menstrual disorders

menstrual disorders

The time of the month can be uncomfortable, but some women get it worse than others – to the extent that their day-to-day activities are affected. If this happens to you, you could be suffering from menstrual disorders.

Menstrual disorders are problems related to a woman’s menstrual cycle. This can include heavy bleeding, missed periods and even unmanageable mood swings.

If you experience extreme pain during your periods, it might be a menstrual disorder. Getting the correct diagnosis can help you get the right treatment.
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Types of menstrual disorders

There are a few menstrual disorders that a woman can have:

Abnormal Uterine Bleeding (AUB)

Heavy bleeding or irregular bleeding


Painful menstrual periods or severe menstrual cramps

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Premenstrual Dysphonic Disorder (PMDD)

What causes menstrual disorders?

Depending on the type of menstrual disorder a woman may have, the cause could vary from person to person.

AUB is caused by:

  • Imbalanced hormones
  • Abnormal structure in the uterus (polyps or fibroids)
  • Medical condition(s)

Dysmenorrhea is caused by:

  • Uterine contractions
  • Prostaglandins, a hormone-like substance the uterine lining cells produces and circulate in the bloodstream

PMS and PMDD are caused by:

  • Severely imbalanced hormones (estrogen and progesterone) which influence the brain chemicals such as serotonin and can strongly affect a woman’s mood

What are the symptoms of menstrual disorder?

Each disorder has its own symptoms – some disorders have physical symptoms and others are emotional.


Symptoms of AUB are pretty straightforward. If a woman experiences excessive bleeding during their period or if her periods are irregular, this may be an indication that she has AUB.


Characterised by persistent, extreme menstrual cramps. While periods can be painful at times, they should not be long-lasting and should not interfere with your life.


Physical symptoms include bloating, swollen and painful breasts, fatigue, constipation and headaches. Emotional symptoms include anger, anxiety, mood swings, and the inability to concentrate on tasks.


PMDD symptoms are similar to PMS. However, these symptoms could be present even when a woman is not on her period. As such, women with PMDD often experience persistent depression. 

Is menstrual disorder painful?

Menstrual disorders can be painful but the level of pain experienced by each person can vary. Some women may have a menstrual disorder without even knowing it simply because they have a higher tolerance for pain.

If you experience intense and persistent pain during your periods, seeking professional help from a healthcare provider will help you get an accurate diagnosis and ultimately the most suitable treatment.

Who is at risk of menstrual disorder in Singapore?

Any female who has their periods regularly is at risk of getting a menstrual disorder.

However, you may be at a higher risk of developing one if you:

Started menstruating at 11 years old or younger.

Are approaching menopause soon.

How is menstrual disorder diagnosed?

The first step towards an accurate diagnosis is keeping a record of your menstrual cycle.

Track when your periods begin and ends.

Note down symptoms like menstrual cramps or pain, how heavy your flow is, and if there are any large blood clots.

Depending on this record and medical history, a doctor may perform a physical examination which can include a pelvic exam, a pap smear or an endometrial biopsy to check for:

  • Vaginal cultures in case of infections
  • Endometriosis
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Cancerous cells

An ultrasound scan may be needed to check for fibroids, polyps or ovarian cysts in the uterine.

What are the treatment options for menstrual disorder in Singapore?

Treatment for menstrual disorders depends on the type of menstrual disorder a woman has. A specific type of treatment or combination of treatments may be recommended by the healthcare provider in order to make periods more tolerable or cure the disorder.

These treatments can vary from prescribing medication, surgical interventions or radiological or hormonal treatment.

Counselling and therapy could also be recommended for women experiencing emotional disruption as a result of their menstrual disorder.

Experiencing extreme discomfort during menstruation?
Get comprehensive check up for menstrual disorders at The Artisan Health Clinic in Singapore.
Talk to Dr. Nicole Chan
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