Menstrual Disorders refer to health conditions that affect a woman’s normal menstrual cycle. From heavy periods to irregular periods, women can experience many different gynaecologic issues relating to their monthly cycle. The gynaecologists at Timothy Lim Clinic treat or manage menstrual disorders based on the cause and the symptoms being experienced.
TYPES OF MENSTRUAL DISORDERS
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) – PMS is any unpleasant or uncomfortable symptoms during your cycle that may temporarily disturb normal functioning. These symptoms may last from a few hours to many days, and the types and intensity of symptoms can vary in individuals.
Amemorrhea – This is the absence of periods. Amenorrhea occurs when a female does not experience a period by age 16, or when a woman does not get her period for at least three months.
Oligomenorrhea – this term refers to infrequent menstrual periods.
Abnormal Uterine Bleeding – This is heavy menstrual bleeding or spotting/bleeding that occurs between periods.
Dysmenorrhea – This refers to painful periods, including severe menstrual cramps. Dysmenorrhea may cause other symptoms, such as nausea, diarrhea, headache, vomiting and lower back pain.
Menorrhagia – This is a heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding. Many women have this type of abnormal uterine bleeding. It can be related to a number of conditions including problems with the uterus, hormone problems, or other conditions.
PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME (PMS)
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is the name for a group of symptoms that you may experience up to 14 days before your period (menstruation). The symptoms usually stop soon after your period starts.
Most women feel some mild discomfort before their periods. But if you have PMS, you may feel so anxious, depressed, or uncomfortable that you can’t cope at home or at work. Some of the symptoms of PMS are listed below. Your symptoms may be worse some months and better others.
Amenorrhea is characterized by absent menstrual periods for more than three monthly menstrual cycles. There are two types of amenorrhea:
Primary amenorrhea: Menstruation does not begin at puberty.
Secondary amenorrhea: Normal and regular menstrual periods that become increasingly abnormal and irregular or absent. This may be due to a physical cause typically of later onset.
If at least three consecutive menstrual periods are missed or if you’ve never had a menstrual period and are 16 years or older, it is important to see a healthcare professional. As with any condition, early diagnosis and treatment is very important.
Irregular periods, also called oligomenorrhea, can occur if there is a change in contraception method, a hormone imbalance, hormonal changes around the time of the menopause, and endurance exercises.
Treatment for irregular periods during puberty and around the menopause is not usually necessary, but if irregular periods occur during the reproductive years, medical advice may be necessary.
ABNORMAL UTERINE BLEEDING
Abnormal uterine bleeding is any heavy or unusual bleeding from the uterus (through your vagina). It can occur at any time during your monthly cycle, including during your normal menstrual period.
Vaginal bleeding between periods is one symptom of abnormal uterine bleeding. Having extremely heavy bleeding during your period can also be considered abnormal uterine bleeding. Very heavy bleeding during a period and/or bleeding that lasts more than 7 days is called menorrhagia. For example, women may bleed enough to soak through 1 or more tampons or sanitary pads every hour.
Dysmenorrhea is characterized by severe and frequent menstrual cramps and pain associated with menstruation. The cause of dysmenorrhea is dependent on if the condition is primary or secondary. With primary dysmenorrhea, women experience abnormal uterine contractions resulting from a chemical imbalance in the body. Secondary dysmenorrhea is caused by other medical conditions, most often endometriosis.
Menorrhagia is the most common type of abnormal uterine bleeding and is characterized by heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding. In some cases, bleeding may be so severe that daily activities are disrupted.
Other types of this condition, also called dysfunctional uterine bleeding, may include:
- Polymenorrhea: Too frequent menstruation.
- Menorrhagia: Any irregular, non-menstrual bleeding as in bleeding which occurs between menstrual periods.
- Postmenopausal bleeding: Any bleeding that occurs more than one year after the last normal menstrual period at menopause.
MANAGING & TREATING MENSTRUAL DISORDER
The treatment of a menstrual disorder is based on the type of condition and its symptoms. Lifestyle changes may resolve the problem if stress, weight or excessive exercise are thought to be causing the disorder. The use of oral contraceptives or hormone therapy may be recommended to women who experience infrequent menstruation.
Treatment for abnormal uterine bleeding may include hormone therapy, endometrial ablation, dilation and curettage (D&C) or hysteroscopic procedures to remove polyps that may be causing symptoms. Treatment for dysmenorrhea depends on the underlying cause. Oral contraceptives, along with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, may be sufficient in relieving mild cases. If the pain is caused by an underlying condition, such as endometriosis, medication, surgery or minimally – invasive procedures may be recommended.
Menstrual disorders can be uncomfortable and disrupt a woman’s life. It is not always clear what is causing a menstrual cycle problem, but treatments may be recommended to help relieve symptoms. If you are experiencing menstrual problems, contact Timothy Lim Clinic today to schedule an appointment to discuss your treatment options.