Dysmenorrhea (painful periods)
Dysmenorrhea is defined as pain during menstruation. In addition to cramping, there might be other symptoms, such as nausea, fatigue and diarrhea. Many theories have tried to explain the cause of dysmenorrhea, including psychological, biochemical, and anatomical abnormalities. Most experts divide this condition into 2 types; primary and secondary. Primary dysmenorrhea blames a hormone-like lipid, known as Prostaglandin F, for causing this unbearable pain as this prostaglandin tries to repair the uterus as the lining sheds. Secondary dysmenorrhea blames the pain to a structural abnormality either within or outside the uterus. These abnormalities include endometriosis, fibroids, adenomyosis, endometrial polyps, pelvic inflammatory disease, and in some cases, the use of an intrauterine contraceptive device.
Amenorrhea (absence of period)
Amenorrhea is defined as the absence of menstruation during the reproductive years of a woman's life.The biomedical world divides this condition into 2 types; primary - not having a first period by age 16, and secondary - not having a period for at least 3 months after being regular for many cycles. The most common causes of primary amenorrhea is an imbalance of hormone levels. Structural issues, being under weight and excessive exercise have also been documented as causes primary amenorrhea. While all the causes listed earlier for primary amenorrhea can also cause secondary amenorrhea, stress is one of the most common causes of secondary amenorrhea.
Menopause is the time that marks the end of the menstrual cycles. During this time, the ovaries begin to atrophy which causes a decline in the production of the hormones that stimulate the menstrual cycle. It is diagnosed after a woman has gone 12 months without a menstrual period. Depending on many factors including diet, exercise, and stress level, symptoms of menopause may include hot flashes, sleep problems, mood disorders, sexual dysfunction, weight gain, and in some cases, decline in cognitive functioning. This transition, which starts between ages 45 and 55, lasts an average of 7 years.