ABNORMAL UTERINE BLEEDING & MENSTRUAL DISORDERS
DIAGNOSIS AND MANAGEMENT
What is a menstrual disorder?
With each menstrual cycle, the uterus prepares for fertilisation, and if fertilisation doesn’t occur, the endometrial lining sheds, marking the beginning of menstrual bleeding. Before and during menstrual bleeding, premenstrual symptoms such as bloating, acne, headaches, fatigue, irritability, depression and changes in appetite are normal.
While most women experience normal premenstrual symptoms and menstruation which are but a mere inconvenience, other women do not have this experience each month and are plagued with terrible menstrual bleeding and unbearable symptoms. From abnormal bleeding, missed periods and intense depression and mood swings, menstrual disorders may disrupt a woman's life in significant ways. Menstrual disorders such as Abnormal Uterine Bleeding, Fibroids and Polyps, Adenomyosis, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, Dysmenorrhea, Endometriosis, Leiomyomas and Malignancy may be a burden on a woman’s quality of life and therefore Dr Makhubo offers treatment for woman with these experiences to ensure tolerable menstrual cycles and enhance quality of life at the same time.
What are the symptoms?
Menstrual disorders may have one or more of the following signs:
- Severe and frequent menstrual cramps and pain
- Heavy periods and prolonged menstrual bleeding
- Unbearable premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Absent menstruation for months on end
Many women experience such overwhelming symptoms and believe they have no reason to ask for medical attention. Dr Makhubo offers compassion in providing women with these conditions comprehensive treatment and management of their symptoms.
What are the causes?
Some of these menstrual disorders may be caused by hormone imbalances, genetics, thyroid disorders, congenital disabilities or infections. No matter the cause, Dr Makhubo strives to diagnose and treat women with menstrual disorders accurately.
How can they be diagnosed?
By discussing your symptoms and medical history during a consultation, your gynaecologist can diagnose you and provide you with your options for treatment. Be sure to make a note of the symptoms you experience and when in your cycle they may occur. She will conduct the following tests to rule out other conditions and accurately diagnose you:
- Blood tests
- Pap smear
- Pelvic ultrasound
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the reproductive organs
- A diagnostic laparoscopy may be used to get a better look at the pelvic and abdomen area for abnormalities that may be causing your symptoms.
- A hysteroscopy inserted through the vagina may also be used to inspect the interior of the uterus and cervix.
- An endometrial biopsy may be done to take samples of tissue to test for abnormalities.
- A dilation and curettage test may be done in which the cervix is dilated to take a sample of uterine tissue for testing.
What are the treatment options?
The treatment you receive will largely depend on the severity of the condition, your age, your general health, the causative factors and your desire to bear children. Depending on the menstrual disorder you are diagnosed with, treatment may include hormone stabilising birth control, intrauterine devices, progestin & nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, tranquilisers for pain, antidepressants, vitamin and mineral supplements, changes in diet, medication and pain killing tablets or minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery. In severe cases, depending on a number of other factors, procedures such as endometrial ablation, endometrial resection, myomectomy or a hysterectomy may be considered.