Menstrual problems are the major gynaecological problems which occur frequently in majority of
women. Menstrual problems
affect the physiology, psychology and well-being of a woman. By knowing what
type of symptoms and when to expect
symptoms, help women to schedule her activities. The problems may be due to
heredity or hormonal imbalance.
The menstrual cycle is the monthly physiological change that occurs in
woman who attained menarche. Normal menstrual cycle
is maintained by both endocrine and reproductive system. The menstrual cycle
can be divided into several phases namely menstrual
phase, follicular phase, ovulation and luteal phase.
Menstruation is the physiologic
shedding of endometrium. It is also called menstrual bleeding or menses, periods
or catamenia. Follicular
phase, also called proliferative phase during which the ovarian follicles are
stimulated to mature. The matured
follicle is called Graafian follicle, which undergoes changes to form ovum.
Ovulation is a process in which the ovum is released
from the ovary. Luteal phase is also called secretary phase, during which the
corpus luteum is formed. It secrets several
The menstrual problems are not
always problems but bodily reactions to various changes inside. Most of the women have some symptoms or a combination of a few or
all of them, which may be either physical or emotional. The most common
external symptoms of menstrual period are acne. It can be on the face or on any
other part of the body and can be bothersome for
a week before the periods. They feel disinterested and tired 3 days before
(PMS) and during the periods. Insomnia or change in appetite is also a part of
Some women experiences back ache,
headache or abdominal pain during their menstrual cycle. Joint pain or muscle
pain also occurs to some
women. Pain around the breasts, swelling, soreness or heaviness also occurs
during menstruation. Abdominal cramps are the worst among the menstrual pains
that really bother all activities. These are caused by the involuntary contraction of the uterine
muscles. Women tend to have mood swing, anxiety, depression or aggression along
with physical stress
during those days.
According to the abnormality of the
menstrual cycle, they are classified as
Menorrhagia – It is a heavy and
prolonged periods, i.e. the bleeding which continues above 8 days.
Metrorrhagia – Irregular timing of
the menstrual periods usually more frequent.
Menometrorrhagia – Irregular,
frequent periods with heavy bleeding.
Oligomenorrhea – Less than 8
periods a year, or the cycle coming less frequent than every 35 days.
Dysmenorrhea – Painful periods i.e.
periods with severe abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea or heavy blood loss may co
Amenorrhea – Absence of periods.
Euromenorrhea – Menstrual cycle
that has no abnormalities of flow, timing or pain.
By reviewing the literature on
these aspects, it was found that in last two decades many surveys were carried
out on the prevalence of menstrual problems in various parts of the world 1-6.