Each menstrual cycle, the endometrium prepares to nourish a fetus. In the absence of fertilization, the body sheds the endometrium every month. This cycle can be irregular, indicating any of the following menstrual disorders:

Types of Menstrual Disorders

  • Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
  • Amenorrhea
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Menorrhagia

1. Premenstrual Syndrome(PMS)

PMS is an unpleasant or inconvenient symptom that occurs during your cycle. Symptoms can last from a few hours to several days, and the severity varies between individuals.

PMDD is a severe form of PMS that affects between 3% and 8% of women of reproductive age. PMDD requires medical attention. During their reproductive years, nearly 85% of women experience at least one PMS symptom, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Approximately 5% have severe symptoms that render them disabled.

PMS Symptoms

PMS symptoms can include any of the following, depending on the individual:

  • Mood swings (depression, anxiety, irritability)
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms (bloating)
  • Hydration (swelling of fingers, ankles, and feet)
  • Skin problems (acne)
  • Headache
  • Vertigo
  • Fainting
  • Muscle spasms
  • Heart palpitations
  • Allergies
  • Infections
  • Vision problems
  • Eye infections
  • Decreased coordination
  • Diminished libido (sex drive)
  • Changes in appetite
  • Hot flashes

Simple lifestyle changes can help eliminate or reduce symptoms like:

  • 3–5 times per week exercise
  • Eat a balanced diet with whole grains, vegetables, and fruit while limiting salt, sugar, and alcohol intake
  • A good night’s sleep

2. Amenorrhea

Amenorrhea is a three-month menstrual period. There are two types:

Types of Amenorrhea

  • Primary amenorrhea: Menstruation precedes puberty.
  • Secondary amenorrhea: Minor periods that are irregular or nonexistent. This could be physical.

 Amenorrhea can be caused by pregnancy, breastfeeding, or menopause. Medication or a medical condition like:

  • Ovulation abnormality
  • Medical disease, anatomical anomaly, or birth flaw
  • Eating disorder
  • Obesity
  • Excessive or strenuous exercise
  • Thyroid disorder

See a doctor if you miss three consecutive periods or have never had a period and are 16 or older. Any condition requires early diagnosis and treatment.

 3. Dysmenorrhea

Menstrual cramps and pain are defined as dysmenorrhea. Primary or secondary dysmenorrhea has different causes. A chemical imbalance causes abnormal uterine contractions in women with primary dysmenorrhea. Secondary dysmenorrhea is caused by endometriosis.

Dysmenorrhea Symptoms

The most common symptoms may include:

  • pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • uterine fibroids
  • abnormal pregnancy (i.e., miscarriage, ectopic)
  • infection, Overtumors, or polyps in the pelvic cavity

Women with the following conditions are more prone to dysmenorrhea:

  • Smokers
  • Those who drink too much during their period
  • Overweight women
  • Menstruating women under the age of 11

The most common symptoms may include:

  • Cramping or pain in the lower abdomen
  • Back and leg pain radiating into the butt and the lower legs
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Fainting
  • Headaches

4. Menorrhagia

Menorrhagia is characterized by heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding. In some cases, severe bleeding disrupts daily activities.

Other types of dysfunctional uterine bleeding include:

  • Polymenorrhea: Menstruation too frequently.
  • Oligomenorrhea: Irregular or light cycles
  • Metrorrhagia: Any irregular, non-menstrual bleeding such as bleeding between periods
  • Postmenopausal bleeding: Any bleeding occurs more than a year after the last menstrual period.

Menorrhagia Causes

Menorrhagia can be caused by:

  • Hormonal discord
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Abnormal pregnancy; i.e., miscarriage, ectopic (tubal pregnancy)
  • Any kind of pelvic cavity tumours, growths, or infections
  • Intrauterine devices, among other forms of birth control (IUDs)
  • Bleeding or platelet disorders
  • Prostaglandins abound (chemical substances used to control muscle contractions of the uterus)
  • Endothelin levels high (chemical substances used to dilate blood vessels)
  • Hepatitis, kidney, thyroid

Menorrhagia Symptoms

Menorrhagia Symptoms include soaking through sanitary napkins or tampons every hour and/or a menstrual period lasting longer than 7 days. Other symptoms include spotting or bleeding between periods or during pregnancy.

A diagnosis is only confirmed when other menstrual disorders, medical conditions, or medications are ruled out as causes or aggravating factors.

Other diagnostic procedures may include:

  • Blood tests
  • Pap test
  • Ultrasound: A method of imaging the pelvic organs using high-frequency sound waves.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): It uses large magnets, radio frequencies, and a computer to create detailed images of the reproductive organs.
  • Laparoscopy: A laparoscope is inserted into an abdominal wall incision. The laparoscope frequently detects abnormal growths in the pelvis and abdomen.
  • Hysteroscopy: Examination of the cervix canal and the uterine interior.
  • Biopsy (endometrial): It is performed to check for cancer or other abnormal cells in endometrium tissue samples taken with a needle or surgically removed.
  • Dilation and curettage (D&C): Enlarging the cervical canal and scraping the uterine cavity with a curette, a spoon-shaped surgical tool, is called dissection.

To rule out other conditions, your doctor may suggest a psychiatric evaluation or ask you to keep a diary of your symptoms.

Your doctor will devise a treatment plan based on factors such as:

  • Age, health, and medical history
  • The extent of the problem
  • Causes of the condition
  • Current Symptoms
  • Your Medication, procedure, or therapy tolerance

Treatments for menstrual disorders

Discussing your symptoms with your doctor can help determine the best treatments for you, including:

  • Diuretics
  • Anti-prostaglandins
  • Hormone boosters
  • Oral conceiving
  • Tranquilizers
  • Dietary supplements
  • Dietary changes
  • Antidepressants
  • Regular exercise
  • Surgery

 schedule an appointment for a pelvic exam or Pap test to learn more about menstrual disorders.