On May 28th, we celebrate Menstrual Hygiene Day to raise awareness about menstruation and the importance of good menstrual hygiene management.
In honor of this special day, we dedicate the whole month of May to this important topic, one that occurs naturally in half of the global population.
This week, we will be talking about menstrual disorders, such as dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, and many more. Don’t know what these refer to? Find out now!
The menstrual cycle represents a series of natural changes in female hormone production that make ovulation (when an egg is released from the ovary) and menstruation (monthly vaginal bleeding due to the uterus shedding part of its inner lining when the egg is not fertilized with sperm) possible.
Sometimes, the menstrual cycle does not occur as it should and women can face menstrual disorders.
A menstrual disorder is characterized as any abnormal condition in regards to a person’s menstrual cycle. The menstrual cycle can be affected by the length and flow of menstruation or the severity of symptoms. Menstrual disorders are common during puberty as in that period girls go through hormonal changes that prepare them for womanhood.
PMS is a recurrent affective, physical, and behavioral group of symptoms that develop during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle and disappear within the first days of menstruation. PMS is a common health problem in women of reproductive age that affects quality of life, economic and social performance.
PMDD represents a severe form of premenstrual syndrome that, categorized as a disabling condition, affects personal relationships and occupational activities
The symptoms are similar to the ones of PMS, but the severity of these symptoms greatly affect the quality of life and last for a longer period of time (even two weeks); because of its severity, it can be misdiagnosed as depression or other chronic conditions.
Dysmenorrhea (painful cramps)
Represents severe and frequent pain during menstruation
The pain is usually felt in the lower abdomen but can spread to the lower back and thighs as well
It can be classified into primary and secondary dysmenorrhea
Primary dysmenorrhea represents pain caused by cramps during menstruation; the cramps happen due to the uterus contracting and shedding its excess uterine lining and can worsen during heavy bleeding
Secondary dysmenorrhea is menstrual-related pain that is worsened by the presence of other conditions such as endometriosis or uterine fibroids (non-cancerous tumors that grow inside the uterine wall)