Castleview women's health event proves successful
Castleview Hospital recently hosted a " Women's Health Event" on May 4. The community was invited to attend a special evening to learn more about important women's health issues.
Topics that evening were from the Castleview Hospital radiology technicians on advantages of digital mammography and dexa scans, Julie Sprague presenting prenatal opportunities at Castleview Hospital, and Dr. Terry P. Nielsen OB/GYN presented valuable information on abnormal uterine bleeding from birth to post-menopause.
Beginning with the topic of how long a menstrual cycle should be, discussion focused on abnormal uterine bleeding as a teenager, abnormal uterine bleeding in the the reproductive years, and ending with abnormal uterine bleeding for premenopause and postmenopausal women.It was a very informative evening ending with questions from the audience.
According to the information presented, the average age for the menstrual cycle for young girls is 12 years of age, but may have a range from ages 9 to 15. Interval ranges, or length of cycles, can be from 21 to 45 days. During the reproductive years, cycle length is usually 28 days, but can range from 21 to 45 days.
"It is common at this early age to have irregular periods, Dr. Nielsen stated. "During the reproductive years, the menses or periods, are usually regular. For the older woman there is a trend toward irregular once again at ages 41 to 50 years old as they are reaching the stage of menopause. It is when things deviate from this normal that it is cause to seek help from your family doctor or OB/GYN."
Causes for abnormal bleeding as a teenager could be pregnancy. A late period, then followed by heavy bleeding, could be signs of a miscarriage, but other causes could be hormonal. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a condition in which there are many small cysts in the ovaries, which can affect a woman's ability to get pregnant. A person that has polycystic ovary disease, is likely to have some of the following symptoms:
*Abnormal, irregular, or very light or infrequent menstrual periods.
*Acne that gets worse.
*Increased body hair, facial hair, a deepening of the voice, and acne.
Thyroid disorders and tumors that produce hormones (ovary, adrenal, pituitary), are other causes of abnormal bleeding, but there are some acquired causes as well.
Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder that is characterized by episodes of binge eating followed by inappropriate methods of weight control such as vomiting, fasting, enemas or compulsive exercising.
Anorexia nervosa, another acquired cause, is characterized by someone who has an intense fear of gaining weight, weighing less than 85 percent of their expected body weight, (in a teen, losing or not gaining weight during a growth spurt is a concern), seeing one's body as overweight, in spite of being underweight, overexercising, and being secretive around food. These are eating disorders that can cause irregular periods, and also the lack of, and are psychological problems that can easily be ignored. Having a low body weight, and low body fat , will cause the bodies of young girls and women not to have periods.
Exercised induced amenorrhea (no periods), can occur in marathon runners, who may have low body weight, will suffer effects, but also may suffer from osteoporosis even as a teenager due to the lack of estrogen.
Binge-eating also has its symptoms for the obese because it may cause a hormone imbalance.
While there are so many reasons for abnormal uterine bleeding, one must not ignore other serious conditions such as bleeding from hormone replacement therapy (HRT), thinning of the linings, and cancer. Pre and postmenopausal women are especially vulnerable to these conditions. The menstrual cycle is designed to stop around 50 years of age, but women now live longer, and the tissues wear out. After menopause, all bleeding needs to be investigated.