What are menstrual disorders? What are the signs and symptoms?

Menstrual disorder, also known as irregular menstruation, refers to discomfort and symptoms that appear along with the menstrual cycle.

Three common types of menstrual disorders:

Menstrual Cycle
(The number of days between menstruation)
  • Early menstruation: seven days or more in advance
  • Late menstruation: delayed for seven days or more
  • Irregular menstruation: advance or delayed for more than seven days
Menstrual period
(Number of days per menstrual period)
  • The menstruation time lasts longer than seven days. Commonly known as "long period".
Menstrual flow
  • Menorrhagia (excessive menstruation flow)
  • Hypomenorrhoea (scanty menstruation flow)
What are the causes of menstrual disorders? What consequences will long-term menstrual disorders lead to?
Causes and Harm of Menstrual Disorders
Extrinsic Factors:
  • Lack of attention on health maintenance in day-to-day living. The body was influenced by wind, coldness, heat, and dampness.
Intrinsic Factors:
  • ​Stressed, depressed, melancholic mood, or over-exhausted
Menstrual disorders can lead to viscera dysfunction, qi and blood disorders, and further result in irregular menstruation
Harm (Extrinsic):
  • ​Pale looking, may lead to stains, acne, etc.
Harm (Intrinsic):
  • ​May lead to infertility, menstrual disorders, irregular vaginal bleeding, anemia, and weakness of the limbs, thereby affecting daily lives and rest. In severe cases, diseases such as uterine fibroids, ovarian tumors, secondary malignancy, endometrial cancer, etc., can result.
Case Sharing

There was a 32-year-old, typical career woman who came to consult me for medical advice due to menstrual problems. The young lady described that she usually had a menstruation cycle once every 40 days. Besides the delayed and low volume that was dark red in colour, she also experienced abdominal distension and pain and loose stools during the days of menstruation, along with breast tenderness before the periods. The young lady liked to wear mini shorts, and her hands and feet were cold. While suffering from pressure at work, she would easily become nervous, emotionally unstable, and melancholic.

After consultation by the doctor, the client was diagnosed to have suffered from delayed menstruation, with the main cause being coldness in her blood. The fact that the client liked to wear mini shorts had induced what was described as "coldness that originated from the legs" in traditional Chinese medicine, which further led coldness in her uterus. In addition, psychological factors such as high stress and mental tension caused stagnation of liver qi. The doctor hence recommended Chinese medicine prescription combined with acupuncture to soothe her problems of liver stagnation, qi congestion while dispelling the coldness and regulating the menstruation, which has been restored back to 30 day-cycle with normal menstrual flow.

How to prevent menstrual disorders? In what areas should women pay attention to in their daily lives?
  • Maintain a regular work and rest pattern. Retire to bed at around 11 o'clock
  • Pay attention to keep warm. Avoid wearing short skirts and shorts. Always keep the body warm and avoid direct wind as far as possible
  • Maintain a habit of warm diet, avoid raw and cold foods (such as salads, sushi, ice cream, cold drinks, etc.). Avoid foods that trigger menstrual disorders about 10 days before menstruation
Last Updated: Aug 2017
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