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Menstrual Disorders

Updated on June 3, 2016

These are disruptive physical or emotional symptoms just before and during menstruation. menstruation is termed abnormal when it comes with pain (dysmenorrhea), absence of menstruation during reproductive period (amenorrhea), excess menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia), decrease in the frequency of menstrual flow (oligomenorrhea), increase in the frequency of menstrual flow (polymenorrhea), and in the menstrual cycle in which ovulation does not occur (anovulatory cycle).

(1) Dysmenorrhea: This menstruation comes with pain (menstrual cramp). it is a cramping pain felt in the lower abdomen. Many women encounter this in every of their menstrual cycle and for some it just come a day before, the day it starts or the end of the menstruation. most women has taken it as a normal everyday activities for just few days every month, while to some it’s a hell and discomfort that interfere with their activities.


The signs of dysmenorrhea include:
(a) Pain in the lower abdomen and constant ache
(b) Loose stools
(c) Pain that extends to the lower back and thigh
(d) Nausea


Many teenager ask this question their self. During menstrual period, the uterus contracts to expel its lining by the prostaglandins, which involves in pain and inflammation so the higher the level of prostaglandin the more pain.

Other causes of menstrual pain (Dysmenorrhea)
(i) Endometriosis (ii) pelvic inflammatory disease (iii) uterine fibroid (iv) cervical stenosis.


If you experience pain during menstrual period, do not stay in bed or idle. staying quietly can make the pain even worsen the more, instead it helps to walk around and do some little exercise or light work, or take a pain reliever like ibuprofen starting the day you expect your period to begin. Menstrual pain tends to lessen with age and often disappears once a woman has given birth, but if the cause of the pain is due to other causes listed above, and then you need to see your doctor.

(2) Menorrhagia: this is a menstruation with excess or prolong bleeding. In this case, there is enough blood loss during your menstrual period, but when it becomes so much that you cannot control, and then it is probably better to see your doctor.


(a) Soaking one or more sanitary pad every hour for several hours of the day.
(b) Symptoms of anemia like fatigue, shortness of breath.
(c) Waking up to change during the night.
(d) Bleeding for more than seven days.
(e) Passing blood clots with menstrual flow for more than a day.

Excessive menstrual bleeding may be due to hormonal imbalance, dysfunction of the ovaries, intrauterine device.

(3) Amenorrhea: this is the absence of menstruation during reproductive period. Girls who have not start seeing their menstruation by the age of 15 years or women who have missed 1-3 menstrual cycle at a row is termed to have amenorrhea. Amenorrhea can occur because of pregnancy, menopause, or breastfeeding. It can also occur due to intake of oral contraceptive, medication such as antidepressants, blood pressure drugs or allergy medication can cause stoppage of menstrual period.

The treatment of amenorrhea depends on the underlying causes, it will be best to see your doctor if your experience amenorrhea apart from being pregnant, breastfeeding or have reached menopause.

(4)Anovulatory cycle: this is a cycle in which ovulation does not occur. Menstrual bleeding occur but the release of ovum does not take place. This cycle is common at the time of puberty and few years before menopause (perimenopause). Anovulatory cycle leads to infertility when occur very often during childbearing years. the common causes of anovulatory cycle is due to hormonal imbalance, prolong strenuous exercise, eating disorder, hypothalamic dysfunction or tumors in the pituitary gland and ovary, long time use of steroidal and oral contraceptive.


Women who suffer from anovulatory cycle and still want to get pregnant should take drug to induce ovulation. Such oral medication is clomiphene.

(5) Oligomenorrhea: this is a decrease in the frequency of menstrual period, it occurs when a women regularly goes more than 35 days without menstruating or occurs only 4-9 periods in a year.


Oligomenorrhea can result due to hormonal changes in perimenopause
- Endurance exercise like swimming and running which can affect the reproductive physiology of female athletes
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (pcos). Oligomenorrhea can occur because of pcos in women. It is a condition whereby excess androgens are released by the ovaries.
-Eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa can also be a cause of oligomenorrhea.


Treatment of oligomenorrhea varies depending on their causes. For eating disorder, it is just advisable to maintain a good eating habit or visit a nutritionist. For female athlete, they may need a physical therapy or rehabilitation. For women with pcos it can be treated with hormones depending on which hormone is imbalance.

(6)Polymenorrhea: this is an increase in the frequency of menstrual flow or a shorter cycle length. It occur when the menstrual cycle is less than 21 days.


The causes of Polymenorrhea can be due to the following
(i) Excessive exercise (ii) perimenopause (iii) stress (iv) eating disorder and (v) certain medications such as birth control pills.

The treatment of Polymenorrhea depends on the causes. Women who engage in excessive exercise should reduce the rate at which she exercise as it will help to bring back the menstrual flow back to normal. If it is due to stress, then stress management such as meditation are advice or see your doctor for better medication and advice.

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