8 Types of Abnormal Menstruation

December 14, 2023

8 Types of Abnormal Menstruation
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8 Types of Abnormal Menstruation

Issues about a woman’s regular menstrual cycle are known as menstrual disorders. They are among the most frequent causes for which women see their gynecologist. Menstrual disorders and their symptoms can negatively impact women’s daily lives. They might also interfere with her chances of getting pregnant.

Abnormal Menstruation

Menstrual abnormalities come in different varieties. Issues might vary from painful, heavy periods to none at all. Menstrual patterns vary greatly, but generally speaking, women should be concerned if their periods last longer than 10 days or if they occur less frequently than 21 days or more frequently than 3 months apart.

Menstruations that are excessively light, heavy, frequent, prolonged, irregular, or occurring after menopause are considered abnormal.

There are several possible causes for the anomaly. These could include blood clotting disorders, infections of the cervix or lining of the uterus, hormone-based birth control, and other medical conditions.

Types of Abnormal Menstruation

Any kind of menstruation that deviates from the usual pattern is considered abnormal menstruation, also referred to as irregular periods. Below are the 8 types of abnormal menstruation.

  • Amenorrhea
  • Oligomenorrhea
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Menorrhagia
  • Metrorrhagia
  • Polymenorrhea
  • Hypomenorrhea
  • Hypermenorrhea


Amenorrhea is also known as absent menstrual periods. Amenorrhea occurs when a woman misses more than three menstrual cycles in addition to being brought on by a variety of medical conditions like anatomical abnormalities, eating disorders, thyroid disorders, excessive exercise, and even specific lifestyle choices. Amenorrhea is an ordinary condition that occurs before puberty, following menopause, and during pregnancy.  

Amenorrhea, or the absence of menstruation, is subdivided into primary and secondary amenorrhea.

  • Primary Amenorrhea – When a female is 16 and hasn’t had a period, she is diagnosed with primary amenorrhea. The endocrine system, which controls the hormones, is typically the cause of it. This can occasionally arise from low body weight linked to eating disorders, overindulgence in exercise, or use of medications. Other factors that may contribute to this medical condition include genetic abnormalities, problems with the hypothalamus, or problems with your ovaries. The most frequent cause is delayed pituitary gland maturation, but there could be other reasons as well.


  • Secondary Amenorrhea – If a female had regular periods but abruptly stopped for three months or more, she may have secondary amenorrhea. Issues with estrogen levels, such as stress, illness, weight loss, or physical activity may bring it on.

Secondary amenorrhea can also result from issues with the thyroid, such as hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, or the pituitary gland, such as high prolactin levels. This disorder may also develop if a female has had surgery to remove her ovaries or if she has had an ovarian cyst.


Oligomenorrhea is the term for a female who does not experience monthly periods and has periods that occur more than 35 days apart. It’s a typical adolescent condition that mostly affects the first year following the first menstrual cycle and the perimenopause. Hormonal imbalance is the cause of irregular period symptoms. While some variations in the menstrual cycle are typical, irregular periods should be taken seriously if they occur regularly.

Oligomenorrhea may be caused due to several reasons like:

  •         PCOS
  •         Androgen-secreting Tumors
  •         Cushing’s Syndrome
  •         Prolactinoma
  •         Primary Ovarian Syndrome
  •         Hyperthyroidism
  •         Diabetes
  •         Eating Disorders
  •         Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases
  •         Asherman’s Syndrome
  •         Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia
  •         Extreme Physical Activity


Dysmenorrhea is a menstrual cycle abnormality that causes menstrual periods to be excruciating. Severe, regular cramping during the menstrual cycle is known as dysmenorrhea. Lower back and thighs may also experience pain that originates in the lower abdomen.

Usually, dysmenorrhea is classified as primary or secondary:

  1. Primary Dysmenorrhea: In this condition, the uterine contractions that cause the cramps typically worsen during periods of heavy bleeding.
  2. Secondary Dysmenorrhea: In this condition, the pain associated with menstruation coexists with another illness, such as uterine fibroids or endometriosis.


The medical word for noticeably heavier periods is menorrhagia. Menorrhagia is one of the most prevalent types of menstrual bleeding. The condition is characterized by prolonged, heavy bleeding. In some instances, the bleeding may disrupt normal daily activities. Due to the uncomfortable cramps that can result from passing large clots, dysmenorrhea frequently coexists with menorrhagia.

