There is a wide spectrum of differences between how people may experience menstruation. What may indicate a more serious physical problem for one person, may be quite normal for another. There are several ways that a person's menstrual cycle can differ from the norm, any of which should be discussed with a doctor to identify the underlying cause:
|Short or extremely light periods||Hypomenorrhea|
|Too-frequent periods (defined as more frequently than every 21 days)||Polymenorrhea|
|Extremely heavy or long periods (one guideline is soaking a sanitary napkin or tampon every hour or so, or menstruating for longer than 7 days)||Hypermenorrhea|
|Extremely painful periods||Dysmenorrhea|
|Breakthrough bleeding (also called spotting) between periods; normal in many people||Metrorrhagia|
Dysfunctional uterine bleeding is a hormonally caused bleeding abnormality. Dysfunctional uterine bleeding typically occurs in premenopausal females who do not ovulate normally (i.e. are anovulatory). All these bleeding abnormalities need medical attention; they may indicate hormone imbalances, uterine fibroids, or other problems. As pregnant women may bleed, a pregnancy test forms part of the evaluation of abnormal bleeding.
Read more about this topic: Menstruation
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