Menstrual cycle problems could cause significant anxiety to many women.
Even subtle menstruation problems may be alarming for some, especially
if they are not yet properly informed about the common cycle problems.
the menstrual cycle could be affected by both psychological and
physical factors such that more anxiety could exacerbate cycle
I have put together in this page some of the key
points which have been helpful in my discussion with women over the
years about issues related to possible disorders of the
Know The Normal Before The Abnormal
This is a basic principle in medical education which I find relevant
here. To better appreciate an abnormal menstrual cycle,it is important
you get familiar with the normal ovulation cycle.
Important points include
With the features of a normal menstrual cycle in mind, it becomes
relatively easier to comprehend the possible sources of menstrual cycle
problems. In fact I have noticed that most of the common problems women
often present in relation to their cycles could be easily grouped
following the basic features of the normal cycle. These features include
The cycle should return every month and the most obvious physical sign
of the entire menstrual cycle is menstrual bleeding. When menstruation
is absent in situations where it should otherwise be present, it is
called amenorrhea or absent menses. When it comes too often than normal,
it is called polymenorrhea. If it does not come as often as it should,
it is called oligomenorrhea.
Normal menses may be accompanied by few, minor symptoms. Menstrual cycle
problems arise when there is an exaggeration of these symptoms or
unusual ones. Significant pain during menstruation is called menstrual
cramps or dysmenorrhea. Premenstrual syndrome occurs when mood,
behavioral and physical symptoms are present.
- Blood quality.
The menstrual blood should be normal in color, consistency and odor.
Women often ask about brown or black menstrual blood and the presence of
menstrual blood clots. Offensive menstrual flow may indicate an
- Amount of blood loss. Measured
in “ml” but each woman learns by experience with pads or tampons to know
what is normal for her. Heavy bleeding is called menorrhagia and scanty
bleeding is called hypomenorrhea.
Overview Of Common Problems
The discussion above seeks to lay down a simple categorization of the
common menstrual cycle problems women often encounter for better
comprehension. Each category will be presented briefly below. Click the
relevant links to read more about each category.
The absence of menstruation
is one of the frequent menstrual cycle problems. Why? Because
pregnancy, a normal condition, is the most frequent cause! Amenorrhea is
basically the absence of menstrual flow. It could be primary or
Polymenorrhea and Oligomenorrhea
means many cycles than normal, with cycle lenghts shorter than 21 days.
Oligomenorrhea means fewer cycles because of cycle lengths above 35
Menstrual Cramps (Dysmenorrhea)
are simply painful periods. They are also one of the
the common menstrual cycle problems.
Premenstrual syndrome ( PMS)
The premenstrual syndrome
Menstrual blood abnormalities
Though the abnormalities of the menstruation blood
- Normal menstrual blood could be brown or in some rare cases
black especially towards the end of menstruation. When blood stays out
of blood vessels, it changes its color.
- Blood clots during menstruation could be normal or a sign of disease.
is uterine bleeding that is beyond what is normal, either during
menstrual years or past menopause.There are may possible causes
including hormonal and structural abnormalities. It may present as heavy
menstruation, irregular menses, break through bleeding, mid cycle
bleeding and spotting before period.
After menopause, women can sometimes have abnormal postmenopausal bleeding. This is however not menses!
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