Most women experience some discomfort during their menstrual cycle. Such symptoms as bloating, abdominal cramps, headache, tender breasts, lower back pain and fatigue are typical and generally treatable with pain relievers and warm compresses.
When these symptoms become problematic or severe, you should seek advice from your doctor. At Stark Women’s Center, we recommend that women and girls see one of our specialists for the following symptoms, as they can indicate a menstrual disorder.
Unusually short or long periods
Bleeding between periods
Our doctors have extensive experience diagnosing and treating menstrual disorders. The following are common disorders which can be readily addressed at Stark Women’s Center.
Abnormal Uterine Bleeding (AUB)
AUB may be characterized by extremely heavy bleeding during your menstrual cycle, no bleeding at all, or irregular bleeding (bleeding between periods or missing periods without reason such as pregnancy). Abnormal bleeding is usually caused by hormonal imbalances, which are readily treatable. We may check for other medical conditions, such as a thyroid problem, infection in the cervix, or uterine cancer. These conditions are generally rare. Your doctor may also check for uterine polyps or fibroids, which can cause abnormal bleeding and can be treated.
Dysmenorrhea (severe menstrual cramps)
Cramping during your menstrual cycle is caused by uterine contractions. While mild to moderate pain is normal, contractions that become too strong can cut the oxygen supply to the uterus and cause more severe pain. In extreme cases, painful cramping can cause vomiting and dizziness.
See your doctor for extreme or persistent menstrual pain. Usually severe pain can be managed with stronger pain killers or with oral contraception.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
PMS refers to a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms that a woman may experience 5 to 10 days before the start of her period, stopping once her period begins. An estimated 75% of women of childbearing age experience various degrees of these symptoms, which may include:
Intolerance to noise and light
The exact cause of PMS is not known and there is no lab test to diagnose it. Doctors have noted that symptoms seem to worsen for women in their 30s and 40s. Keeping a diary recording your symptoms and emotional experience over the course of several months may help your doctor to diagnose and treat symptoms of PMS that have become troublesome.
Premenstrual Dysphonic Disorder (PMDD)
PMDD is an extreme form of PMS experienced by far fewer women, generally only 3 to 8 percent. Symptoms include extreme irritability, anxiety and mood swings, and women who suffer from it report significant interference with daily life and routines.
Women who have experienced postpartum depression or depression in general are considered at greater risk for experiencing PMDD. In some cases feelings of depression will persist for weeks or months despite a woman’s menstrual cycle, although it is more common for symptoms to subside once a woman begins or completes her period. Our team of specialists can advise you as to appropriate therapy if your symptoms are extreme.
From L to R
Randall Starcher, MD
Jason Hoppe, DO
Megan Staub, MD
Diane Kreitzer, NP
Julianne Yang, MD
Sunitha Jagadish, MD
Melissa Vassas, DO
Eldy Lazaroff, NP