Irregular Periods - Health Education - Fairview Health Services
 
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Irregular Periods - Health Education

Irregular periods – possible causes and treatments

CDM-2013-Periods

Irregular periods, possible causes and treatments

Elizabeth Eckhardt, MD, obstetrician and gynecologist at Fairview Clinics – Riverside and Georgina Bobkins, DO, obstetrician and gynecologist at Fairview Clinics – Elk River, regularly treat women who are concerned about irregular periods.
To pinpoint the cause of the problem, they both begin with a detailed evaluation of the patient’s medical history. “This includes an honest and thorough discussion about the history and current states of their menstrual cycle and sexual activity,” Eckhardt says. The next step is a thyroid/hemoglobin test to check for hormonal imbalances, and if there’s a possibility that a woman is pregnant, a pregnancy test is ordered. Ultrasounds and biopsies might also be necessary to determine the cause of irregular periods.

Menopause
Menopause, which typically affects women ages 40 to 59, often causes irregular periods. While hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was a popular treatment for menopause, recent studies have linked HRT to higher incidences of heart disease, cancer and strokes. Dr. Bobkins says, “For women who have severe menopausal symptoms, I can prescribe medications to ease their discomfort. I often recommend estrogen cream for vaginal dryness and hormone-free medications for hot flashes.”

Other causes and treatments
Stress, significant weight gain or loss, thyroid disease, anemia, hormonal imbalances, fibroids, polyps or endometrial cancer can also be the cause or irregular periods. Depending on the diagnosis, recommended treatments might include life-style changes, medications, and nonsurgical or surgical gynecologic procedures.

If surgery is necessary, providers at Fairview hospitals, clinics and independent affiliated obstetricians and gynecologists offer several gynecologic surgery options. They provide minimally invasive (little or no cutting or scarring) laparoscopic hysterectomies, vaginal slings and permanent birth control along with robot-assisted surgeries for your complete gynecologic needs. “I believe that all aspects of an individual — physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual — should be taken into account when determining the best treatment plan,” says Dr. Eckhardt.

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From breast health to OB-GYN concerns, heart health to osteoporosis, Fairview offers comprehensive coordinated health services for women of all ages. Our dedicated women’s health specialists deliver preventive care, including annual screenings and expert, individualized care through all stages of a woman’s life.

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Fairview features nearly 4,000 providers practicing at over 200 locations throughout the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area and beyond. Fairview Clinics, University of Minnesota Physicians and our independent partner clinics provide an exceptional care experience, while lowering the overall costs of health care.

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Our Providers Make the Difference
Fairview features nearly 4,000 providers practicing at over 200 locations throughout the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area and beyond. Fairview Clinics, University of Minnesota Physicians and our independent partner clinics provide an exceptional care experience, while lowering the overall costs of health care.
 
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