Menstrual disorders are problems that affect a woman’s normal menstrual cycle. They include painful cramps during bleeding, abnormally heavy bleeding, or not having any bleeding. Menstruation occurs during the years between puberty and menopause. Menstruation, also called a "period," is the monthly flow of blood from the uterus through the cervix and out through the vagina.

Menstrual Irregularities

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Menstruation is a normal part of a woman's reproductive cycle. When an ovary releases an ovum (egg), it also releases oestrogen hormone which stimulates the lining of the uterus to grow and engorge with blood. If the ovum is not fertilized, the ovary releases the progesterone hormone which causes the uterus to shed its lining. This is what is referred to as menstruation. It consists of a few blood and tissue fragments. This event repeats on a cycle of about 28 days unless there is pregnancy or menopause.

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Causes Of Menstrual Irregularities
There are many different causes for menstrual irregularities. Although hormonal imbalance is usually involved, there can be a variety of surrounding factors including: pregnancy, infections, pelvic diseases, clotting disorders, genetic factors, eating disorders, thyroid problems, bleeding disorders, stress, trauma, extreme weight loss, certain medications and contraceptives, etc,  but in general women should be concerned when periods come fewer than 21 days or more than 3 months apart, or if they last more than 10 days. Such events may indicate ovulation problems or other medical conditions.
The pain or rate of flow varies in individuals. An individual may not have the same experience with menses every month as hormones and environmental factors play important roles.

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There are three categories of menstrual irregularities I will mention here:
1. Amenorrhea or lack of menstruation; Lack of menses in a lady who has not yet started menstruation is called Primary amenorrhea. A case where a woman misses her period is called secondary amenorrhea. The first menstruation is an indication that a girl has reached puberty.     There are many causes of amenorrhea, examples are pregnancy, infection, stress, hormonal changes, tumour, menopause, etc. It is advised that complains associated with amenorrhea be referred to a doctor.
2. Dysmenorrnohoea or painful menstruation: This may be mild or severe. It is mostly caused by hormonal changes but in some people the causes is unknown. In few cases, it may be caused by infections, growths in the uterus, etc.
3. Menorrhagia or heavy menstrual bleeding: This is a menstrual period that lasts longer than necessary, or flows more than necessary on daily basis. It may be caused by hormonal changes infections such as PID, the use of Intra-Uterine Device (IUD) or abnormal uterine growth.

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Symptoms Of  Menstrual Irregularities
Some common symptoms of irregular periods include: Painful cramping, Abnormal duration of bleeding,  blood clots, early or late periods, missed periods, breast tenderness, fluid retention, bloating, constipation, tension, unusual anger, depression, headaches, fatigue, mood swings, etc.

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