Menstrual Disorders

What exactly is a menstrual disorder?

Menstrual disorder is any issue in menstruation (also called menses or period) that influences the normal menstrual cycle of a woman. This type of influence can cause a deviation from the normal cycle.

Though each woman's menstrual cycle is unique, it generally lasts between 21 and 35 days, with an average of 28 days. The normal duration of menstruation is between 2 and 7 days. There is also an absence of menstruation, which occurs due to pregnancy, breastfeeding, and premenopause.

Types of menstrual disorders

There are many types of menstrual disorders. They are as follows:

  • Abnormal Uterine Bleeding

Abnormal uterine bleeding occurs when there is bleeding that is not part of the normal menstrual cycle.

  • Heavy menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia)
  • No menstrual bleeding (amenorrhea)
  • Irregular Menstrual Bleeding 
  • Painful Menstrual Period (Dysmenorrhea)

Menstruation causes severe pain and cramping.

  • Primary Dysmenorrhea
  • Secondary Dysmenorrhea 
  • Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
  • It is an accumulation of physical, emotional and behavioural symptoms that occur a week before the start of the menstrual cycle.
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

It is more severe than PMS. The most common symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder are intense anxiety, grumpiness and mood swings.

Symptoms of Menstrual Disorder          

The following are the symptoms of the menstrual disorder:-

  • Patient having abnormal menstrual bleeding i.e. heavy or light bleeding than normal bleeding.
  • Patient periods cease to happen
  • The patient has irregular periods i.e. periods occur less or more regularly.
  • The patient bleeds for more than seven days.
  • Patient’s period last less than 21 days or more than 35 days.
  • Pain or cramp in the lower abdomen.
  • High Fever
  • Headache
  • Nausea and Vomiting during the period
  • Depression
  • Emotional Distress

Causes of Menstrual Disorder      

The following are the causes of menstrual disorders: -

  • Lifestyle – Weight loss, unhealthy diet, dieting, travel, change in exercise routine, and change in daily schedule affect the menstrual cycle.
  • Birth control Pills – Birth control pills have hormones which prevent ovaries from freeing eggs. Taking birth control pills on intervals may impact the menstrual cycle.
  • Uterine polyps or fibroids – Uterine polyps are small non-cancerous growth in the endometrium and uterine fibroids are masses of tissue attached to the wall of uterus. They cause heavy bleeding and pain during menses.
  • Endometriosis – This occurs when endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus. Endometrial tissue breaks down and is flushed out by menstrual flow. Their growth may cause cramps and pain.
  • Pelvic Inflammatory diseases – This is a bacterial infection that affects the reproductive system of women. It may cause fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, irregular period, and heavy discharge with a bad smell.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome – In this case, a cyst develops in the ovaries and ovaries produce androgens (male hormones) in huge amounts. This results in hormonal change which leads to the prevention of ovulation.
  • Premature ovarian insufficiency – This occurs when ovaries do not function properly in women under the age of 40 years.
  • Bleeding disorder
  • Uterine or cervical cancer
  • Medicine (Like blood thinners)
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Sexually transmitted infection
  • Eating disorder
  • Under or Overactive thyroid glands

When to visit a doctor?

It is to one’s benefit to have a medical check at regular intervals but if a patient experiences any of the symptoms mentioned above she should immediately visit the doctor.

Diagnosis of Menstrual Disorder

Diagnosis of menstrual disorder begins with a detailed physical examination, taking note of the patient’s medical history, family’s medical history, patient’s lifestyle, diet, sexual history and recommendation of tests according to the treatment needed to ascertain the disease, its severity, and medication that will work on it. The following tests are usually prescribed:-

  • Pap Test (Pap Smear)
  • Blood Test
  • Hormonal Test
  • Ultrasound
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Hysteroscopy
  • Laparoscopy
  • Endometrial Biopsy
  • Dilation & Curettage (C&D)

Treatment of Menstrual Disorder

Treatment of menstrual disorder depends on the condition of the patient, the cause of the disorder, the women's desire for pregnancy and a range of other factors. Following is the list of treatment that is advised and performed: -

  • Advice for change in diet
  • Prescription of medicine
  • Remedy through surgical operation

1. What is the normal menstrual cycle?

The normal menstrual cycle universally accepted is between 21 days to 35 days, with average of 28 days.

2. What is premenstrual syndrome (PMS)?

Premenstrual syndrome is collection of various emotional, physical, and behavioral symptoms that occur a week before the start of menstruation.

3. What is Pap test?

It is also called Pap smear. It is a cervical cancer detection test. It looks for abnormal cells in the cervix that are either cancerous or have possibility of to become cancerous.

4. What is Hysteroscopy?

This test is a procedure that determines the causes of bleeding. It identifies presence of fibroid, polyps, and other causes of bleeding.

5. What is Laparoscopy?

In this test laparoscope (small lightened device with camera) is used to search for any abnormality in reproductive organ.

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