General Gynecology

Menstrual Problems & PMS, PMDD

The clinical staff at One to One FemaleCare is trained to handle all menstrual cycle irregularities, including Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). These conditions cause symptoms such as bloating, cramping, fatigue, moodiness, sleep irregularity and depression.

These symptoms are so common, almost 3 in 4 women experience them, so please do not hesitate to discuss these issues with our providers at One to One FemaleCare.

Menstrual disorders can turn your monthly period from a minor inconvenience into a major, debilitating condition. These disorders can cause physical and emotional symptoms and can severely disrupt your daily life for days or weeks at a time.

Menstrual cycle disorders can cause symptoms such as:

  • Heaving bleeding
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Missed periods
  • Mood swings

These symptoms are characteristic of several different menstrual disorders including:

  • Abnormal uterine bleeding
  • Amenorrhea
  • Fibroids
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • PMS
  • PMDD

While these disorders are not usually serious, they are often painful. Fortunately, treatment methods are usually successful in relieving these symptoms to make that time of the month less significant.

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a group of symptoms that women commonly experience before their monthly menstrual period, usually going away after the period starts. About 85 percent of women suffer from at least one symptom of PMS during each menstrual cycle, although most cases are fairly mild and may not interfere with a woman's normal activities. Severe cases of PMS may be diagnosed as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

The specific cause of PMS is not known, but it is linked to the hormone changes involved in the menstrual cycle, and can also be affected by stress and emotional problems. While symptoms can vary for each woman, some of the common symptoms of PMS include:

  • Breast swelling and tenderness
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Bloating
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Acne
  • Appetite changes
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Women who suspect that they have a severe case of PMS and are seeking medical attention for their condition should monitor symptoms and their severity for a few months to help their doctor accurately diagnose the condition.

There are many treatments currently available for PMS, many of which involve simple lifestyle changes. Some of these changes may include calcium supplements, exercising regularly, avoiding salty or sugary foods, managing stress and avoiding smoking. Over-the-count medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin are often effective in relieving the symptoms of PMS as well. Prescription medication may be prescribed for severe cases of PMS.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

Many women experience physical and emotional changes several days before menstruation begins. This condition is known as premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Symptoms, which may include breast swelling or tenderness, headaches, fatigue, bloating, acne, anxiety, irritability, mood swings and depression, commonly subside a day or two after menstruation begins. When the symptoms of PMS are severe and disrupt daily activities, a diagnosis of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PDD) may be made.

In addition to the physical symptoms associated with PMS, individuals suffering from PDD may experience chronic and intensified emotional and behavioral symptoms that can disrupt daily life, and may include the following:

  • Extreme moodiness
  • Irritability
  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Tension
  • Anxiety

PDD may also affect sleep habits and appetite. Symptoms may begin 7 to 10 days before a woman's period, and continue for the first few days after the start of menstruation.

Treatment for PDD focuses on minimizing symptoms, and may initially include conservative treatments such as exercise, diet and lifestyle changes. When symptoms are severe and do not respond to these types of treatment, birth control pills may be recommended to regulate hormones, and antidepressant medication may be prescribed to treat symptoms of depression and anxiety.


Menopausal Management

Menopause is the time in a woman's life when her menstrual period has stopped. Menopause is caused by a decrease in the ovaries' production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which eventually results in the ovaries' ceasing to produce eggs, and the end of menstruation.

A woman has reached menopause when she has not had a menstrual period for at least 12 months. Menopause is a natural process that takes several years. During this time, fertility decreases, and periods often change in duration, frequency, and amount of blood flow. This stage is known as perimenopause, and it is often when symptoms of menopause begin. The average age that menopause occurs is 51, although it may occur prematurely in women who have had total hysterectomies or have received chemotherapy or radiation treatments.

Treatment of Menopause

At One to One FemaleCare, menopause management is one of the cornerstones of our practice. Our providers consider your personal symptoms and health profile, along with all the medical options, and determine a tailored regimen that works for your individual needs. As women progress thru this lifecycle change, the providers at One to One FemaleCare will provide you with the very best care options available. One treatment is hormone-replacement therapy (HRT), in which medication containing estrogen or progesterone is prescribed to replace the hormones that are deficient within the ovaries. These synthetic forms of hormones are delivered through pills, patches or creams. However, there are risks associated with HRT, including heart disease, stroke and breast cancer. Risks may vary depending on a woman's health history and lifestyle. Before deciding if HRT is appropriate, a woman should discuss its risks and benefits with her doctor.

Women suffering from depression or mood changes due to menopause may benefit from taking antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications. Low-dose vaginal estrogen, which is available in a pill or cream form, can be prescribed to help reduce dryness within the vagina. Medication is also available to treat the osteoporosis often caused by menopause. Women who maintain a healthy and active lifestyle may experience less discomfort during menopause.


Osteoporosis Prevention

Half of all postmenopausal women in the United States experience fractures due to the bone loss of osteoporosis. Although some bone loss occurs naturally due to the aging process, osteoporosis is, most often, preventable. Because there is a direct relationship between the lack of estrogen during perimenopause and menopause, it is essential that women, especially those at increased risk for developing the disease, take precautions. One to One FemaleCare providers will assess your osteoporosis risk which may include a simple bone density test or dexascan.

Measures to Prevent Osteoporosis

In order to prevent postmenopausal osteoporosis, women should do the following to maintain bone health:

  • Eat a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D
  • Exercise
  • Refrain from smoking
  • Consume alcohol in moderation, if at all
  • Undergo regular bone density exams
  • Take medication to avert bone loss

These preventative methods are especially important since osteoporosis, once it occurs, is not curable.

Call the office today to find out more about our OB-GYN Services

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