Menstrual Disorders can be varied and different for every woman. They can either be severe or low effect which in turn determines the symptoms experienced by women during their periods. A period is a part of the menstrual cycle that occurs every 28 days, on an average. Menstrual period is part of the menstrual cycle where the body goes through certain changes that might be due to menstrual disorders. A normal menstrual period happens for five and to seven days.
The various types of menstrual disorders are abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB) or, dysmenorrhea (painful menstrual periods), premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphonic disorder (PMDD). Heavy menstrual bleeding is generally referred to menstruation that requires changing of tampon or pad every hour. The most common cause for heavy menstrual bleeding is hormonal imbalances, structural abnormalities in the uterus (polyps or fibroids) and medical conditions (thyroid problems, blood clotting disorders, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), liver or kidney disease). Another condition called amenorrhea is an opposite condition of heavy menstrual bleeding, where no menstrual periods occur. Amenorrhea can be primary and secondary. Primary amenorrhea is having no menstrual period even after you turn 16. The main cause of this condition is mainly due to delayed maturation of pituitary gland. The other condition, secondary amenorrhea occurs when your periods suddenly stops for three months or longer. It is cause by increase and decrease in estrogen levels that leads to weight loss, exercise or illness.
The other menstrual disorder is severe menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea) which is characterized by painful cramps before or during the menstrual period that interferes with daily life. A menstrual cramp is caused by uterine contractions, triggered by prostaglandis, a hormone-like substance that is produced by uterine lining cells and circulates in your bloodstream. When feel severe cramps, it’s basically increased contractions of the uterine that leads to low blood pressure leading to dizziness or lightheadedness. The other two conditions under menstrual disorder, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) are very similar but differ in severity. A PMS leads to physical and psychological changes in the body that have zero to extreme effect on a woman. It is generally caused by the irregular levels of estrogen and progesterone hormones in the body that influence the brain chemicals, serotonin, thereby leading to mood swings. A PMDD, on the other hand is far more severe than PMS and interferes with daily lives of women.
A menstrual disorder can be diagnosed properly and identified if you keep track of your menstrual cycle and periods and the related symptoms that occur before, during and after your menstrual period. If you are suffering from a menstrual disorder, then visiting a gynecologist is the first step in treating the problem. Your gynecologist may also do a number of test like endometrial biopsy (a sample of your uterine lining is sent to the lab for further analysis), hysteroscopy (where a small camera is inserted into your uterus to identify problems) and ultrasound (that produces an image of your uterus helping your doctor in identifying ovarian cysts).
There are various treatment options available for treating menstrual disorders ranging from medications to surgery. However, treatment will depend on the type of menstrual disorder you have and the severity of the problem. Medication is the first step of treatment for heavy menstrual periods, amenorrhea and dysmenorrhea. Medicines like oral contraceptives, progestin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may help in controlling heavy menstrual bleeding and treating amenorrhea which is absent of menstrual period. You can also take over-the-counter painkillers for dysmenorrhea (severe menstrual cramps) and also in treating PMS and PMDD. Other treatments include taking anti-depressants, diuretic medications and making dietary and lifestyle changes to manage and treat PMS and PMDD.
However, if your menstrual disorder is severe and cannot be treated with medications, then your doctor might opt for surgery like removal of polyps or uterine fibroids, uterine artery embolization, endometrial ablation and hysterectomy.
If you have problems with your menstrual period like severe cramps and heavy bleeding with extreme mood swings and depressions, then you should go to a gynecologist to check for menstrual disorders.
Women having regular periods with little to no cramps is not eligible for the treatment of menstrual disorders.
The various medications prescribed for menstrual disorders can have varied side effects. Oral contraceptive pills and birth control pills taken for heavy menstrual bleeding and amenorrhea can have side effects such as nausea, breast tenderness, weight gain, headaches and migraine, vaginal discharge and intermenstrual spotting. These side effects can be a cause of concern if you are a chain smoker. Side effects of progestins include irregular menstrual bleeding, weight gain and even, mood changes.
If you are taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, then you can also have side effects such as stomach upset, headaches dizziness and drowsiness. But surgical treatment of menstrual disorder often comes with common side effects of infections, hemorrhage and other complications like not being able to get pregnant.
Menstrual disorders are caused by a number of reasons ranging from medical to hormonal to environmental factors. Therefore, doctors often recommend making lifestyle changes to woman that might lead to regular periods with less cramps and mood swings. Firstly, the combined effects of alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, salt and sugar have an adverse effect on the menstrual cycle and ovulation process in the body. So, limiting or stopping these items may help in your overall health. Increase calcium and carbohydrates in your diet will help relieving certain symptoms of menstrual disorders.
Exercising is an excellent way to alleviate certain symptoms associated with menstrual disorders as it increases energy, decrease stress and anxiety and improves sleep. Therefore, doing even 30 minutes of exercise can help you in the long run. Try to live a healthy lifestyle which will automatically transfer into regular menstrual periods with lesser problems.
Recovery periods usually depend on the type of treatment that you are undergoing for menstrual disorders. If you are taking medications for menstrual disorders, then recovery usually takes place within a week or two. However, if you have undergone surgery, then it may take period of one month or more to recover.
The pricing for medical disorder treatment differs widely based on the type of method used to treat a patient. Medicinal charges usually begin at Rs.200 and can go up to Rs.1000. But if you are undergoing surgical procedure, then the cost may start at Rs.50,000 and can go up.
The results of the treatment is permanent but most of the menstrual disorders are caused by erratic lifestyle changes which can again lead to menstrual irregularities.
If you are not keen on going for medicines and drugs prescribed by your gynecologist, then you can try some home remedies to help with your menstrual disorders. You can try consuming aloe vera juice mixed with honey and unripe papaya to regulate menstrual periods. However, do not try this during your periods. You can also mix turmeric and cinnamon in a glass of milk to help with your menstrual disorders. Give these remedies a try if you are looking for natural ways to regulate your periods.