What to look for:
Menstruation occurs when an ovary releases an egg, at this time the lining of the uterus grows and becomes flooded with blood. If the egg is not fertilised, the ovary releases progesterone, which causes menstrual flow. This happens every 28 days until interrupted by pregnancy or ended by menopause.

Menstrual Synchrony:
The symptoms of the onset of the period varies in each woman. As well as this your own period may vary occasionally. This is usually normal, but at times this can be the result of something more serious.

The three main categories of menstrual irregularities are lack of period, painful periods, and heavy periods. The following explains these problems and what you can do about them.


LACK OF PERIOD

Although often no cause for concern, can be a sign of an underlying problem. Menstruation may not start at puberty or for some reason periods stop during your adult life. If your periods have never occurred it may be hormonal problems, or it may signal (in very rare cases) ill formed or non-existent ovaries.

If your periods have just stopped, it might indicate, that you have low levels of oestrogen in your body. Or it may signal a lack of progesterone. Of course if your periods have ceased it may also indicate that you are pregnant. Stress can also cause problems in this area as can Anorexia nervosa. Sports injuries can have the same effect as can ovarian cysts. Excessive exercise and very low body fat is also a cause.

Traditional Treatment
Treatment for a lack of periods is usually simply waiting to see if nature takes its course. For a girl who exercises strenuously or who is very thin, a doctor might advise a lighter training regimen or an effort to gain weight. Treatment for anorexia nervosa might also be necessary. Always see your doctor if you are worried.

If your periods have stopped - look at all the possibilities. If you think stress may be to blame, take steps to reduce stress in your life. If you are underweight, your doctor will advise you to gain some weight and try to maintain it. If you have been diagnosed with some other condition that may be causing amenorrhoea (such as endometriosis or an ovarian cyst) seek treatment for that. Always see your doctor.

HEAVY PERIODS

Menstrual flow that lasts longer than about eight days, saturates tampons within an hour, or includes large clots of blood can usually be classified as a heavy period.

Hormonal imbalances, endometriosis, a pelvic infection, use of an IUD, or uterine growths can often be the cause of heavy periods. Problems with ovulation, low levels of progesterone, or an excess of prostaglandins can also cause heavier periods.

Traditional Treatment
Usually treatment consists of iron or folic acid tablets to prevent anaemia and other deficiencies. Analgesics for the pain and hormones to correct any imbalance in your hormone levels..

There is a minor surgical procedure that your doctor can perform which often relieves the symptoms of heavier periods. You should ask your doctor for more information about this course of action.

Painful periods

This slightly unpleasant problem is however, usually quite normal. There are occasions when painful periods can signify a more serious condition.

Causes
Doctors are unsure of the exact cause of painful periods, however it may be the result of an excess of prostaglandins, a substance released from the cells lining the womb.

This condition may, however, also be caused by an underlying condition, such as endometriosis, an infection, or growths in the uterus.

Traditional Treatment
Analgesics such as aspirin can relieve mild discomfort, but if your pain is more intense, try an analgesic available over-the-counter. See your doctor if this treatment does not remedy the condition.

Menstrual Problems