Most women will experience menstrual problems at some stage during their menstruating lives. For many of us, it's a matter of dealing with cramps and a manageable degree of physical discomfort during that time of the month. For some women, however, menstrual problems can be so severe as to negatively influence quality of life. These women may need medical help to manage their menstrual symptoms.
Few of us can say we've never had a menstrual cramp. In fact, cramping and pain are probably the most commonly complained about menstrual problems. Some women even experience Mittelschmerz (pain in mid-cycle during ovulation). There are a number of ways to manage these symptoms. These include home remedies such as gentle exercise, applying warmth to the lower abdomen, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol.
Sometimes it may be necessary to take pain-killing medications. In most cases, non-prescription meds will be sufficient. However, if taking the maximum recommended amount of over-the-counter painkillers doesn't give you 100% relief, you should see your doctor about getting a stronger prescription drug.
Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
This is another problem that affects a lot of us from time to time. Some women are taken by surprise by heavy bleeding and experience it as an inconvenience, whereas other women are constantly afflicted by heavy periods. It can be difficult to tell if your periods are abnormally heavy or not - read the guidelines in this section if you are in doubt.
Consistently heavy menstrual bleeds are called Menorrhagia. This condition can negatively influence a woman's life. Treatment is available in the form of drugs and even surgery.
The "standard" menstrual cycle lasts 28 days, but many women don't fall into this category. Some women have shorter cycles and some have much longer ones. Some women have cycles that are so irregular that they just can't tell when their periods are going to arrive. Irregular periods can have a number of underlying causes, some of which can be treated. They may, however, be something that a woman just has to live with. Medical treatments can be used to control the menstrual cycle, but these often have a contraceptive effect which may not always be desired.
Female Reproductive Disorders
Malfunctioning of the female reproductive system can cause menstrual problems. For example, women who suffer from endometriosis, or who have uterine fibroids, may find menstruation particularly uncomfortable. Drug treatments and surgery may be used to alleviate this discomfort. Polycystic ovarian syndrome can make periods irregular or can even cause them to stop coming altogether.
Premenstrual syndrome is a common problem that makes women feel bad, both physically and emotionally, from around the middle of their menstrual cycles until their periods begin. Symptoms are usually mild but may lead to severe depression in the most extreme cases. Recommended treatments are usually home remedies but sometimes medication or even surgery may be required.