An irregular menstrual cycle is one in which the length of time between periods varies by more than 8 days. A long menstrual cycle is one in which the period lasts longer than 7 days, and an absent menstrual cycle is one in which no period occurs. These issues can be caused by a variety of factors, and understanding the underlying cause is important in order to determine the appropriate treatment.
It is important to note that many women will have some variation in their menstrual cycles throughout their lives, and some women may have naturally regularly irregular cycles. However, if the cycles become prolonged or are consistently irregular, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional. They will perform necessary tests to identify the cause and recommend appropriate treatment options, which may include medication, supplemental intervention, hormone therapy, or nutritional/lifestyle changes.
There are several ways to test and diagnose irregular menstrual cycles. A good foundation is laid by asking questions about the patient’s medical history, current history, including any medications they may be taking or recent changes. They may also perform several other tests such as:
Labwork: Blood tests can be used to measure levels of hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which play a role in regulating the menstrual cycle. Blood tests can also be used to check for the presence of other conditions such as thyroid disorders or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Imaging tests: Imaging tests such as ultrasound or MRI can be used to visualize the uterus, ovaries, and other structures in the pelvic area. These tests can help to identify any structural abnormalities or growths that may be impacting the menstrual cycle.
Once the cause of irregular menstrual cycles has been identified, treatment options will depend on the underlying condition. Some common treatment options include:
Oral contraceptive pills, spironolactone, surgery, etc.: For many women conventional treatment is adequate but side effects from the pill (weight gain, mood changes, or breast tenderness) or from other medications can be undesirable or unmanageable. For others, they do not wish to take medications or the medications are not working as anticipated. Lastly, for women trying to get pregnant the pill is not an option.
Supplemental/ Herbal Interventions
Dr. Burke provides both conventional and alternative treatment options that are effective.
At your New Patient appointment, Dr. Burke will go through your current concerns, medical, family, and social history. She will also perform any indicated physical exams and provide ample time for questions. At the end of your visit she will provide any indicated treatment options and will order specific and comprehensive lab work for your health concerns and goals. After your lab work is received, Dr. Burke will interpret your labs using optimal reference ranges and the context of the values in relation to each other, prior to your next appointment.
At your follow-up appointment Dr. Burke will provide a comprehensive individualized treatment plan – including dietary and lifestyle recommendations, supplemental/herbal support, and, if appropriate, will discuss pharmaceutical options.
After your initial and first follow-up appointment, Dr. Burke may recommend regular lab testing and check ins to provide safe, individualized, and effective care!
Dr. Burke is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor with a focus in endocrinology and Women’s Health. She is an advocate for your health and well-being, looking beyond labs that appear to come back “normal” and conventional care options. Dr. Burke looks at the body as a whole, looking at all components of well-being. Of utmost importance to her is research based ethical medicine, keeping up to date with the latest in conventional and alternative medicine.
Absolutely! Dr. Burke often blends conventional and alternative medicine to provide comprehensive care. She can provide information on various options to help you make an informed treatment choice.
This is very dependent on the individual, health factors and diagnosis, medication, and other additional health concerns you may have. In general, once symptoms have stabilized follow ups will be at minimum every six months to one year, or more frequently as desired.
Depending on your health concerns, Dr. Burke will recommend Serum (Blood), Salivary, and/or Urine Testing. Dr. Burke can discuss various insurance and cash-pay lab options to best fit your needs.
Please use the online appointment scheduler, contact the doctor via the form below, or call the office at 480-702-1445. We would love to see how we can help you feel optimal!
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