The complete absence of periods, periods being affected due to thyroid issues and unnaturally painful PMS—here’s everything you need to know about lesser known period concerns!
Once upon a time, women got their first period at the ages of 16 and 17. These days, it can start as early as the age of 10. Once inculcated into the Cult of Crazy Periods, each woman goes through the cycle of PMS-Menopause, PMS-Menopause once every 28 days.
This includes issues such as menorrhagia (heavy periods), endometriosis, PCOS or anaemia. Smoking, alcohol and stress can also result in irregular periods characters either by excessive bleeding during the period or less bleeding during periods than usual.
However, while it is easy to identify menorrhagia or PCOS, there are several period problems one may not be accustomed to. Here is a list:
#1: Irregular periods due to Thyroid Issues:
Girls and women suffering from thyroid issues may experience irregular or delayed periods. The thyroid gland has some control over the menstrual cycle and too much or too little thyroid hormone can create issues. Thyroid issues can cause excessive bleeding during the period or less bleeding during periods than usual, or simply irregular periods. If your body’s immune system causes the thyroid issue, then other glands including the ovaries may be affected. This can lead to early-onset menopause.
Thyroid issues can also cause amenorrhea, a condition in which periods fail to arrive for several months. Since they affect the menstrual cycle, thyroid issues also impact fertility and reduce the chances of getting pregnant.
#2: Severe PMS
While most women experience some level of premenstrual syndrome, some may experience very intense pain, symptoms and mood swings. This very severe form of PMS is called Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) which can cause physical and emotional pain up to two weeks before the start of a period. PMDD symptoms have a serious impact on life, making it impossible for women to work, socialise or continue in relationships. Several women also report feeling suicidal during this phase.
The exact cause for PMDD is still not known. It can be genetic, or present in those who are extremely sensitive to hormonal changes. PMDD may also affect those who have gone through emotional or traumatic past events, suggest some reports.
The absence of menstrual periods upto the age of 16 or the skipping of three or more menstrual periods in grown women is termed amenorrhea. Naturally, this is caused due to pregnancy. However, it may also be present as a complication due to issues in the reproductive organs or the glands that help regulate hormone levels. Amenorrhea is usually accompanied by headaches, hair loss, vision changes, excess facial hair, pelvic pain, acne and a milky nipple discharge.
Dysmenorrhea or menstrual cramps are the throbbing, aching pain you get in your stomach during a period. Menorrhagia or heavy periods, especially, are accompanied by severe cramps in the belly, lower back, hips and inner thighs. Normally, cramps usually occur for a girl’s first few periods and disappear completely post the birth of the first child. However, in various people, dysmenorrhea and accompanying menorrhoea may be a symptom of a larger issue, and may continue.
Menstrual cramps occur because of contractions in the uterine muscles. If these muscles contract too strongly during the menstrual cycle, they press against nearing blood vessels and briefly cut off blood supply to the uterus, as a result. This lack of oxygen causes pain and cramping.
Some women may experience mouth and gum pain during their periods. This is because periods affect the blood circulation in the mouth making it red and sensitive. Some women also experience ovulation pain, which is pain caused by the ovaries releasing eggs during ovulation. This may also result in vaginal bleeding.