A woman's body usually prepares for pregnancy about every 28
days. Her cycle begins on the first day of bleeding and
continues to the first day of the next menstrual period. Every
woman's body is unique. For some, a cycle is as short as 21 days
or as long as 35 days, and for some women, each cycle is
different from the previous. What is irregular for one woman may
be normal for another.
A menstrual disorder is a physical or
emotional problem that interferes with the normal menstrual
cycle, causing pain, unusually heavy or light bleeding, delayed
menarche, or missed periods. A woman of childbearing age should
menstruate every 28 days or so unless she is pregnant or moving
Menstrual disorders include premenstrual syndrome, dysmenorrhea,
amenorrhea, menstrual cramps, Menorrhagia, .
There are two types of amenorrhea: primary
Primary amenorrhea occurs when a girl at least 16 years old is
not menstruating. Girls may not have regular periods for their
first year or two, or their periods may be very light, a
condition known as oligomenorrhea. A light flow is nothing to
worry about. But if the period has not begun at all by age 16,
there may be something wrong.
Secondary amenorrhea occurs in women of childbearing age after a
period of normal menstruation and is diagnosed when menstruation
has stopped for three months. It can occur in women of any age.
Several other reasons for missed periods include:
Sudden change in weight
Stress, such as going away to college, or
emotional trauma, such as the death of a spouse or close
Dysmenorrhea is a very common complaint and may be
primary or secondary, although primary dysmenorrhea is more
Primary dysmenorrhea usually start within
three years of a girl's first period. it can last one or two
days a month, and can continue through menopause. Primary
dysmenorrhea is believed to be caused by the normal production
of chemical substances called prostaglandins. These
prostaglandins make the uterus contract, sometimes so much that
the blood supply is cut off for a short time, depriving the
uterine muscle of oxygen. That process can cause painful
Secondary dysmenorrhea, caused by disease like uterine fibroids,
pelvic inflammatory disease and endometriosis all fall into this
Menorrhagia, or heavy bleeding, most commonly
occurs in the years just before menopause or just after women
start menstruating. Menstrual bleeding that lasts more than 8-10
days with blood loss of over 80 mL is considered excessive.
Premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, is a group of
physical and emotional symptoms that occur in the latter half of
the menstrual cycle following ovulation. Symptoms, which can
include backache, bloating, irritability and headache, are
typically most intense during the seven days prior to the start
of menses. For
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Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or PMDD, is
a more severe form of PMS that also includes a psychological
component. For a PMDD diagnosis certain symptomatic criteria
must be met and the symptoms must interfere with daily living.
Menstrual cramps :
Menstrual cramps are pains in the abdominal (belly) and pelvic
areas that are experienced by a woman as a result of her
menstrual period. Menstrual cramps are not the same as the
discomfort felt during premenstrual syndrome (PMS), although the
symptoms of both disorders can sometimes be experienced as a
continual process. Many women suffer from both PMS and menstrual
When you have your menstrual period, you may get mild to bad
menstrual cramps or pain in your abdomen or back. You may also
have nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, a headache, or
Heavy menstrual bleeding :
One in five women bleed so heavily during their periods that
they have to put their normal lives on hold just to deal with
the heavy blood flow. Bleeding is considered heavy if it
interferes with normal activities. Blood loss during a normal
menstrual period is about 5 tablespoons, but if you have heavy
menstrual bleeding, you may bleed as much as 10 to 25 times that
amount each month. You may have to change a tampon or pad every
hour, for example, instead of three or four times a day. Heavy
menstrual bleeding can be common at various stages of your
life—during your teen years when you first begin to menstruate
and in your late 40s or early 50s, as you get closer to menopause.
If you are past menopause and experience any vaginal bleeding,
discuss your symptoms with your health care professional right
away. Any vaginal bleeding after menopause isn't normal
and should be evaluated immediately by a health care
Heavy menstrual bleeding can be
- Hormonal imbalances
- Structural abnormalities in the
- Medical conditions
Many women with heavy menstrual bleeding can blame their
condition on hormones.
