Types of menstrual disorders –
Menstrual disorders are problems that affect a woman’s normal menstrual cycle. There are several types of menstrual disorders. Problems can range from heavy, painful periods to no periods at all. There are many variations in menstrual patterns, but in general, women should be concerned when periods come fewer than 21 days or more than 3 months apart, or if they last more than 10 days. Such events may indicate ovulation problems or other medical conditions.
1) Dysmenorrhea ( cramps)
Dysmenorrhea is severe, frequent cramping during menstruation. Pain occurs in the lower abdomen but can spread to the lower back and thighs. Dysmenorrhea is usually referred to as primary or secondary:
- Primary dysmenorrhea. Cramping pain caused by menstruation. The cramps occur from contractions in the uterus and are usually more severe during heavy bleeding.
- Secondary dysmenorrhea. Menstrual-related pain that accompanies another medical or physical condition, such as endometriosis or uterine fibroids.
2) Menorrhagia (heavy bleeding)
Menorrhagia is the medical term for significantly heavier periods. Menorrhagia can be caused by a number of factors. During a normal menstrual cycle, the average woman loses about 1 ounce (30 mL) of blood and changes her tampons or pads around 3 to 6 times per day. With menorrhagia, menstrual flow lasts longer and is heavier than normal. The bleeding occurs at regular intervals (during periods). It usually lasts more than 7 days and women lose an excessive amount of blood. Clot formation is common. Menorrhagia is often accompanied by dysmenorrhea because passing large clots can cause painful cramping.
3) Amenorrhea ( Absence of menstruation)
Amenorrhea is the absence of menstruation. There are two categories: primary amenorrhea and secondary amenorrhea. These terms refer to the time when menstruation stops:
- Primary amenorrhea- occurs when a girl does not begin to menstruate by age 16. Girls who show no signs of sexual development (breast development and pubic hair) by age 13 should be evaluated by a doctor. Any girl who does not have her period by age 15 should be evaluated for primary amenorrhea.
- Secondary amenorrhea- occurs when periods that were previously regular stop for at least 3 months.
4) Premenstrual Syndrome
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a set of physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms that occur during the last week of the luteal phase (a week before menstruation) in most cycles. The symptoms typically do not start until at least day 13 in the cycle and resolve within 4 days after bleeding begins. Women may begin to have premenstrual syndrome symptoms at any time during their reproductive years, but it usually occurs when they are in their late 20s to early 40s. Once established, the symptoms tend to remain fairly constant until menopause, although they can vary from cycle to cycle.
5) Oligomenorrhea(infrequent menstruation) and Hypomenorrhea ( lighter menstruation)
Oligomenorrhea is a condition in which menstrual cycles are infrequent, occurring more than 35 days apart. It is very common in early adolescence and does not usually indicate a medical problem. Light or scanty flow is also common in the first years after menarche and before menopause.
When girls first menstruate they often do not have regular cycles for several years. Even healthy cycles in adult women can vary by a few days from month to month. Periods may occur every 3 weeks in some women, and every 5 weeks in others. Flow also varies and can be heavy or light. Skipping a period and then having a heavy flow may occur; this is most likely due to missed ovulation rather than a miscarriage.