periods disorders: how to manage them?

A number of periods disorders exist and may affect your daily life: Elia gives you a few explanations and tips to help you identify them.

What are periods disorders?

These disorders are conditions with symptoms of varying severity related to the menstrual cycle. periodsAll menstruating women will experience a periods problem in their lifetime. periods disorders may relate to the frequency or intensity of periods, or both. Each problem has its own origin and its own treatment.

What are the different types of periods disorders?

periods disorders are numerous, but they also depend on the individual woman. In fact, it's impossible to predict in advance which problems you'll encounter during your periods and your cycle phase! To help you better understand periods problems, we've broken them down below, one by one.

Painful periods

Painfulperiods or dysmenorrhea is pain that occurs shortly before, during or 2 to 3 days after periods. This problem can occur as early as the first menstrual period in adolescence (primary dysmenorrhea), or later, after several cycles (secondary dysmenorrhea).

Pain is generally localized in the lower abdomen and pelvis. It may also be accompanied by headaches, nausea or vomiting, and a general state of fatigue.

Painful periods is first and foremost a problem linked to the expression of pain, which may be due to an identifiable menstrual disorder such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, a poorly tolerated intrauterine device (IUD)... Half of all women, however, will find no identifiable cause for this periods problem! Treatment generally consists of taking analgesics to soothe the pain, and carrying out further tests in search of a deeper gynaecological condition.

The periods abundant

Abundantperiods or hypermenorrhea refers to abnormally heavy menstruation over a prolonged period. It's a menstrual problem frequently reported by menstruating women.

The amount of blood normally evacuated averages 4 tablespoons over a period of 3 to 7 days. However, a woman suffering from this disorder can lose up to 6 tablespoons or more, over a longer period. The main problem associated with profuse blood loss is the notorious iron deficiency.

Anemia during periods

In regulated women, heavy periods are the leading cause of iron deficiency! This can lead to anaemia at periods. Anemia generally leaves the body feeling very tired. It's very common to feel out of breath at the slightest effort, lose your appetite, develop headaches and dizziness, experience mood disorders... We generally think of a state of physical or psychological fatigue before considering the possibility ofanemia, as the latter is relatively silent! It is therefore important to monitor your menstrual flow and to remain vigilant in the face of excessive blood loss, in order to identify the possibility of anaemia, and if necessary to have a blood test prescribed by your GP. You can then take supplements and adopt an iron-rich diet.

Hormonal changes

Hormones regulate all bodily mechanisms, and are known to influence the reproductive cycle, sexual function, weight gain or loss, mood, stress, etc. The level of hormones at periods changes naturally before and after ovulation, but excessive variations outside the norm constitute hormonal dysregulation of the menstrual cycle. This disorder can amplify the classic symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. It can also be the cause of other conditions:

  • Mycoses during periods, i.e. the growth of a fungus on the vaginal mucosa and vulva, called Candida Albicans ;
  • Itching before, during or after periods. More than just a daily inconvenience, itching is generally linked to an infection or inflammation of the mucous membrane.

You can also have a hormone test, including estrogen and progesterone levels, to find out more about your state of health.

Other conditions related to periods

Other periods problems can affect your menstrual cycle. We've already talked abouthypermenorrhea, but its opposite also exists,hypomenorrhea, i.e. lowperiods levels over a normal cycle length. When the cycle is very long (over 35 days), this is calledoligomenorrhea. When periods are completely absent, on the other hand, it's calledamenorrhea. periods that recur too regularly due to a very short menstrual cycle (less than 25 days) are called polymenorrhea. Bleeding outside the menstrual cycle is called metrorrhagia. These symptoms should alert you to the need to manage your periods disorder!

What causes periods problems?

Disorders of the periods, from puberty through to the menopause, can be caused by hormonal imbalances, stress, excessive weight gain or loss, but also by deeper gynecological conditions such as endometriosis, inflammation of the uterus or ovaries, contraceptive use, unsuitable sanitary protection that can cause toxic shock... Your symptoms should therefore alert you and lead you to consult your GP if necessary for a check-up.

Is it normal to have blood clots in your periods ?

The presence of a blood clot in the periods is not in itself cause for concern: it s's simply a matter of blood cells that have coagulated and formed a viscous mass. This phenomenon is also more frequent in the morning, after a long stint lying down at night, as the blood has more time to coagulate. The presence of blood clots should alert you to other symptoms such as periods , fatigue, anaemia...

What can you do if you have trouble with your periods ?

The first thing to do is keep a diary to record your symptoms, and the intensity and frequency of your periods. You should then make an appointment with a health professional to retrace them, and to consider additional tests and check-ups in the event of a more profound illness. A clinical gynecological examination may be supplemented by blood or hormone laboratory tests, a Pap smear, X-rays or even a hysteroscopy (examination of the uterus), depending on the disorder periods.

The FAQ for periods

What disorders are associated with menstruation?

periods disorders include any excessive variations in menstrual frequency and/orintensity. Excessive blood loss (hypermenorrhoea), low periods levels (hypomenorrhoea), excessive pain (dysmenorrhoea) or periods outside periods (metrorrhagia) can be a periods irregularity problem.

How to treat periods disorders?

To treat disorders of the periods, it's important to keep a small logbook to record your symptoms: this will make it easier for your GP or gynecologist to identify your problem. He or she can then refer you for further tests, such as a thorough gynecological examination of the uterine cavity, or blood and hormone tests. This will help you to identify the disorder periods or disease from which you are suffering, so that it can be treated effectively.

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