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Gynecology & Obstetrics

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Menstrual Disorders

Menstrual disorders are a class of problems affecting a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle. Menstrual disorders include any or more than one of the following:

  • Dysmenorrhea (painful periods)
  • Irregular periods or missed periods
  • Heavy periods

Patients are usually referred by a primary care physician or by their treating gynecologists. Patients often struggle with menstrual disorders before they find the diagnostic experience and excellence that the gynecologists at Johns Hopkins can offer.

What to expect at Johns Hopkins

  1. Your initial consultation will include a complete patient profile including a family and reproductive history.
  2. Your doctor will ask for your old records and images. New diagnostic tests may be ordered including X-rays, ultrasounds or MRIs.
  3. Your physician will recommend an individualized treatment plan designed for you.

Treatment for Menstrual Disorders

Treatment for menstrual disorders may include:

  • Medical treatment. This may include hormonal therapies, including birth control pills or a Mirena® IUD (intrauterine device).
  • Surgical treatment. Menstrual disorders can be caused by endometrial polyps, fibroids, and adenomyosis. Your physician may recommend surgery to treat these conditions. This may require a vaginal procedure called hysteroscopy, or a laparoscopic procedure including removal of fibroids or hysterectomy. Minimally-invasive robotic surgery is available at Johns Hopkins to treat these conditions.
  • Interventional Radiology procedures. Our gynecologists work closely with physicians in the department of interventional radiology which also perform procedures to treat these conditions. These include uterine artery embolization and focused ultrasound, and may provide an alternative to surgical treatments.

Many of these treatments may be coordinated with the Center for Chronic Pelvic Pain.