Menstrual Cycle DisordersArticle
01. 07. 2019
Menstrual disorders are classified predominantly based on frequency but also based on regularity and intensity of bleeding. Normally, the menstrual cycle occurs every 28 days with minor deviations. A prolonged cycle with delayed bleeding is the most common type of menstrual disorder. Changes in the menstrual cycle are usually observed by each individual woman, however menstrual calendars are more useful in helping doctors evaluate any cycle problems.
Menstrual disorders not only include delayed bleeding, they can also encompass ovulation disorders. In fact, the menstrual cycle can occur without any ovulation, which is referred to as an anovulatory cycle.
One of the most common causes of menstrual disorders polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), where ovulation occurs less frequently, or not at all. An ultrasound examination is able to reveal or confirm this disorder diagnosis. Often, PCOS is linked with obesity and type II diabetes, however, it can also be caused by an elevated level of the male sex hormone. Although pregnancy may occur, the chances of conception are significantly reduced in females with PCOS.
Another common cause of menstrual disorders is having an elevated level of the hormone prolactin, which naturally increases during sleep and breastfeeding. Prolactin may inhibit the maturation of the ovarian follicles; however, it may also reduce libido and may cause a woman to be uninterested in sex. The most common causes for having an elevated level of prolactin is stress and fatigue. It may also be associated with excessive physical and emotional stress and a lack of rest. Cancer of the pituitary gland may also increase the levels of prolactin in the body, so any irregularities in the menstrual cycle need to be addressed as soon as possible.
Frequent and excessive bleeding may cause a depletion of red blood cells (anaemia) i.e. a lack of iron in the blood. A patient may feel weak, fatigued and may be at an increased risk of contracting diseases, especially infections. Therefore, in the case of heavy menstrual cycles, it is appropriate to consult a physician. At the other extreme, less frequent and mild bleeding can occur in women with an elevated level of androgens, or in those overweight/obese. They are at an increased risk of infertility and cancer. This is because the regularity of the menstrual cycle, and the presence of ovulation is dependent on the proportion of body fat to muscle mass in the body.
In most cases, it is enough if a woman adapts a healthier lifestyle through diet and physical exercise. An increased intake of some vitamins may also be beneficial, and supplements may be suitable in some cases, especially those containing royal jelly and phytoestrogens, which help harmonise the female hormonal system (for example the product Sarapis mensis). In extreme cases, the product Sarapis soja may be prescribed, which contains an even higher dose of phytoestrogens. Supplements containing myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol may also be beneficial.
In the most extreme cases, a treatment plan will be suggested by the doctor, which may or may not be using hormonal therapy. Even if a woman decides to treat her symptoms alone, she should get a preventative examination by a doctor, in order to prevent any underlying disorders being left undiagnosed.
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