Cornwall LivingIssue #118
Don’t suffer in silence
Miss Lone, Consultant Gynaecologist at the Duchy Hospital, discusses menstrual disorders, what to look out for, and the importance of seeking treatment from a professional.
Some women greet their period each month at the same time like clockwork, with minimal side effects or symptoms from their cycle. However, says Miss Lone: “For others the impending dread of what physical and/or emotional symptoms will come during or before their next menstruation can be stressful and life disrupting. The debilitating pain, missing periods, irregular bleeding between periods, or prolonged bleeding, can all be signs of a menstrual disorder, one that should not be treated as the norm.
“Most symptoms we experience during our menstrual cycles have explanations and usually there are a range of different treatments that can relieve or improve your symptoms. It can be hard to accurately diagnose these problems ourselves,” explains Miss Lone, “so seeking help from a gynaecologist may be necessary. A specialist can help investigate these symptoms and help you choose the best treatment or option to ensure your cycle is more manageable – not something you dread, or which prevents you from living your life.”
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is one of the three most common menstrual disorders. PMS refers to unpleasant or uncomfortable symptoms experienced during your cycle, usually more severe and disruptive than typical premenstrual symptoms. The most common physical symptoms associated with PMS are bloating, swollen breasts, fatigue and headaches, with physiological signs including irritability, anxiety, depression and diminished libido.
Abnormal Uterine Bleeding (AUB) is another, says Miss Lone. “The most common type of AUB is menorrhagia – heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding which can disrupt daily activities. Some also experience amenorrhea – absent menstrual periods for more than three monthly menstrual cycles, or irregular bleeding between cycles.”
Dysmenorrhea is the third. “Most women experience some form of cramps before or during their menstrual period, but for some, painful menstrual periods can be debilitating and cause dizziness or feeling faint.”
Don’t forget, you’re the best judge on what is normal for you. Duchy Hospital recommends keeping a diary or using a menstrual cycle app to track your periods and symptoms. You should never suffer in silence or feel like you should just live with the pain. Instead, you can book an appointment with Miss Lone, simply call the Duchy Hospital Private Patient office and get an appointment quickly to see how she can help.