Menstrual Disorders

Menstrual abnormalities include flow that is too scanty (oligomenorrhea) or too heavy (menorrhagia), and the absence of monthly periods (amenorrhea). Dysmenorrhea, when it occurs, usually begins at the start of menstruation and lasts 1 to 2 days. Together these disorders are classified as dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB). These responses may be caused by hormone imbalances, systemic disorders, or uterine problems. They are most common in adolescence or near menopause. At other times they are often related to life changes and emotional upset.

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) describes symptoms that appear during the second half of the menstrual cycle and includes emotional changes, fatigue, bloating, headaches, and appetite changes. Possible causes of PMS are under study. Symptoms may be relieved by hormone therapy, antidepressants, or antianxiety medications. Exercise, dietary control, rest, and relaxation strategies may also be helpful.

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