Your body may produce too much or not enough estrogen
or progesterone—known as reproductive hormones—necessary to
keep your menstrual cycle regular. For example, many women with
heavy menstrual bleeding don't ovulate regularly. Ovulation,
when one of the ovaries releases an egg, occurs around day 14 in
a normal menstrual cycle. Changes in hormone levels help trigger
Certain medical conditions can cause
heavy menstrual bleeding. These include:
clotting disorders such as Von
Willebrand's disease, a mild-to-moderate bleeding
- Idiopathic thrombocytopenic
purpura (ITP), a bleeding disorder characterized by too few platelets
in the blood
- Liver or kidney disease
- Medications, such as
anticoagulant drugs such as Plavix (clopidogrel) or heparin
and some synthetic hormones.
Other gynecologic conditions that
may be responsible for heavy bleeding include:
- Complications from an IUD
pregnancy, which occurs when a fertilized egg begins
to grow outside your uterus, typically in your fallopian
Other causes of excessive bleeding
- Precancerous conditions of the
uterine lining cells
Herbs which is useful :
Ashoka (Saraca indica ):
bark of the tree is effective for excessive blood loss during
menstruation due to the presence of uterine fibroids,
leucorrhoea and other causes. A very useful herb to treat
menstrual disorders associated with excess bleeding (rakta
pradara), pain and congestion. Use when there are uterine
spasms, abdominal pain and dysmenorrhoea. Its affinity
for the uterine muscles and endometrium indicates its use as a
uterine tonic to help with prolapse, miscarriage and irregular
menstrual cycles. Also of benefit for clearing congestion
from the mamsa and medas dhatus when there are fibroids,
cysts, endometriosis and leucorrhoea from excess ama and
kapha in the artava srotas.
It also encourages the flow of urine and can help to alleviate
painful urination. Ashoka has specific analgesic
properties and can be used to soothe the nerves where they are
aggravated by vata.
Nagarmotha (Cyperus rotundus) :
This perennial herb is an astrigent. The grass herb is used for
menstrual pain and disorders, These substances have the
property of shrink the body tissues subjected to inflammation.
In this way, they fasten the process of healing also.
Kamal Phool (lotus Flower):
is particularly useful in Rakta Pitta - bleeding disorders.
Decoction of leaves and sandalwood or root-powder or seed-powder
is useful for abnormal / irregular bleeding and PMS.
Many traditional ancient medical texts also report its use for
skin conditions, notably ringworm, leprosy, sexually transmitted
diseases such as gonorrhea and syphilis as well as for lowering
fevers, fighting fungal infections and supporting a weak heart.
The milky latex found in the stems, leaves and flowers is used
to fight bacterial infections.
Nagkeshar (Mesua ferrea) :
a study of, the plant to assess its putative sex-steroidal
activity, no oestrogenic or progestational activity was found.
Its use in menorrhagia may he due to its action on capillaries.
Oil is used to treat skin diseases and its local application is
also recommended in rheumatism. The plant has been widely used
Diet is very important. Aim for a healthy
diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables. Cut down on salt to
prevent bloating and sugar which may cause your blood glucose
levels to swing, affecting your energy and appetite. It may help
to cut back on fat which can encourage breast swelling, and
caffeine and alcohol, as both can cause mood swings
Eat regular, healthy meals including plenty of
vegetables, fruit, mixed grains and cereals
Eat small meals to maintain stable energy
levels, this will also significantly reduce food cravings
Drink less caffeine – particularly if you are
suffering breast tenderness. Try drinking water instead! (6-8
glasses a day)
Cut down on alcoholic beverages
Cut down on salt and salty foods to help
reduce fluid retention
Get enough rest, sleep and exercise
Wear a well fitting cotton bra if you suffer
tense, painful breasts.