Menstruation is a subject that many women feel uneasy about discussing. Pixar’s 2022 film Turning Red tried to combat this taboo topic, particularly for girls and young women who may not always know what is normal or abnormal when it comes to their cycle.
Here are the three most common menstrual disorders women should be aware of:
Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
Also known as menorrhagia, approximately 20% of women experience heavy menstrual bleeding that disrupts their daily activities. The other forms of this condition are polymenorrhoea (too frequent), postmenopausal (menstrual periods after menopause), and metrorrhagia (bleeding between periods).
The heavy bleeding can be 10 to 25 times more severe than a normal menstrual cycle. It often occurs when you initially start menstruating or as you approach the menopause. As well as heavy flow, the menstrual period can often last more than seven days.
Causes of heavy menstrual bleeding:
- hormonal imbalances
- physical abnormalities such as fibroids
- thyroid problems
- blood clotting disorders
- liver or kidney disease
- complications associated with an IUD or intrauterine device
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or infections
Absent Menstrual Bleeding
Primary amenorrhea occurs when a female reaches normal menstruation age, approximately 16, but still has not started menstruation. Secondary amenorrhoea is when a normal menstrual cycle becomes increasingly irregular or absent.
The reasons for absent menstrual bleeding include:
- endocrine issues that are affecting hormones
- delayed development of the pituitary gland
- thyroid disorder
- low body weight
- excessive exercise
Known as dysmenorrhoea, some women experience such painful and persistent cramps that it affects their quality of life. It can be characterised as either primary or secondary, depending on the cause.
Primary dysmenorrhoea is usually the result of a chemical imbalance, whereas secondary dysmenorrhoea is associated with other medical conditions, such as fibroids, Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or an infection.
As well as pain or cramping in the lower abdomen, it can cause the following symptoms:
- nausea and vomiting
- pain in the lower limbs
For more advice on menstrual disorders and your treatment options, call 0207 722 8328 to arrange a consultation.