Menstrual Disorders and PMS
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
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
- Difficulty sleeping
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Joint or muscle pain
- Appetite changes
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.
Treatment of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
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.
An obstetrical consultation serves as an opportunity for a patient to meet with the doctor to discuss the details of pregnancy. Regular visits with a doctor throughout a pregnancy are recommended, as they allow for professional monitoring of the mother and baby's health. These consultations also provide time for the patient and doctor to develop a trusting relationship and discuss any possible complications or health issues that may affect the patient and her baby.
The Initial Obstetrical Consultation Appointment
During the first obstetrical appointment, the patient will be able to ask questions about the pregnancy and gain information on the options available. A physical examination and a thorough review of the patient's medical history will be conducted. Some tests performed during an obstetrical consultation may include:
- Blood tests
- Recording of the mother's weight
- Fetal heart tones
- Blood pressure
Recommendations During an Obstetrical Consultation
During an obstetrical consultation, the doctor and patient will usually discuss various lifestyle changes that may be needed to ensure a healthy pregnancy for both the mother and baby. Some of these recommendations may include:
- Maintaining a healthy diet
- Taking prenatal vitamins or supplements
- Avoiding exposure to harmful chemicals
- Being vaccinated
- Establishing an exercise regimen
- Managing any preexisting health issues
- Minimizing travel
- Becoming aware of the need for regularly scheduled health care appointment during pregnancy
An obstetrical consultation is usually recommended for expectant mothers 8 weeks after the last menstrual period. These consultations are important regardless of the number of pregnancies the mother has had, since effective prenatal care is crucial to the health of the mother as well as the baby's proper development.