Hi, this is a guest blog written by Jagriti Dixit
All the women have to face some kind of problem in their menstrual journey. Those days of periods are not easy. Some of us experience extreme painful periods while other may just have to wait for their periods to come for months, and when they do it feels like a medical emergency. Amenorrhoea and Menorrhoea are two broad classification of menstrual disorders in woman.
Let’s see what they mean,
Amenorrhoea is a condition where there are no periods for about three months in a woman of reproductive age.
Whereas, Menorrhoea is a condition where a woman suffers from heavy bleeding and prolonged menstruation.
These disorders can arise from physiological changes (like pregnancy), pathologic sources (stress, excessive exercise, weight loss, endocrine or structural abnormalities etc.) or Intragenic sources (secondary to contraceptives, etc.).
Do you know that menstrual disorders can be classified on the following basis:
- Cycle Length Disorders
- Metrorrhagia /irregular menstruation
- Menstrual Flow Disorders
- Abnormal Uterine Bleeding(AUB)
- Ovulation Disorders
- Painful Menstruation or Dysmenorrhea
About 85% of women who have problems during their menstruation were found to be the victim of at least one PMS symptoms. So, what is PMS?
Pre Menstrual Syndrome or PMS
Pre-menstrual syndrome is a condition in which the woman undergoes changes in the level of progesterone and estrogen before the start of her menstruation. These changes results into following symptoms:
- Depression, irritability and anxiety
- Fluid retention (evidence from swelling of feet and fingers)
- Acne and other skin conditions
- Muscle spasms
- Heart palpitations
- Vision problems and eye infections
- Reduced sex drive
- Lack of appetite
Usually, no medication is required to treat these symptoms. However, following a disciplined lifestyle like doing exercise for few minutes, practicing yoga/pranayama, mindful eating and taking adequate rest can help in coping up.
Now that we have covered what’s Pre-menstrual Syndrome? Let us move on to discussing some most searched menstrual disorders on the internet.
Without the doubt, the first one is:
1. Amenorrhoea or No Periods:
A menstrual disorder characterized by absent or missed periods for more than three cycles is known as Amenorrhoea.
When period fails to begin at puberty.
When a normal menstrual cycle becomes irregular or absent with time.
Cause: Abnormalities of the uterus, ovaries, or genital tract, or endocrine disorders, polycystic ovary syndrome, pregnancy, chronic illness, and certain drugs like cocaine and opioids.
Symptoms: Although missing a period is the main sign, other symptoms can include: excess facial, hair loss, headache, changes to vision, milky discharge from the breasts, or absence of breast development
2. Menorrhoea or Excessive/ heavy menstrual flow
It is condition in which the menstrual flow is heavy and the stays for longer duration. It can last for more than 8 days. Thus, affecting the normal life of the woman severely.
Polimenorrhoea (frequent menstruation)
Postmenopausal (menstruation after menopause)
Metrorrhagia (bleeding between periods)
Causes: Hormonal imbalance, Uterine fibroids, Miscarriage and other forms of abnormal pregnancy, Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), Tumours or infections in the pelvic cavity, Platelet or bleeding disorder, High concentration of endothelial cells.
Symptoms: The main symptoms of this condition are the frequent need to change sanitary pads during the day, or when the menstrual period lasts more than seven days. Other prevalent symptoms include bleeding or spotting during pregnancy or between menstrual periods.
3. Dysmenorrhoea or Painful periods
The characteristics of this disorder is extremely painful periods followed with menstrual cramps during menstruation. The pain can last for two to three days, mostly during heavy blood flow days.
Primary dysmenorrhoea doesn’t have any underlying reason.
Secondary dysmenorrhoea can be because of some abnormalities in physiology.
Cause: include endometriosis, pelvic scarring due to chlamydia or Gonorrhoea, and intrauterine devices or IUDs, etc.
Symptoms of Dysmenorrhoea
- Pain or cramping in the lower abdomen
- Pain in the low back and legs
4. Hypo-menorrhoea or Light Period/short period
It is the condition in which a woman has very light flow during menses for short period of time. Generally, the period lasts for about two to three days or it is less than 80ml.
Cause: Periods around menopause, eating disorders, excessive exercise, thyroid dysfunction, uncontrolled diabetes, Pre-mature ovarian failure, stress, anxiety, hormonal imbalance, Cushing’s syndrome, hormonal birth control, and certain medications to treat epilepsy or mental health conditions.
Diagnosis of Menstrual Disorders
The doctor may perform diagnostic procedures such as blood test, Pap test, biopsy, magnetic resonance imaging, laparoscopic (a thin tube inserted into the abdominal wall), ultrasound and hysteroscopy.
After the diagnosis, the doctor will take into consideration other factors such as age, overall health, and medical history, the severity of the condition and current symptoms to determine the treatment plan.
The treatment plan usually include OTC meds to suppress the prominent symptoms. Other than that, surgeries like hysterectomy (removal of ovary/ uterus) is the last approach.
When to call your Doctor/Gynaecologist?
If you have any of the above mentioned symptoms of menstrual disorder, Or your periods are becoming the cause of your worry book an appointment with your doctor right away!
About the author:
Jagriti is a content writer, researcher and poetess. Jagriti loves to read and write about Women, Tech, and Health & Wellness. She is juggling raising a toddler and her career simultaneously. In her spare time, she indulges in meditation and travelling. Connect with her on LinkedIn by clicking here or her name.
I am very thankful to her for writing this blog for me. She’s super busy, yet she did it for me, so thanks to her. Don’t forget to connect with her.
Until next time, remember to smile.