Menstrual cycles often bring about a variety of uncomfortable symptoms leading up to your period. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) encompasses the most common issues, such as mild cramping and fatigue, but the symptoms usually go away when your period begins.
However, other, more serious menstrual problems may also occur. Menstruation that is too heavy or too light, or the complete absence of a cycle, may suggest that there are other issues that are contributing to an abnormal menstrual cycle.
Remember that a “normal” menstrual cycle means something different for every woman. A cycle that’s regular for you may be abnormal for someone else. It’s important to stay in tune with your body and to talk to your doctor if you notice any significant changes to your menstrual cycle.
There are several different menstrual problems that you may experience.
PMS is an unpleasant or uncomfortable symptom 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.
Your period is a natural part of your life. And you can do anything you would do any other time of the month.
PMS is a group of changes that can affect you on many levels. They can be physical, emotional, or behavioral. The changes come 1 to 2 weeks before your period. Once your period starts, they go away.
Amenorrhea is the absence of menstrual bleeding in a woman of reproductive age.
There are two main types of amenorrhea:
Primary amenorrhea This is when a girl over age 15 has never had her period.
Secondary amenorrhea This is when a woman who has had regular periods stops having her period for six months or longer.
Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for pain with menstruation. There are two types of dysmenorrhea: “primary” and “secondary”.
Primary dysmenorrhea is common menstrual cramps that are recurrent (come back) and are not due to other diseases. Pain usually begins 1 or 2 days before, or when menstrual bleeding starts and is felt in the lower abdomen, back, or thighs.
Pain can range from mild to severe, can typically last 12 to 72 hours, and can be accompanied by nausea-and-vomiting, fatigue, and even diarrhea. Common menstrual cramps usually become less painful as a woman ages and may stop entirely if the woman has a baby.
Average blood loss during menstruation is around 30 to 40 milliliters, or 2 to 3 tablespoons, over a period of 4 to 5 days. Officially, menorrhagia is a loss of over 80 milliliters of blood in one cycle or twice the normal amount.
Fluctuating hormone levels in the body have a direct impact on the menstrual cycle. These fluctuations can be caused by dysfunction in the pituitary gland, thyroid gland or adrenal gland. It can also be a result of the malfunction in either or both ovaries and the secretion of hormones originating there.
One-fourth menstrual disorders are caused by problems of the anatomy. These include various gynecological issues like the presence of uterine fibroids and polyps, reduced uterine contractile strength, adenomyosis (intrusion of uterine tissue into the muscular wall of the uterus), a uterus with an excessively large surface area, and endometrial cancer.
Abnormality in clotting is a cause of heavy menstrual bleeding in women. It leads to exceeding blood loss from minor cuts and gashes and makes one easily prone to bruising. This may also include medical conditions such as thrombocytopenia (platelet dysfunction) and Von Willebrand disease.
There is a wide range of medications and nutritional or hormonal supplements which often cause menstrual disorders in women and lead to fluctuations in the menstrual cycle. These include medicines such as aspirin, ibuprofen, estrogen pills, Vitamin E supplements etc.
These are comparatively rare and require a greater degree of medical attention. It includes conditions such as cervical cancer, ovarian tumors, liver and kidney diseases, uterine infections, extreme psychological stress, obesity, etc. Incidents such as miscarriages and unsuspected pregnancies are also known to cause abnormal menstrual bleeding.
According to Ayurveda, poor diet and inefficient digestion are the main causative factors for these disorders. Improperly digested food leads to the production of toxins in the body. These toxins are circulated by the blood to the deep tissues and channels, where they cause blockages and stagnation.
These conditions cause aggravation of Vata Dosha (air) and the Rakta Dhatu (blood). The aggravated Vata brings impaired blood into the channels carrying the raj (menstrual blood), leading to increased menstrual blood flow.
Ayurveda recommends different types of treatment to treat menstrual problems. These include nourishing and toning herbs as well as rejuvenating treatment in accordance with the nature of the disorder.
Massage and the incorporation of meditation and yoga may also be beneficial for the permanent elimination of the problems. It is important to address these menstruation problems because a woman expels a large proportion of her wastes and toxins through this process. If these toxins remain in the body, they cause further stagnation and blockage within the body.