1. What are the causes of the pathologies of the menstrual cycle?
  2. Which are the pathologies of the menstrual cycle?
  3. Can these pathologies be associated to other disorders?
  4. Which are the consequences and possible treatments?

What are the causes of the pathologies of the menstrual cycle?

The disorders associated to the menstrual cycle are due to alterations of such cycle that occur when menstruation is irregular. Irregular menstruation consists in either menstrual bleeding not happening every month or happening more than once in a month with excessively abundant or prolonged flow and sudden leakage.

Which are the pathologies of the menstrual cycle?

These alterations include different abnormalities:

  • HYPOMENORRHEA: short or scanty periods, characterised by extremely light menstrual blood flow in terms of quantity and duration
  • HYPERMENORRHEA: characterised by excessively heavy flow that can be cyclical or more regular. The flow is not only excessively heavy but is extremely prolonged and is known as MENORRHAGIA.
  • METRORRHAGIA: intermenstrual uterine bleeding
  • OLIGOMENORRHEA: condition in which menstruation is infrequent and occurs at longer intervals than the usual 28-30 days of a “normal” menstrual cycle. This condition frequently occurs before menopause
  • POLYMENORRHEA: menstrual cycles with shorter intervals compared to “normal” ones
  • AMENORRHEA: term used to indicate the absence of a menstrual period for at least three months. Since there can always be the spontaneous release of an egg cell even after long periods of cycle absence, as a precautionary measure it is advisable to continue the use of contraceptives during the two years following the last period
  • DYSMENORRHEA: menstruation with painful symptoms such as cramps; this disorder is more common in the pre-pubertal period than in the menopausal one
  • DYSPAREUNIA: painful sexual intercourse; during menopause it is often due to dryness of vaginal walls.

Can these pathologies be associated to other disorders?

The alterations or pathologies of the menstrual cycle can be associated or be the result of other pathologies such as:

  • Acromegaly
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Hyperthyroidism or Hypothyroidism
  • Endometriosis
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome

Which are the consequences and possible treatments?

A small leak can be treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen. The anaemia consequent to heavy menstruation may require the use of iron supplements. In case of hormonal imbalance and other disorders, after appropriate diagnostic tests, the health professional will indicate the most suitable pharmacological or chirurgical therapy. Because of the association between pathologies and alterations of the menstrual cycle, it is important to undergo gynaecological check-ups to identify possible causes.

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