Menstrual Abnormalities & Disorders
+ What are Menstrual Abnormalities & Disorders?
Any unusual physical and/or emotional symptoms that occur just before or during the menstrual cycle are termed as Menstrual Abnormalities or disorders.
+ How will I know if my Menstrual Cycle is abnormal?
Menstrual cycles often bring about a variety of uncomfortable symptoms leading up to your period such as mild cramping and fatigue, which usually go away when your period begins. However, apart from the symptoms of PMS there are also some serious menstrual problems like a period that is too heavy, too light, or the complete absence of a cycle that constitutes an abnormal menstrual cycle.
+ Do Menstrual Abnormalities affect all Women?
Although Irregular periods can occur in both married and unmarried women, they are highly individualistic and do not affect all women to the same extent. For some women, the monthly periods are just like any other day of the month, with little to no discomfort and have no idea what irregular periods are.
Their menstruation starts and stops at approximately the same time each month, while for other women, periods come as a testing time each month and they witness several emotional and/or physical symptoms before and during periods.
The Menstrual Disorders that can occur in such women are mood swings, heavy bleeding and missed periods. These symptoms can be frustrating and can push you off the track each month both physically and mentally.
Most Menstrual Abnormalities have clear causes, and with proper treatment, the symptoms can be relieved. It is important to stay in tune with your body and to talk to your doctor if you notice any disruptive symptoms or significant changes to your menstrual cycle.
With correct and early treatment, Menstrual Disorders can be managed, and periods can be made tolerable.
+ What are the Types of Menstrual Abnormalities or Disorders?
If you experience one or more of the below mentioned symptoms before, during your periods, you may be suffering from a Type of Menstrual Disorder.
Type 1. Abnormal Uterine Bleeding (AUB) : Uterine bleeding is considered abnormal in these 3 cases-
Heavy Bleeding during Period : Bleeding is considered heavy if you need to change your pad or tampon almost every hour instead of 3 to 4 times a day and/or if the bleeding interferes with your day-to-day activities.
Amenorrhea (No menstrual bleeding at all) : is normal before attaining puberty, after menopause and in case you become pregnant before your periods.
Irregular Menstruation (Bleeding between periods) : In the case of irregular menstruation, the starting and ending time of periods are never constant and cannot be predicted as one may get it at any time of the menstruation cycle.
Type 2. Dysmenorrhea OR Severe Menstrual Cramps
Most women will have menstrual cramps either before or during menstruation, but if these cramps become extremely painful and persistent, this could be a case of Dysmenorrhea.
Type 3. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
PMS is a common condition that holds various physiological and psychological symptoms associated with the ovulation period and menstruation. In cases of severe PMS, women experience major disruptive symptoms; the most common one being depression. Other symptoms start developing about 5 to 7 days before your period and vanish once your periods start.
Type 4. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
This is far more severe than PMS and can significantly disrupt your daily life and activities. You can find more information on PMDD in the sections to follow.
+ What are the Causes of Menstrual Abnormalities or Disorders?
The cause for each type of Menstrual disorders is different and dependent on the symptoms associated with it.
1. Causes for Heavy Bleeding
- Hormonal imbalance
- Hypothyroidism, Hyperthyroidism, blood clotting disorder, leukaemia, liver or kidney disease and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) are some of the medical conditions that can cause heavy bleeding.
- Medications, like Anticoagulants /blood thinners (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, aspirin, coumadin, heparin) Antidepressants. Antipsychotics etc. could be the cause of your heavy or excessive menstrual bleeding
- Structural abnormalities of the Uterus like fibroids or polyps.
- Obstetric or pregnancy related conditions like miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, and IUD complications may make bleeding heavier and more painful.
- Precancerous conditions, infections of genital tract, pelvic inflammatory disease and peritoneal infections and endometriosis where the uterus lining becomes inflamed from infection can also cause heavy bleeding.
2. Causes for Amenorrhea
- Primary Amenorrhea is caused due to an imbalance in your endocrine system, low body weight, disorders of your ovaries or delayed maturing of the pituitary gland.
- Secondary Amenorrhea is caused due to several factors that affect and alter your estrogen levels, like weight loss, exercise, illness, and stress.
3. Causes for Dysmenorrhea
- Painful abdominal or menstrual cramps occurring due to uterine contractions caused by prostaglandins which are a hormone-like substance produced by the endometrium which are the cells lining the uterus.
4. Causes for PMS and PMDD
- Both PMS and PMDD are caused due to a change in your estrogen and progesterone hormones levels.
- PMDD has been observed to also occur in women with a history of depression.
+ What are the most common Symptoms seen in Menstrual Disorders?
- Heavy Bleeding
- PMS and PMDD Symptoms like Fatigue, Headaches, Constipation, Bloating, Swollen and painful breasts, and emotional symptoms including anger, mood swings, tension, crying, depression, inability to concentrate and anxiety or confusion.
+ How do you Diagnose Menstrual Disorders?
To identify, diagnose and reduce period related ‘girl problems’, it is essential to keep track of the duration and frequency of your menstrual cycle every month. By monitoring your cycle, it is possible to determine if your periods are regular or abnormal.
A confirmed diagnosis of irregular periods can be made based on the results of some specific diagnostic tests recommended by your doctor; including Blood and Urine analysis, Ultrasound Scans, Endometrial Biopsy, and Hysteroscopy to identify the underlying cause for the heavy or irregular bleeding.
+ What is the recommended Treatment for Menstrual Disorders?
Treatment for Menstrual abnormalities or disorders depend on the underlying cause for the issue, severity of symptoms, your overall health, medical history.
1. Treatment for Abnormal Uterine Bleeding (AUB)
Depending on the stage and severity of the illness, initial stage AUB can be treated by medication followed by surgery in very severe cases. Surgery is only recommended as a last resort and the decision for the same is made depending on your age, cause of abnormal bleeding and desire to preserve fertility.
2. Treatment for Menstrual Cramps
Painful cramps can be managed using medications like Non-steroidal anti-inflammation drugs (painkillers) and/or Oral Contraceptive Pills, only on the prescription of your doctor.
Some other natural ways to alleviate cramps include mild exercise and using a hot compress over the lower abdomen
3. Treatment for PMS and PMDD
Your doctor will advise some dietary changes and exercising to manage the condition. In rare cases, medications like Anti-depressants, Oral Contraceptive Pills and Diuretics may be prescribed.
Do you have more queries about the article or are you confused about the kind of treatment or regimen recommended or if you’re unsure about whether this is the right solution for you? Get clear and straightforward advise to all your questions, fears or doubts right from the comfort of your home, by booking one of our condition specific Diagnostic Screening Packs or schedule an Online Consultation with our Top Physicians, Gynaecologists and other Health Experts at carefit.
Read More | Are you looking for a Safe Natural Way without Medication or Side-effects to manage irregular periods? You should check out our Top 8 Home Remedies for Irregular Periods.
Note : This Article is Not a substitute for Medical Advice or Treatment. If you are suffering from chronic illnesses, taking regular medications or are vulnerable because of other physiological conditions like pregnancy, or low immunity, it is strongly advised that you consult a Medical Professional before starting or following any new regimen to rule out adverse side effects, contraindications and undesirable drug interactions with other medications.