Common menstrual disorders, their causes and symptoms (diagnosis and treatment)

Common menstrual disorders, their causes and symptoms (diagnosis and treatment)

What are Menstrual Disorders?

Menstrual disorders range from uncomfortable symptoms leading up to your period to more serious conditions such as menstruation being too heavy or light, irregular periods, or even the complete absence of a cycle.

What are the common Menstrual Disorders?

A woman’s menstrual cycle is as unique as she is; what could be an issue for one could be normal for another. Hence, it is important that you be watchful of your cycle and consult a specialist if you notice any major changes to your cycle.

Listed here are some common menstrual disorders, their causes, and symptoms:

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) – PMS tends to occur a week or two before your period. Symptoms include irritability, fatigue, cramps, breast soreness, headache, backache, acne, diarrhea, bloating, insomnia, anxiety, depression, feeling stressed, food cravings, and emotional mood swings. PMS symptoms could vary every month and differ for every woman. While PMS is uncomfortable, it is no cause for concern. Usually, the symptoms go away once your period begins.

Heavy periods – In this condition, bleeding is heavier than usual. You may also experience extended periods, beyond the average of 5-7 days. The cause of heavy periods is usually an imbalance in the hormonal level, especially estrogen and progesterone. Other causes include changes in diet or exercise, vaginal infections, hypothyroidism, fibroids, puberty, and inflammation of the cervix.

Painful periods – Some physical pain and cramps are common during the beginning of your period. However, some women experience severe pain throughout their period. This menstrual pain is usually due to an underlying medical condition such as fibroids, endometriosis, and pelvic inflammatory disease.

Missing periods – Sometimes, women don’t get their periods at all. This condition is known as amenorrhea. There are two types of amenorrhea – Primary and Secondary.

Primary amenorrhea – In cases where a girl doesn’t get her first period by the age of 16, it is known as primary amenorrhea. It can be caused due to an issue with the pituitary gland, congenital defect in the reproductive system, or delay in puberty.

Secondary amenorrhea – If you miss your regular periods for 6 months or more, it is known as secondary amenorrhea. Causes of secondary amenorrhea vary for adults and teenagers. In teenagers, it could be caused by sudden weight gain or loss, anorexia, discontinuing birth control, ovarian cysts, pregnancy, or overactive thyroid gland. In adults, it could be caused by pregnancy, premature ovarian failure, pelvic inflammatory disease, menopause, or discontinuing birth control.

How are Menstrual Disorders diagnosed and treated?

To help with diagnosis, your doctor may prescribe some tests such as a pelvic exam, PAP smear, blood tests, urine tests, endometrial biopsy, and hysteroscopy. Depending on the results of the investigation and tests, your doctors will prescribe a suitable treatment. Treatment measures include medications, antibiotics, and hormone replacement therapy.
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