menopause? Checklist
Menopause is marked by changes in menstruation. During menopause, menstrual cycles become shorter and more frequent at first. After a while, the menstrual cycle becomes longer and the number of menstruation decreases, and eventually menstruation stops and menopause (no menstruation for one year after the last menstruation).
I will explain what kind of changes occur in the menstrual cycle and menstrual blood volume due to menopause, so please check it out.
- menstrual cycle becomes longer
- menstrual cycle becomes shorter
- heavy menstrual bleeding
- low menstrual flow
- Bleeding that lasts for a long time (does not stop)
- short bleeding period
- Lever-shaped blood clots
- Bleeding when not in menstrual period
Types and symptoms of menstrual disorders
Here are the types and symptoms of menstrual disorders. Check it against the symptoms you are feeling.
Prolonged menstruation (prolonged menstruation)
Prolonged menstruation is a menstrual period in which the bleeding lasts longer than 8 days and does not end easily. Abnormalities in the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, ovaries, etc. are thought to be the cause, resulting in an anovulatory cycle or inadequate secretion of luteinizing hormone. There is also the possibility of uterine diseases such as uterine fibroids.
Short menstruation and hypomenorrhea, which reduces the period and amount of bleeding
Contrary to prolong menstruation, short menstruation lasting less than 2 days is called prolong menstruation. Hypermenorrhea is accompanied by “hypomenorrhea”. Oligomenorrhea is abnormally low menstrual flow. If the menstrual blood is light enough to stick to the napkin, it can be considered hypomenorrhea.
Short menstruation and hypomenorrhea are caused by the low secretion of female hormones, which may be caused by thin endometrium, underdevelopment of the uterus, hormonal abnormalities due to stress or excessive diet. increase. There are many cases of anovulatory menstruation without ovulation even if there is menstruation, and if left untreated for a long period of time, it can cause infertility, so be careful especially if you wish to have a child.
Bleeding outside the menstrual period (irregular bleeding)
Irregular bleeding is bleeding from the genitals other than during menstrual periods. Irregular bleeding may include fresh or brownish blood, or blood in the vaginal discharge.
Irregular bleeding can be caused by hormonal imbalance, uterine or ovarian disease. Serious diseases such as cervical cancer, uterine cancer, and ovarian tumors are possible, so if irregular bleeding persists, do not hesitate to consult a gynecologist immediately. For early detection of cancer, it is important to have a cancer screening once a year even if you are asymptomatic.
Excessive menstrual flow (hypermenorrhea)
Menorrhagia is abnormally heavy menstrual bleeding. Symptoms include heavy bleeding, liver-like clots, and severe menstrual cramps.
If you have to change pads every hour, use a night pad during the day, or need a combination of tampons and pads, you may have menorrhagia. Chronic menorrhagia and severe anemia can go unnoticed. Menopausal generations are more likely to have female hormone-related diseases such as uterine fibroids, endometriosis, and adenomyosis, so caution is required.
“oligomenorrhea,” which is a longer menstrual cycle
Oligomenorrhea is a menstrual cycle longer than 39 days. As for how the symptoms appear, the usual menstrual cycle may suddenly lengthen, gradually lengthen, or return to the previous cycle.
The cause is thought to be a decrease in the function of the ovaries and a disturbance in the secretion of female hormones.
“Polymenorrhea” where menstruation occurs frequently
Polymenorrhea is one of menstrual irregularities, and it means that the menstrual cycle is shorter than usual (less than 24 days) and the number of menstrual periods increases. This is a common menstrual irregularity during menopause and puberty.
There are three possible causes of frequent menstruation.
- The female hormone secretion balance is disturbed and ovarian stimulating hormone is excessively secreted, shortening the period until the egg is ovulated (follicular phase).
- Due to abnormal secretion of female hormones and ovarian stimulating hormones and stress, the luteal phase (the period from ovulation to the start of menstruation) is shortened.
- No ovulation (anovulatory cycle) due to follicular failure
Prolonged or unstoppable menstruation may be due to illness
There are four main types of abnormal bleeding.
- Functional bleeding: Caused by hormonal imbalance
- Organic bleeding: Caused by some disorder
- Interperiod bleeding: Occurs during ovulation
- Bleeding for other reasons: Occurs, for example, when the vagina is injured due to some cause, such as sexual intercourse
Functional bleeding can also occur outside menopause. In addition, in the case of functional bleeding during menopause, no special treatment is required, and in most cases menopause can be awaited naturally.
However, in the case of organic bleeding caused by illness, it is necessary to investigate the cause early and provide appropriate treatment. From here, we will introduce diseases that are suspected when you have menstrual irregularities.
Cervical cancer/uterine cancer
If you have uterine cancer, bleeding from the cancerous area may continue even after you have finished your period. There are two types of uterine cancer: cervical cancer and endometrial cancer.
Cervical cancer is cancer that forms at the entrance of the uterus. In recent years, the incidence of cervical cancer among young women in their 20s and 30s has been increasing. Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is believed to be the primary cause of sexual transmission.
Endometrial cancer is cancer of the lining of the uterus, the inner lining of the uterus. When progesterone is relatively higher than estrogen for a long time, it increases from around the time of menopause.
Uterine fibroids, uterine fibroids, endometrial polyps
If you have uterine fibroids, adenomyosis, or endometrial polyps, you may experience symptoms such as increased menstrual flow and prolonged menstruation due to deformation of the endometrium.
Uterine fibroids are benign tumors (nodules) that occur in the wall of the uterus (muscle layer), and are often seen over many generations. Depending on the size and location, there are symptoms such as anemia, back pain, frequent urination, and constipation due to excessive menstruation.
Adenomyosis is a benign disease in which tissue resembling the endometrium forms in the muscles of the uterus, causing the entire uterus to become enlarged.
One of the reasons for the above three diseases is that the number of menstrual cycles in a lifetime has increased compared to the past due to the declining birth rate and late marriage among women in recent years.
Endometrial polyps are benign tumors that can be formed by the proliferation of endometrial cells, and some may be mixed with malignant lesions. It is a relatively common disorder that causes irregular bleeding before and after menopause.
Cervical polyps are finger-like tumors that grow from the cervix. Most of them are benign tumors and are a common disease.
It is usually asymptomatic, but bleeding and pus-like discharge may occur.
In endometrial hyperplasia, the lining of the uterus thickens and can cause heavy bleeding, which can make it difficult to stop menstruation. If there is no atypia, progression to cancer is rare, but if there is atypia, it is considered to be a precancerous state of endometrial cancer.
Possible causes include decreased ovarian function before and after menopause, irregular menstruation, and obesity.