Are you often missing menstrual periods? Do you usually endure monthly penitence due to muscle cramps and spasms? Are you one of those women who constantly checks if your dress was blood-stained due to leakage? Well, this article may help you with your bloody challenge.
Menstruation is one of the hurdles of puberty and a constant battle for most of the women. Not to mention that it is somehow irritating and inevitably discomforting, a monthly period is very expensive. Although most women are going thru this every month with few or no concerns, other women experience loads of pains, missed periods, and heavy menstrual flows, which may often be referred to as Menstrual Disorders.
Discussions of common menstrual disorders are included in this article to educate or enlighten and assist you if you happen to be one of these bloodily-challenged women.
- Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
PMS posts several physical, psychological and emotional symptoms occurring a week before a woman’s period. These symptoms may include irritability, anxiety, mood swings, bloating, skin problems like acne, muscle spasms, breast tenderness, overeating, and food cravings, and increased or decreased libido (sex drive).
- Irregular or Absence of Menstrual Bleeding (Amenorrhea)
Amenorrhea may be classified as follows:
- Primary Amenorrhea – No menarche occurred on the onset of puberty, commonly caused by genetic abnormalities and/or hormonal imbalance; and
- Secondary Amenorrhea – Change from normal menstruation to irregular or absent menses, resulting from chronic anovulation (including PCOS), hypothyroidism, Cushing syndrome (Hypercortisolism) and lifestyle factors (low body weight, excessive exercise, stress).
- Painful Menstruation (Dysmenorrhea)
Persistent cramping or pain in the lower abdomen, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, fainting, and headaches are the most common symptoms of dysmenorrhea which are usually caused by uterine contractions.
- Heavy Menstrual Bleeding (Menorrhagia)
The unusual and irregular intensity and frequency of menstrual flow are usually resulting from endometriosis, hormonal imbalances, structural abnormalities in the uterus (such as poles or fibroids), other medical conditions (such as leukemia, complications from IUD, miscarriage, and infections). Menorrhagia may occur in an individual as follows:
- Polymenorrhea : Too frequent menstruation
- Oligomenorrhea : Infrequent or light menstrual cycles
- Menorrhagia : Bleeding between menstrual periods
- Postmenopausal bleeding: Bleeding occurs more than one year after menopause
Diagnosis and Treatment
Just like any other health concerns, a bloodily-challenged woman should schedule an appointment with a healthcare professional (HCP). As preparation for this appointment, a record of regularity or occurrence and duration of your period should be maintained.
- Premenstrual Symptoms (PMS) – Common home remedies as follows:
- Cut back on alcohol, salt, and refined sugar;
- Increase the consumption of complex carbohydrates from fruits, grains, and vegetables;
- Increase consumption of calcium and magnesium which may relieve menstrual cycle disorder symptoms; and
- Exercise at least 30 minutes, five days a week which can improve mood, decrease stress and anxiety and improve sleeping habits.
- Menstrual Cramps
- Over-the-counter medications may be prescribed by your HCP like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) like Ibuprofen and Naproxen;
- Oral contraceptive pills can also aid in relieving menstrual cramps; and
- Physical homecare remedies such as an application of hot compress on abdominal area and mild exercise may be done.
- Heavy Menstrual Bleeding – Consultation to HCP should be done for proper medication and treatment.
Based on the medical statistics, an average woman is estimated to consume 11,000 tampons, which is a great deal of pollution if no proper actions are taken. This led to the introduction of menstrual cup alternatives to women as tampon alternative which is widely gaining acceptance not only to assist women in their menstrual cycle but also in conserving Mother Nature.
Menstrual Cup is a flexible medical grade silicone bell-shaped cup with a stem which collects menstrual fluid. This m-ay be worn 4-12 hours (depending on the amount of flow). After which, it is removed, emptied, rinsed, and reinserted. After each menstrual cycle, the cup should be sterilized for at least five minutes. These cups are reusable for five (5) years. Although these cups are introduced for regular menstruation, menstrual disorders are no less benefited in these reusable devices. Advantages are as follows:
- For Menorrhagia
- Prevents frequent leakage due to heavy and prolonged bleeding;
- Reduces expenses on disposable tampons; and
- Tracking of the level of menstrual flow for future HCP medical consultations.
- Amenorrhea – Menstrual cup may be worn in anticipation of sudden and unexpected menstrual flow.
Understanding and keeping an eye on your well-being is one way of protecting yourself not only from unanticipated expenses for hospitalization and medications but also from being deprived of the beauty of life ahead. As we enjoy this gift of life, we must also be responsible stewards of environment. Health is wealth. Educate yourself! Care for yourself and Nature!
By Margaret Wallace
who is a freelance creative writer. She shares her experience via written word and writes about health related articles.