The frequent need to change sanitary pads during the day or when the menstrual period lasts longer than seven days is the primary symptom of this condition. Other common symptoms are spotting or bleeding during pregnancy or between menstrual cycles.

The reasons behind this type of abnormal period vary from woman to woman, but they mostly include:

  • hormonal imbalance 
  • pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • uterine fibroids (benign uterine growths)
  • miscarriage
  • ectopic pregnancy
  • pelvic infections
  • tumors and polyps
  • birth control devices such as IUDs.


Metrorrhagia is a type of menorrhagia. Bleeding irregularly, especially in between regular menstrual cycles, is known as metrorrhagia. Metrorrhagia happens in unpredictable amounts and at unpredictable intervals. It is also known as breakthrough bleeding. The bleeding is either unrelated to periods or happens in between periods. Spotting or mild bleeding in between periods is typical in girls who are just beginning their menstrual cycle, and it can also occur during ovulation in young adult women.


A form of abnormal menstruation known as polymenorrhea is characterized by more frequent menstrual periods than the normal 21–35-day menstrual cycle. Put differently, it describes menstrual cycles that are abnormally short or that may happen “twice in a month.” It doesn’t mean the bleeding lasts longer; rather, it just indicates that the period occurs more often than the average person. Still, the bleeding period lasts three to seven days on average. Other than the fact that one may feel and look like she is having a regular period, she may be fatigued from more frequent blood loss. Hormonal abnormalities, such as high estrogen levels, can induce polymenorrhea by increasing the frequency of shedding of the uterine lining. Periods can occasionally be caused by stress, specific drugs, polyps, uterine fibroids, thyroid issues, or reproductive conditions such as PCOS. Polymenorrhea is a type of menorrhagia.


Very light bleeding, often lasting less than two days, is hypomenorrhea, the exact opposite of menorrhagia. This abnormal menstrual condition is common among women who use hormonal contraceptives, such as oral contraceptives and IUDs. Some other causes include:

  • Low body fat
  • Obesity
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Intrauterine adhesions (scar tissues on the uterus)
  • Stress and depression
  • Intense exercise
  • This condition can occur at any stage in a woman’s life, but it is more common in the period leading up to menopause and directly after puberty.


Hypermenorrhea refers to very frequent, excessive bleeding and heavy menstruation cycles over 90 ml, in a cycle of normal duration. Hypermenorrhea is linked to hormonal disorders, liver disease, uterine abnormalities, etc.


Even though every female experiences different menstrual cycle symptoms in terms of duration and intensity, menstruation can be safely classified as abnormal if the periods are excessively light, heavy, frequent, prolonged, or occur after menopause. Out of all the different types of periods, the majority have simple explanations and a variety of ways to treat the symptoms. Thus, being mindful of one’s menstrual cycle and keeping an eye out for the above eight types of abnormal menstruation helps in quick relief arising due to the menstrual irregularities.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is abnormal menstruation a serious problem?

Period irregularities are frequently an indication of underlying medical issues that require attention. Thus, it is best to see your doctor and get checked out to find out if your irregular periods are a serious issue. Irregular periods are frequently experienced by young girls because ovulation isn’t happening and their menstrual cycles haven’t yet established a pattern.

2. What is the most common type of menstrual problem?

The most common type of menstrual problem is dysmenorrhoea – painful periods/period cramps. Women who are obese, smoke, drink excessive amounts of alcohol during their periods, or begin menstruating early are more likely to experience dysmenorrhea. Sometimes the pain can be so bad that it prevents people from going about their daily lives as usual for a few days each month.

3. Is missing your period for two months normal?

While missing a period or two isn’t ideal, it shouldn’t be too alarming. Period irregularities are frequently an indication of underlying medical issues that require attention. Thus, it is best to see your doctor and get checked out to find out if your irregular periods are a serious issue.

4. When is abnormal menstruation more common?

Intense exercise, abrupt weight loss or gain, stress, medical conditions like PCOS and thyroid disorders, and hormonal imbalances are among the many factors that can cause abnormal menstruation. Period irregularities can also result from pregnancy, nursing, the onset of puberty and menopause, and other factors.

5. How is abnormal menstruation diagnosed?

Diagnosing abnormal menstruation involves reviewing the patient’s medical history, performing a physical examination, and ordering diagnostic tests, including hormonal assessments, blood tests, and occasionally imaging studies. Getting the advice of a doctor is essential for a thorough diagnosis and customized treatment plan.

Disclaimer: We recommend consulting a Doctor before taking any action based on the above shared information.





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