Definition - What does Polymenorrhea mean?

Polymenorrhea is a type of dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB) where menstrual periods occur within 21 days of each other. While some irregularity of menstrual cycles is normal, the passing of 21 days or less between periods indicates the presence of polymenorrhea. Polymenorrhea may be caused by a luteal phase defect or indicate other underlying health concerns that can prohibit a woman from becoming pregnant.

Polymenorrhea may also be called a frequent period.

FertilitySmarts explains Polymenorrhea

Polymenorrhea may be easily confused with metrorrhagia, irregular bleeding patterns. However, polymenorrhea is diagnosed when there is a consistent pattern of days between cycles, as opposed to random occurrences of bleeding.

There are several reasons a woman may experience polymenorrhea:

  • Misuse of birth control pills
  • Uterine polyps
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Ovulation disorders
  • Blood clotting disorders

If polymenorrhea is caused by a luteal phase defect, it means that low levels of progesterone are causing the time between ovulation and menstrual bleeding to be too short.This means the uterine lining is not able to adequately thicken, making it difficult for implantation to occur.

In order to diagnose polymenorrhea, pelvic exams, pregnancy tests, and blood tests will be conducted. Hormone testing to determine if standard levels of reproductive hormones are present is standard. Additionally, scans of the head and brain may be completed, along with uterine biopsy, genetic testing, and ultrasound testing of the pelvis and abdomen. These tests evaluate for the potential causes of the irregularity.

For women with light to average bleeding, a consistent cycle, and regular ovulation, no treatment may be necessary. However, if a woman is not ovulating (an anovulatory cycle), or her menstrual cycle is significantly shorter then 21 days, treatment may be required in order to avoid fertility complications.

Treatment for polymenorrhea is based on the diagnosed condition. However, if no condition exists or the cause is unknown, birth control pills may be prescribed to medically extend the cycle intervals, or hormonal birth control may be administered to stop menstrual bleeding altogether.

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