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Menstrual disorders

What are menstrual problems?

Menstrual or period problems are common women's health issues.


What are the different types of menstrual problems?

  • Painful periods

Period pain is common and happens when the muscular wall of the uterus contracts in order to help it shed the lining if pregnancy implantation has not occurred. The tissue shedding is part of your period.

The body also produces chemicals called prostaglandins which are pain triggered chemicals produced as a result of the uterus contractions compressing the blood vessels.

Most people experience mild period pain, however some women experience increased levels of pain.

Some conditions such as adenomyosis, endometriosis, fibroids and pelvic inflammatory disease can cause period pain.

  • Heavy periods (menorrhagia)

You will know if you experience heavy periods if you have to change your period product every 1 to 2 hours, if you pass clots more than 2.5 cm, if you bleed through your clothing, your periods last more than 7 days and if your periods are affecting your daily life. Endometrial ablation can help treat heavy bleeding.

Conditions such as endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, fibroids and polycystic ovary syndrome can cause heavy bleeding.

  • Irregular periods

The average menstrual cycle lasts 28 days, although it's normal for it to be a bit shorter or longer than this. However, if the length of your menstrual cycle frequently changes then you are deemed as having irregular periods.

Some causes of irregular periods can be hormonal contraception, extreme weight loss or gain, conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), or problems with your thyroid.

  • Missed periods

There are a number of reasons why your periods can stop. The most common reasons for your periods stopping are pregnancy, extreme weight loss and gain, menopause, stress, contraception, polycystic ovary syndrome.

Missed periods can also be caused by other conditions such as diabetes and thyroid issues.​

  • Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)

​The most common symptoms of PMS include mood swings, tiredness, bloating, breast tenderness, acne, headaches, changes in appetite and sex drive.

Some women may experience more severe symptoms of PMS known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

Symptoms of PMDD are similar to PMS but are much more intense and can have a much greater negative impact on your daily activities and quality of life.

  • Ovulation pain (Mittelschmerz)

Some women experience pain on one side of their abdomen when they ovulate.

The pain can be a dull cramp or sharp and sudden, and can last a few minutes or for a few days.


It is usually mild but an intense pain can also sometimes be a symptom of conditions such as endometriosis or sexually transmitted infections.

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