THE Sun Doctor

12th February 2018
Pregnancy Source:The Midweek Sun

Your exciting and revealing paper has a line-up of specialist and general practice doctors waiting to answer your health concerns – and it is for free! So come on, send in those nagging health bugs and let this week’s Sun Doctor deal with it. You don’t have to worry about revealing your true identity. Give us a pseudo, it’s fine!

Dear Sun Doc I had a miscarriage during my seventh week of pregnancy. It started with spots of blood, followed by abdominal pains. I went to my gynecologist, who gave me medicine, but the spotting didn’t stop. After two days, I felt sharp pains and started bleeding, so I went back to hospital and the doctor told me that the pregnancy was coming out, so he had to complete the process. I want to know what is wrong with me because I have a problem with my hormones. Sometimes I have my period normally, and sometimes I don’t. I want to have a baby and every time I go to hospital, I am told my problem is hormonal imbalance. Please help.

[Star] Dear Star Hormonal imbalance means that there is too little or too much of one or several hormones. The menstrual cycle is different for every woman, but menses can occur every 21 to 42 days, and can last from two to eight days. Menses are considered irregular if the time between one period and the next changes significantly, if the number of days when you are on your period changes a lot or if the amount of bleeding changes a lot. Irregular periods usually mean that there is no ovulation. Hormonal changes affecting the menstrual cycle can happen due to pregnancy, breastfeeding, menopause, using hormonal medication, stress, too much exercise, severe weight change (losing or adding a lot of weight), thyroid disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome, diabetes, diseases of the adrenal or pituitary glands, and tumours. In some cases, the problem can be rectified permanently, but in many cases, there is no permanent solution. In most women, the cause of imbalance is polycystic ovarian syndrome, which cannot be cured completely. You need to visit a gynecologist so that you can be examined. Some tests will be done to check the levels of different hormones.

These will help to figure out the exact cause of the imbalance so that you can be treated appropriately.You may be given some hormonal medication to try and make the cycle regular. The medication usually works only during the cycle it is used (it does not affect future cycles). That means, for example, if you use the drugs for three months, you may have regular periods for three months, and then after that the cycle goes back to being irregular. Let the gynecologist know that your goal is to get pregnant, so you can work together on a long-term plan to achieve this.

This will begin by identifying the exact cause of the imbalance and tackling it. You may possibly be put on ovulation induction medication and started on a schedule to help achieve a pregnancy. This calls for patience because you may not conceive immediately, and you may need to go through several cycles to achieve a pregnancy, just the same way that those who do not have hormonal imbalance may go for some time without getting pregnant even though they are trying. The best of luck [The sun doctor this week: Dr. Justice Udeh, Fertility and Family Health Care Specialist]

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