Four Typical Varieties of Menstrual Disorders Leading to Irregular Menstrual Cycles

Menstrual disorders not only affect your physical health but also have implications for your mental well-being. Here’s everything you need to understand about them.

4 Common Types Of Menstrual Disorders That Can Cause Irregular Periods
4 Common Types Of Menstrual Disorders That Can Cause Irregular Periods

Many women experience painful cramps, bloating, mood swings, and irritability during their menstrual cycles. Known medically as menstruation, this occurs monthly when the lining of the uterus, called the endometrium, sheds. Ovaries release estrogen and progesterone, the female hormones, which build up the uterine lining in anticipation of a fertilized egg. If there’s no egg, the lining breaks down and bleeds, resulting in menstruation. Typically, a normal menstrual cycle occurs without complications. However, some women may encounter menstrual disorders. Dr. Deepti Sharma, Senior Consultant in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Amrita Hospital, Faridabad, discusses these disorders and methods to manage them.

What constitutes a menstrual disorder

What constitutes a menstrual disorder

Menstrual disorders refer to issues related to a woman’s menstrual cycle. They often manifest through symptoms such as:

  • Painful cramps
  • Abnormal heavy bleeding or absence of bleeding
  • Missed periods
  • Irritability or severe mood swings
  • Emotional distress

According to Dr. Sharma, menstrual disorders are the primary reason why women seek gynecological consultation. It’s crucial for women to recognize potential causes of irregular periods and consult a healthcare professional if they notice significant changes in their menstrual cycles.

“Understanding the underlying causes of irregular menstruation empowers women to take proactive measures to preserve their reproductive health and overall well-being,” she emphasizes.

Different Forms of Menstrual Disorders

Various forms of menstrual disorders exist, with some of the most prevalent outlined below:


Dysmenorrhea manifests as painful menstrual cramps during menstruation and is categorized into primary and secondary types. Primary dysmenorrhea arises from a chemical imbalance in the uterine lining, resulting in cramping pain. Conversely, secondary dysmenorrhea occurs due to underlying health conditions such as endometriosis, leading to painful periods.


Amenorrhea describes the absence of menstrual periods, commonly referred to as a missed period. There are two types: Primary and Secondary. Primary amenorrhea happens when menstruation does not commence at puberty, while secondary amenorrhea arises when the regular menstrual cycle becomes irregular or ceases altogether.


Hypomenorrhea is characterized by an exceptionally light period, often associated with significantly reduced bleeding. Typically, menstruation lasts for less than two days, or the amount of bleeding is less than 80ml.


Menorrhagia stands in stark contrast to hypomenorrhea, as it involves heavy and consistent menstrual bleeding. There are various types of this condition, with one of the most common being polymenorrhea, characterized by very frequent menstrual bleeding.

Factors Contributing to Irregular Menstrual Cycles

Dr. Sharma explains that experiencing irregular menstrual cycles is quite common during the initial two years after the onset of the first period, primarily due to hormonal fluctuations during puberty. However, persistent irregularities can lead to significant distress and may impact the daily activities and social lives of young girls, according to the doctor.

Irregular cycles can be influenced by a variety of factors, including:

Hormonal Imbalances

Dr. Sharma explains, “The menstrual cycle is regulated by the hormonal interactions between the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and the ovaries. Any disruption in the balance of these hormones can cause irregular menstrual cycles. Conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), thyroid disorders, and adrenal gland disorders are common causes and can easily be identified through hormone profile assessment.”


When the body undergoes stress, it releases the hormone cortisol, which can disrupt the menstrual cycle by inhibiting the production of other hormones essential for menstruation. Dr. Sharma notes, “Stress can induce alterations in eating habits and sleep patterns, affecting the release of regulatory hormones at the hypothalamus and pituitary levels.”

Lifestyle factors

Intense physical activity, significant weight loss or gain leading to notable changes in body fat composition, can disturb the delicate hormonal balance in the body. Likewise, smoking, alcohol consumption, and drug use can also disrupt the menstrual cycle, resulting in irregular periods.

Underlying medical conditions

Conditions like uterine fibroids, endometriosis, adenomyosis, and Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) may result in abnormal and heavy menstrual bleeding. Moreover, specific medications, such as those prescribed for epilepsy and depression, can also contribute to irregular menstruation.

Key Points to Recall

Key Points to Recall

Here are some important points to keep in mind when it comes to tracking and understanding menstrual disorders:

  1. Keep a menstrual calendar to better understand your menstrual pattern.
  2. Maintain a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and regular exercise.
  3. Avoid rapid weight loss through intense exercise or dieting.
  4. Address underlying medical conditions like thyroid disorders, obesity, or PCOS.
  5. Public health awareness is vital for educating women about menstrual health and encouraging regular check-ups.


Menstrual disorders can affect any woman, making it crucial to stay vigilant. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of these conditions is essential, and taking appropriate steps to manage them is key. Remember, any changes in your body should be addressed promptly. Visiting a healthcare provider is important to understand your condition and receive necessary treatments to prevent complications.