Women’s Health

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

In US, an estimated of 3 of every 4 menstruating women experience some form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).  PMS has a wide variety of symptoms, including irritability, food cravings, mood swings, tender breasts, fatigue and depression. These problems tend to peak during your late 20s and early 30s. Symptoms tend to recur in a predictable pattern. Yet the physical and emotional changes you experience with premenstrual syndrome may be particularly intense in some months and only slightly noticeable in others.

The most common signs and symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome include:

Physical signs and symptoms

Emotional and behavioral symptoms

  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain related to fluid retention
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Breast tenderness
  • Acne flare-ups
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Tension or anxiety
  • Depressed mood
  • Crying spells
  • Mood swings and irritability or anger
  • Appetite changes and food cravings
  • Trouble falling asleep (insomnia)
  • Social withdrawal
  • Poor concentration

 

There are no known causes to PMS but several factors can be considered.

  • Cyclic changes in hormones: Signs and symptoms change with hormonal fluctuations and disappear with pregnancy and menopause.
  • Chemical changes in the brain: Fluctuation of serotonin, a brain chemical, could trigger PMS symptoms and may contribute to premenstrual depression, fatigue, food cravings and sleep problems.
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Poor eating habits: Low levels of vitamins and minerals, eating a lot of salty foods – cause fluid retention, drinking alcohol and caffeinated beverages – cause mood and energy level disturbances.

 

Menopasual Disorder

The medical definition of menopause is the absence of menstruation for 12 months. Cessation of menses or menopause is a natural event which occurs in the mid or late forties in women. This change in women’s body signifies the end of the female reproductive period of life.

During this time, the whole chain of endocrine glands is affected, particularly, the gonads, thyroid, and pituitary glands.  But it is important to remember that each woman’s experience is highly individual.  The extent and severity of symptoms varies significantly among women.

Symptoms of Menopausal Disorders

  • Hot Flushes
  • Night Sweats
  • Tension
  • Insomnia
  • Irregular Vaginal Bleeding
  • Vaginal dryness, irritation
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Urinary symptoms
  • Diminished Interest in Sex
  • Change of moods
  • Fatigue
  • Memory problem
  • Weight gain
  • Irritability

 

As ovaries start slowing the production of estrogen, the dominant female hormone, these symptoms of menopause arise. Anything which interferes with the normal functioning of the ovaries may also bring about these symptoms.  Estrogens also protect the bone. Therefore, a woman can develop osteoporosis (thinning of bone) later in life when her ovaries do not produce sufficient amount of estrogen. And lack of a normal hormonal balance may also result in a severe backache which is caused by thinning of the bones.

 

Infertility

By medical definition, primary infertility means couples are not conceiving for at least 1 year of unprotected sex (intercourse).  And for couples who have been pregnant at least once, but never again refers to secondary infertility.

A various reasons of physical, emotional and mental factors can cause infertility.  Also, infertility can be problems in the woman, man, or both.

  • Unknown Etiology
  • Ovulation disorders
  • Clotting disorder
  • Misplacement of fertilized egg
  • Frequent miscarriage
  • Autoimmune disease
  • PCOS
  • Thin lining of the uterus
  • Lutheal phase defect
  • High prolactin level (milk producing hormone)
  • Fallopian tube issues
  • Excessive exercising
  • Older age
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Obesity
  • Thyroid disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer or tumor
  • Poor diet
  • Surgery of reproductive organs
  • Stress and anxiety

 

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

The name of this condition describes the numerous small cysts located along the outer edge of each ovary in women.  Polycystic ovary syndrome is a common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age.

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a health problem common in 1 out of 15 women and it can affect a woman’s:

  • Menstrual cycle
  • Ability to have children
  • Hormones
  • Heart
  • Blood vessels
  • Appearance
  • Glucose (Sugar) level

With PCOS, women typically have:

  • Increased levels of androgens (male hormones)
  • Extra growth in facial hair and acne
  • Low-grade inflammation
  • Missed or irregular periods
  • Many small cysts (fluid-filled sacs) in their ovaries

What causes PCOS?

One of the common factors for PCOS is hormonal imbalance but there are still many unknown factors for causes.  Current researches are showing that genetic could be another key to unlocking the reason for PCOS.  Many women with PCOS will most likely have family or relative with PCOS.

Many cases, women with PCOS show increased amount of androgen than normal level. Increased level of androgen will interfere with the regulation of hormonal cycle which affect the development and release of eggs during ovulation. In PCOS woman, grown eggs are not released from the ovaries and they form very small cysts in the ovary.

From the changes of hormonal balance, researches are shown more PCOS in women who are obese.

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Women’s Health

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