Crazy Cramps and Missing Period: Know When to See a Doctor
As a premenstrual symptom, cramps are pretty common. But, not all cramps are associated with the onset of periods. In fact, a crazy abdominal cramp can also end up with a missing period phase for an extended period of time. Experiencing menstrual cramps with no sign of period is baffling and can be a primary sign of serious underlying disease.
Cause of Period Cramps
Usually period cramps occur when the muscles around the uterus shrinks to expel the uterine lining (which is made of tiny blood vessels). During this process, a substance called prostaglandin triggers the contraction of the uterine muscles, which further results in painful menstrual cramps. It might trigger a dull throbbing pain in the lower abdomen (usually called period pain) and sometimes radiate to the lower back and the thighs.
But what happens when painful cramps do not result in regular menstruation cycle? Are they normal? Since, missing period is not always a serious concern (irregular periods can also be a reason of pregnancy), it’s important to carry out a thorough analysis of the symptoms to diagnose the primary cause of irregular periods.
Read further to know when an irregular period cycle is the cause of concern.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
Bacterial infection inside the vagina or cervix is the primary cause of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease or PID. PID is associated with fevers and chills with foul smelling vaginal discharge (which is not usually your menses), nausea, vomiting and painful intercourse. The symptoms are triggered when the bacteria get into your womb via ovaries or fallopian tube and cause infection. The bacterial infection of PID is the result of sexually transmitted infection, like gonorrhea or chlamydia (propagated due to unprotected sex).
Fibroids are muscular tumors that usually appear on the uterine wall. These are benign and look like an apple seed. Sometimes, they can be as large as a grapefruit also. The early sign of fibroids is missing period. However, the disease is not extremely common. Age, obesity, ethnic groups (black women are more prone to develop fibroids than white people) and genetics play a vital role in getting fibroids. Along with irregular periods, fibroids are associated with symptoms like pain or bloated abdomen, pelvis and lower back and frequent urination.
This is a disorder most common among women in their post thirties. Pain with period cramps is the primary sign of endometriosis. In fact, a woman with endometriosis can also experience difficulty in getting pregnant (well, you can say, woman affected with endometriosis can experience infertility). Endometriosis usually happens inside the uterine wall, but if it gets outside the wall, it starts spreading further.
Ovarian cysts often trigger period cramps along with irregular menstruation cycles. The missing period phase can extend for several months if you are having an ovarian cyst. Cysts are formed in the ovary when an egg in a sac can’t release itself. They finally develop into follicle cysts. When the sac is not reabsorbed in the ovary after the egg is released, it is developed into corpus luteum cysts. Fluid in the sac also determines the size of the cysts. Though ovarian cysts sometimes tend to disappear over a period of three months, always visit a doctor for a thorough check up, as cysts may reappear with increased size and complications.
Ovarian cancers are not always associated with missing periods and menstrual cramps, but you might have it as an early symptom. Along with this, a woman with an ovarian tumour experience, abdominal fullness, pelvic pain, pressure, bloating, frequent urination and extreme alterations in the menstrual cycle. A gynaecological verification should be sought at the earliest.
This is an autoimmune disorder that results in inflamed ovaries. Inflammation causes destruction and toughening of the ovaries that leads to infertility and decreased production of hormone. Oophoritis is the primary cause of 10% of premature ovarian failure. The telling signs of this ailment are the abdominal cramps, vaginal discharge, missed or irregular periods and terrible fever.
Keep in mind that menstrual cycle problems are triggered essentially by the snags in the uterine wall. Cramps are most of the time a common affair (eating disorder, anorexia and acidity might also be a cause) but do not ignore if the cramps are associated with missing periods over an extended period of time. Most of the time, this is the early sign of some fatal underlying disease.