Menstruation or periods in females, occurs every month. It results due to the breakdown of the endometrium that is the inner lining of the uterus. The first onset of menstruation is at the age of 12- 15 years of age, and it is known as menarche. But menarche may be at the age of 8 years in some girls. In developing countries, the first onset of mensuration in girls is later, while in developed countries, the onset is earlier.
On average, menstruation lasts for 2-7 days while it repeats itself every 28 days. In women that are above 45-55 years of age, no menstruation is known as menopause. Also, in pregnancy, there is no mensuration due to pregnancy hormones. The absence of menstruation is known as amenorrhea it can be of many types and due to many reasons. Menstruation is also known as periods and monthly.
On average, one week before menstruation, women experiences severe mood swings, emotional changes, and physiological changes in their routine. This condition is termed as a pre-menstrual syndrome. It may last for three to six days, but sometimes women do feel this on their first day of menstruation. Symptoms of a pre-menstrual syndrome are acne, tender breasts, irritability, mood swings, and bloating.
All women are aware of the fact that there is a change in normal behavior during menstruation and after menstruation. But in pre-menstrual syndrome, symptoms become more severe. It becomes worse when a female is on a high salt diet, addict of coffee, and alcohol.
The exact cause behind pre-menstrual syndrome is unknown. However, it may be because of hormonal changes when the body is preparing for periods. Neurotransmitters are also important as there maybe is a chemical change in the brain during PMS. Serotonin, a chemical is also known as happiness chemical, also plays a crucial role in body and brain function. Disturbance in its level may result in change moods and depression.
In female hormones like estrogen and progesterone are produced during this stage. The increase in these hormone levels results in mood changes and depression. Risk factors for the pre-menstrual cycle are having a history of PMS, a history of depression or anxiety, and domestic violence.
Around 80% of total menstruating women are familiar with irritability and behavioral changes, while 20% of this 80 % of women are affected by PMS.
The severe condition of PMS is known as a pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder. In PMDD, women show greater physical changes and mood switches. Among all women who have gone through PMS, 3-8% suffer PMDD; we can treat PMDD by giving high dose anti-depressants.
Mild symptoms of the pre-menstrual syndrome are curable by exercise. Diet modifications, low salt, alcohol, and caffeine are recommended. Around ¾ of total menstruating women show predictable signs and symptoms like cravings, fatigue, and depression. Supplementation of calcium and vitamin D is beneficial for menstruation women, so it also helps women affected by PMS.
The severe condition of the pre-menstrual syndrome is curable with the intake of birth control pills and diuretics. However, it is always preferable to consult a doctor and not to do self-medication.
The severity of the disorder may range from slightly noticeable to an intense situation. Physical signs are joints and muscle pains, accompanied by headache or sometimes constipation. While behavioral changes include social withdrawal, insomnia, agitation, and poor concentration. Lifestyle modifications and a diet full of nutrients help deal with pre-menstrual syndrome.
There are a lot of females out there, who suffer such issues. Most of them try to hide these issues from their parents or hesitate to visit a doctor because of the so called social stigma.
Remember, There is nothing wrong to get educated about such issues and visit a doctor or discuss the issues with some family member that you trust.
Until Next Time,
Team Doctor ASKY!