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Problematic Menstruation

July 14, 2010

Many girls have period cramps or back pain when they are beginning their menstrual periods. This is to be expected. But there are some other symptoms that may arrive in advance of the menstrual period by days or even weeks. These symptoms are more problematic and include the following symptoms:

*Breast tenderness

*Headache

*Fatigue

*Feeling moody/ups and downs

*Bloating due to water retention

*Food cravings/binge eating

While these symptoms are unpleasant, there are proactive steps you can take to relieve them including:

*Heating pads and hot water bottles can give you relief from cramps or back pain, but immersion in a hot bath will take care of both your lower back pain and your abdominal cramps at the same time.

*If you have cramping or headaches, try an over-the-counter pain reliever like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Aspirin should not be used under the age of 19 within the U.S. or under the age of 16 within the U.K. 

*Exercise helps to release endorphins that improve your mood. Physical activity can also relieve your cramps.

Severe Symptoms

If you find that your cramps or other symptoms are so severe they prevent you from participating in your usual lifestyle activities and none of the above measures give you relief, it's time to phone for an appointment with your physician.

It may be worth your while to start recording your symptoms and the dates on which your periods arrive prior to your visit with the physician. Note the point in your cycle when you begin to experience symptoms and note too, the point at which symptoms are most severe. If you record these details in a faithful manner, your physician just might be able to learn the cause of your discomfort from these recorded clues.

The doctor may need to order tests and exams to determine the cause of your symptoms. At any rate, he should be able to find a way to provide you with symptom relief.

No Periods

Sometimes the problem with menstruation is that it never arrives. Some girls don't experience their first menstrual period until their late teens and others never get a period at all. In other cases, menstruation begins at the usual time but ceases at some later date. This is called amenorrhea.

While amenorrhea can be caused by many factors, the most common cause for periods to stop is pregnancy. Other reasons for missed periods include:

*Illness

*Sudden weight loss or gain

*Stress

*Extreme physical activity over an extended period of time

*Certain prescription medications

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