Red, can be a positive or a negative color. Recently we celebrated Valentine ’s Day where all we usually see are red hearts, red roses, and other stuff with red color in it. Yes. Red symbolizes love. But at the same time, red could also mean war, blood, or pain. Yes. Maybe pain is the meaning of red for most women especially when they are at their fertile age where they experience one of the things that differentiate them from men, their monthly period. Some may call menstrual bleeding, menses, catamenia or simply period. This is one of the women’s common health problems that really affect their lifestyle. You may consider yourself very lucky for not being able to experience the pain, but for those who are experiencing this, let’s make you understand what this is all about.
Menstrual Cycle is a physiological change that occurs to all fertile women. Usually starts to teenagers at the age of 12 depending on their fertility level. The whole cycle normally occurs for around 29 days and may differ based on several factors; nutrition, health, physical build up and others. It stops when you get pregnant or at some point when your body would no longer produce egg or known as the menopausal status. The cycle is composed of several phases; (1) Menstrual phase, known as the menstruation, (2) Proliferative phase or the follicular phase, (3) Ovulatory phase or ovulation were women has the highest tendency of getting pregnant, (4) Luteal phase or the secretory phase, (5) Ischemic phase and last (6) Proliferative phase. It goes back from start every month if you have normal menstrual flow. The menstrual fluid is not really just blood. It is a mixture of tissues and secretions from the inside uterus including water and mucus from the uterine glands, blood from capillaries feeding the endometrium and granular tissue from the endometrial (inner membrane of the uterus). Well, it’ll take long to discuss the whole process and that’s not what I want to talk about. Here, we’re to deal with problems that may occur in the cycles that really are an issue for women’s health.
There are three major menstrual disorders; amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea and menorrhagia. The general treatment for these cases would be consulting a doctor. This will allow you to fully know your condition and address it with proper treatment and avoid yourself with misleading medicines.
Amenorrhea is the absence of menstrual period. It can be primary or secondary. Primary amenorrhea is for ladies who never had menstruated at 14-16 years of age. Secondary amenorrhea occurs to 20-30 % of women where (women’s health problems) menstruation cycle stopped for over 6 consecutive months aside from pregnancy. The main cause for this disorder is hormonal disruption that is usually brought about by sudden weight change, excessive exercise, stress and other reproductive disorders. Anorexia is also one of the causes for hormonal imbalance. Athletes with very hard workout experience this problem especially those who take steroids, their nutrient intake is not enough to sustain for their exercise. Having a healthy lifestyle (having enough nutrition and exercise) will regulate monthly period. Doctors will often prescribe Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), combined oral contraceptive pills. Better to ask professional advice to fully address your condition.
Dysmenorrhea is known as the painful periods and is manifested with pain at the lower abdomen and at the upper thigh, cramps, headaches, nausea, constipation or diarrhea during menstrual period. Primary dysmenorrhea is due to contractions of the uterus , compressing the blood vessels at the uterus temporarily cutting off the blood supply and depriving the tissues of oxygen which triggers pain. Some women just try to endure the pain until their (women’s health problems) menstruation cycle is over , and some do exercise that actually relieves dysmenorrhea. Secondary dysmenorrhea occurs due to underlying gynecological problems like endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease and fibroids (growth in the uterus). This can also be due to using intra-uterine contraceptive devices (IUD) that can bring infections to different reproductive areas. Some women opt to drink pain relievers, but be warned that too much intake of pain relievers can cause different side effects. It is always best to go to your doctor for proper treatment and medication.
Menorrhagia is quite the opposite of amenorrhea; it is having long and heavy periods. The menstruation cycle would last more than a week or with excessive bleeding with ‘flooding’ or clots. Women who experience menorrhagia lose around 80 mL blood per period or around 6 tampons per day for 4-5 days. It can be due to several causes such as hormonal imbalance, bleeding disorders, fibroids, polyps (small growth on the cervical and uterine wall), liver and kidney disease, thyroid problems, polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, use IUDs and other reproductive disorders. Too much blood loss is dangerous. Prescription of doctor is a must to assess and treat the problem to prevent illness from getting worse.
There are other menstrual problems that women have deal with such as vaginal bleeding (bleeding not part of the regular period), oligomenorrhea (infrequent or very light period with like 9 times a year), Pre Menstrual Syndrome (PMS), that includes emotional symptoms with or without physical symptoms and others. These problems greatly affect their mood and energy for that day. Having to carry such disorders will really affect you no matter how strong your will may be. With proper medication, nutrition, exercise and rest, you can still survive the pain every month.
I often wonder why women have to be the one to carry the pain every month and even have to be the one to bear the child up until birth in her tummy while men would have been very capable enough to do so. Though I haven’t got an answer, what I do realize is how strong women are to be able to thrive and survive all these challenges and trials. We are made in such a perfect way to manage, adapt and endure these changes in our lives that we should consider ourselves blessed rather than complaining all time. Only women have proven the world that she can carry the problems already set for her, and with support from the people who cares, there’s nothing pain or any problems that can hinder your way.