Oligomenorrhea

Oligomenorrhea

Oligomenorrhea
Oligomenorrhea is a condition where a woman experiences irregular menstrual cycles. If you have oligomenorrhea, you may not experience a period every month. Rather, your periods will come at unpredictable times, perhaps only a few times a year. This can sometimes be caused when a pituitary tumor causes estrogen levels to decrease and prolactin levels to rise. Or you may develop this condition as a side effect of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). With PCOS, your ovaries and/or adrenal glands produce an overload of androgens, which interferes with normal ovulation, leading to oligomenorrhea.

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    Oligomenorrhea is a menstruation disorder with which women have few, infrequent periods. Women with this disorder have had normal periods in the past, but now get a light period infrequently due to a disorder or activity. There are many possible causes of oligomenorrhea, and treatment involves dealing with the woman's particular cause. Usually, oligomenorrhea is treatable and a woman can begin having normal menstrual periods again.

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    Oligomenorrhea can result from a variety of causes. Frequently, women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) produce an excess of male hormones, or androgens, which disrupt the menstrual cycle. These women often have oligomenorrhea as a result. Tumors, illnesses, and eating disorders often cause oligomenorrhea. Women athletes who follow extreme diets and demanding fitness schedules have complications with oligomenorrhea.

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    Oligomenorrhea is most notably characterized by infrequent periods. A woman with oligomenorrhea has her periods anywhere from 35 to 90 days apart, with four to nine periods a year, which are usually light. She also may have difficulties becoming pregnant.

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    Oligomenorrhea affects the menstrual cycle; a woman will experience fewer periods than someone with a normal cycle. This can lead to a woman having a difficult time becoming pregnant. The cause of the oligomenorrhea can also have serious effects, whether the cause is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), overexertion, or extreme dieting.

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    Your risk of developing oligomenorrhea is much higher with polycystic ovary syndrome. Women under a lot of stress or who put their body through stress with extreme diets, eating disorders, or serious exercise, are also at a greater risk of this. Other illnesses, including thyroid disorders, and obesity are also risk factors. Many young women who are just beginning their menstrual cycles and pre-menopausal women experience oligomenorrhea as a natural phase in the lifetime of their menstrual cycle.

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    Your doctor will diagnose oligomenorrhea after asking a lot of questions about your diet, exercise, and sexual health to determine possible causes of these problems. You will be given a pelvic examination to determine any abnormalities in that way. If you are sexually active, you will probably take a pregnancy test. Blood tests can determine thyroid function and hormone levels, and an ultrasound or CT scan checks for polycystic ovary syndrome. Your doctor will determine the cause of your oligomenorrhea if they determine that to be your diagnosis because the cause is just as important to treat as the symptoms.

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    You should talk to your doctor if your menstrual cycle is irregular in this way. The underlying cause could be dangerous and your may need to be treated for other reasons. Your cycle can become regular again with a doctor's treatment.

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    Medications treat oligomenorrhea mostly through hormonal therapy. Birth control pills can regulate a woman's menstrual cycle through hormones. Polycystic ovary syndrome, a common cause of oligomenorrhea, is also treated through hormones. Women who want to become pregnant might be given fertility medication that encourages ovulation.

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    A , Women's Health, answered
    There are alternative therapies for infrequent menses. First it is important to determine the cause of the infrequent menses. If there is a tumor in the pituitary, there are no alternates to the best option, surgery. If it is a metabolic cause, the most important alternative treatments are nutritional and activity management to get the right amount of calories and exercise for you as an individual. Acupuncture has also been shown to help restore regular periods and increase fertility. 
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    Oligomenorrhea occurs in a lot of young women beginning their periods and in pre-menopausal women. Polycystic ovary syndrome is strongly influenced by genetics. These causes cannot usually be prevented. However, oligomenorrhea that results from extreme diets, strenuous exercise, and obesity can be prevented by eating healthy and not overexerting your body.