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Menstrual Disorders


Anything that interferes with the normal menstrual cycle, causing pain, unusually heavy or light bleeding, or missed periods.


Typically, a woman of childbearing age should menstruate every 28 days or so unless she's pregnant or moving into menopause. But numerous things can wrong with the normal menstrual cycle, some the result of physical causes, others emotional. These include amenorrhea, or the cessation of menstruation, menorrhagia, or heavy bleeding, and dysmenorrhea, or severe menstrual cramps. Nearly every woman will experience one or more of these menstrual irregularities at some time in her life.


There are two types of amenorrhea: primary and secondary. Overall, they affect 2 to 5 percent of childbearing women, a number that is considerably higher among female athletes (possibly as high as 66 percent).

Primary amenorrhea occurs when a girl of at least 16 is not menstruating. Young girls may not have regular periods for their first year or two, or their periods may be very light, a condition known as oligomenorrhea..

Secondary amenorrhea occurs in women of childbearing age after a period of normal menstruation and is diagnosed when menstruation has stopped for three months. It can occur in women of any age.


Characterized by menstrual cramps or painful periods, dysmenorrhea, which is Greek for "painful menstruation," affects nearly every woman at some point in her life. It's the most common reproductive problem in women, resulting in numerous days absent from school, work and other activities. There are two types: primary and secondary.

Tenseness. The symptoms typically start a day or two before menstruation, usually ending when menstruation actually begins.

Secondary dysmenorrhea has an underlying physical cause and primarily affects older women, although it may also occur immediately after a woman begins menstruation, however.


Menorrhagia, or heavy bleeding, most commonly occurs in the years just before menopause or just after women start menstruating. It occurs in 9 to 14 percent of all women.

Causes and symptoms


The only symptom of primary amenorrhea is delayed menstruation. In addition to low body weight or excessive exercise, other causes of primary amenorrhea include Turner's Syndrome, a birth defect related to the reproductive system, or ovarian problems. In secondary amenorrhea, the primary symptom is the ceasing of menstruation for at least three months. Causes include pregnancy or breastfeeding, sudden weight loss or gain, intense exercise, stress, endocrine disorders affecting the thyroid, pituitary or adrenal glands,.


Primary dysmenorrhea is related to the production of prostaglandins, natural chemicals the body makes that cause an inflammatory reaction. They also cause the muscles of the uterus to contract, thus helping the uterus shed the lining built up during the first part of a woman's cycle.

Secondary dysmenorrhea is more serious and is related to some underlying cause. The pain may feel like regular menstrual cramps, but may last longer than normal and occur throughout the month.


Heavy bleeding during menstruation is usually related to a hormonal imbalance, although other causes include fibroids, cervical or endometrial polyps, the autoimmune disease lupus, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), blood platelet disorder, or, possibly, some reproductive cancers.

Practicing yoga can yield a vast array of benefits which practitioners often claim create a complete reversal of medical conditions. The benefits will vary based on the poses practiced, and the intensity (measured by awareness, not sweat) and duration and frequency of practice.

Normalizes the menstrual cycle, checks heavy menstrual flow and relieves menstrual pain
Helps to prevent hot flashes
Can increase fertility



Sit in Padmasana.

  1. Exhale, swing the left arm back from the shoulders and bring the hand near the right hip. Catch the left big toe. Catch the left big toe, hold the position and inhale.

  2. Similarly, with an exhalation, swing the right arm back from the shoulder, bring it near the left hip and catch the right big toe

  3. If the toes are difficult to catch stretch the shoulders back, so that the shoulder-blades are brought near each other. A little practice in swinging the arms back with an exhalation will enable one to catch the big toes.

  4. If the right foot is placed first over the left thigh and then the left foot over the right thigh, catch the left big toe first and then the right big toe. If, on the other hand, the left foot is placed over the right thigh first and then the right foot over the left thigh, catch the right big toe first and then the left big toe. Catch first the big toe of the foot which is uppermost.

  5. Throw the head as far back as possible and take a few deep breaths.

  6. Inhale deeply, and then with an exhalation bend the trunk forward from the hips and rest the head on the floor, without realizing the toes from the hand grip. Bending the head forward in Baddha Padmasana and touching it on the floor is called:

  7. This asana is especially useful in awakening Kundalini.Also move the head on to the right and left knees alternately with exhalation.


Crossing the hands behind the back expands the chest and increases the range of shoulder movements. Yoga Mudrasana intensifies the peristaltic activity and pushes down the accumulated waste matter in the colon and thereby relieves constipation and increases digestive power.

This article has been written by Dr. R. Nagarathna, Dean, Division of Yoga & Life-sciences, SVYASA
This article is published online courtesy
and Arogyadhama

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