The Basics of Menstrual Disorders

The Basics of Menstrual Disorders <i>(cont'd)</i>

Nearly one-half of women with AUB and almost all of women with dysfunctional uterine bleeding are not ovulating regularly. Ovulation, which is the release of the egg from the ovary, is accompanied by production of progesterone, the hormone that is most important in keeping periods regular.

Women who fail to ovulate for many months or years can end up with endometrial hyperplasia - a condition where the lining of your uterus grows excessively. It happens because the delicate balance between the hormones of progesterone and estrogen in your body is disrupted. If left untreated for a long time, the condition can become cancerous.

Chronic failure to ovulate may cause the ovaries to produce excessive levels of androgens (a reproductive hormone found in small amounts in women and in greater amounts in men). This condition may cause cysts to develop on your ovaries and is known as polycystic ovarian disease. The symptoms of polycystic ovarian disease include:

  • irregular uterine bleeding
  • irregular periods from an early age
  • infertility
  • acne
  • excessive facial hair or hair on your abdomen or chest
  • obesity