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My periods are heavy ever since I got chickenpox. Why?


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Published At October 28, 2019
Reviewed AtAugust 23, 2023

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

My periods have been heavier ever since I got chickenpox three years back. The first two days it is just spotting, the third day it starts with cramps sometimes really severe, with sharp and excruciating pain on both sides of the lower abdomen, radiating to the inner sides of legs, warm legs, back pain, dizziness, exhausted feeling, sleepiness, black moods. Then on the fourth and fifth days, I experience heavy bleeding along with cramps. There are clots. The bleeding is very red and not viscous, when clots are discharged. If I sit down for a while, it is like the clots get accumulated and when I get up, so much is discharged all of a sudden, and I am forced to stay at home. This affects my professional and personal life quite a lot. After this period, the bleeding tapers off fast. But I do feel exhausted, and it takes me days to get back to normal.

My blood tests and pelvic ultrasound have come back normal. The only thing is that my hemoglobin is at 11.3. Thyroid test and LFT are normal. No fibroid and ovaries are normal. My doctor is not able to figure out what is wrong. I just turned 37. My child is 8 years old. My pregnancy was normal and uneventful. I gave birth to a full-term baby through NVD. What could be wrong? Should I undergo any further tests? As my tests are normal, can I have another child? Will another pregnancy solve my issues with menstruation? My periods were regular with a cycle of 28 days, even now it is regular with these problems.

Answered by Dr. Sabita Laskar


Welcome to icliniq.com.

Chickenpox usually does not have anything to do with heavy periods. You seem to be suffering from severe PMS (premenstrual syndrome) with dysmenorrhea and menorrhagia. You have not mentioned about the prolactin level. I presume it is to be of normal value. If you have not done it, please do so. I also presume you are non-diabetic with no high blood pressure. Does the ultrasound mention about the size of the uterus? Is it of normal size? If no pathology could be found out, then you belong to a group of patient who is believed to be having dysfunctional uterine bleeding mostly seen at the perimenopausal age group roughly say beyond 35 years. They usually get relieved by a progesterone course for six months, or in refractory cases, a simple operative procedure called Dilation and Curettage does the trick. I believe your doctor must have already suggested that, or maybe you are on it right now. Regarding bearing children, I do not see why you should not conceive, and there might be normalization of your symptoms after a second pregnancy.

I hope this helps.

Patient's Query

Thank you doctor,

I would like to clarify a few more points. Though there could be no connection with chickenpox, which was severe, it was after that, and the heavy bleeding started one and half years before. I had typhoid and got admitted to hospital for five days, and medicines were administered intravenously. It was on the 10th day of my periods, but it was a period like breakthrough bleeding. Since then the period cycle got reduced to 26 days. Do you think this has anything to do with the problems? I am not finding the prolactin level in my report. I am non-diabetic, and my BP is normal. In the ultrasound, my uterus and ovaries are of normal size, and no lesion or cyst or growth is found.

You have mentioned the perimenopausal age. Do 33-34 years of age comes within this category? Women from both sides of my family have had normal pregnancies and childbirth, even at the age of 40. I am 5' 5" feet in height and weigh about 123 lbs. I am not overweight or I do not have any symptoms of the body slowing down. So, could it be an age-related issue? You have mentioned about progesterone course. Does it have any side effects? What do you mean by refractory cases? How big are the chances of normalizing the symptoms ongoing for another pregnancy? You said that I would have any problems with conceiving, but how will dysfunctional uterine issues affect the quality of the pregnancy, since some hormonal imbalance is involved? Considering my age, what are the risks to the baby? I tried to read about dysfunctional uterine bleeding and hormonal imbalance on account of ovulation. I can feel some discomfort on the side when I ovulate during midcycle. But I have noticed that whenever the midcycle discomfort is pronounced period and PMS also is worse. Does it sound odd?Can I have a healthy pregnancy now, without risking the well being of the baby? Will that help me to restore normalcy in my cycle then I would like to do that.

Answered by Dr. Sabita Laskar


Welcome back to icliniq.com.

The menstrual cycle not only depends on hormones but also on so many other factors as well. Stress or tension, both physically and mentally, can alter a woman's menstrual cycle significantly. As you had started having these symptoms after an acute illness, even if it is not directly related to the illness, but the emotional and physical stress that your body took can throw your cycle disarray. Perimenopausal age can stress upto ten years from your actual menopause. They are the hormonal alteration that happens in your body, which is slowly progressing to menopause. Nowadays, because of the good nutritional status and uplifting of the standard of living, menopause is delayed mostly up to 50 years.

The refractory case means those who do not respond well to progesterone. Progesterone course is with very minimal side effects like bloating, stomach upset, weight gain, headache, etc. At the age of 37, you will carry a higher risk of abortion than the general population. There are also certain medical disorders, like pregnancy-induced hypertension and diabetes. And there are certain genetic defects that are common in mothers crossing 35 years like Downs syndrome, etc., but these can be diagnosed early in pregnancy, and termination is usually offered. DUB (dysfunctional uterine bleeding) does not necessarily mean you are anovulating. There is ovulatory DUB too like I said DUB is only diagnosed when no other possible causes can be found. So I would say you have a chance of 50% to get yourself corrected on your own after pregnancy. As your cycle has shortened, you should do AMH (Anti-mullerian hormone) too. This is to know about your ovarian reserve, and it should be between 2 to 6.

I hope this helps.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Sabita Laskar
Dr. Sabita Laskar

Obstetrics and Gynecology

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