Longer periods than usual…lasting over 10 days hormone imbalance symptoms

disorders are irregularities or abnormalities of the menstrual cycle, including the absence of menstrual periods ( amenorrhea), discomfort associated with the menstrual period (dysmenorrhea), excessive menstrual blood loss ( menorrhagia), and abnormal bleeding ( metrorrhagia).

Amenorrhea, or the absence of a menstrual period, may occur as a result of many conditions. Failure to start menstruating by the age of sixteen is called primary amenorrhea; it is associated with a delay of puberty and the absence of breast development and pubic hair by age 13.5 to 14 years. Secondary amenorrhea, the absence of periods for 3 consecutive months in a woman who previously had regular menstrual cycles, is more common.

Pregnancy, menopause, and anovulation ( associated with dysfunction of hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis or discontinuing birth control medications) are the most common cause of amenorrhea in reproductive-age women.

Although this temporary amenorrhea usually only lasts 6 to 8 weeks, it can persist for a year or more.

Other causes of secondary amenorrhea include hormonal imbalances; ovarian disorders; polycystic ovarian disease; endocrine disorders ( e.g., diabetes, thyroid abnormality, and Cushing’s syndrome); genetic abnormalities; excessive exercise; emotional stress; depression; obesity; excessive or rapid weight loss; reduced caloric intake, including self-starvation (anorexia nervosa); systemic diseases ( e.g., syphilis, tuberculosis, nephritis); or drugs, including chemotherapeutic agents.

Dysmenorrhea refers to crampy abdominal and/or pelvic pain ( pelvic pathology) not associated with typical discomfort that may occur just before or during a menstrual period. Although the exact cause is uncertain, dysmenorrhea has been associated with the hormone prostaglandin, which is released during the menstrual period.

Abdominal and pelvic pain can also be caused by underlying conditions such as an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage, ovarian cysts, an intrauterine device ( IUD) used for contraception, growth of endometrial tissue outside the uterus ( endometriosis), postoperative adhesions, bacterial infection of the uterus and fallopian tubes ( pelvic inflammatory disease), fibroid tumors in the uterus ( uterine leiomyoma), an obstructed cervix, or congenital malformation.

Menorrhagia is the excessive loss of blood during a menstrual period ( blood loss greater than 80 mL) and may be due to a period lasting more than 7 days. It is usually due to an imbalance between the hormones estrogen and progesterone, but can also be caused by any disorder that affects the uterus, including fibroid tumors, polyps, an intrauterine device (IUD) used for contraception, or a pelvic infection.

Metrorrhagia is uterine bleeding outside of the normal menstrual cycle. The bleeding is irregular in pattern and in the amount of blood lost. It may result from hormonal imbalances, stress, miscarriage, gynecologic disorders, or cancer (uterine, ovarian, or cervical).

Risk: Excessive exercise, obesity, hormone imbalances, and chronic stress or depression can increase risk for secondary amenorrhea. Smoking, longer and heavier periods, and family history ( genetic factors) are risk factors for dysmenorrhea. Those most at risk for menorrhagia include women with bleeding disorders and endocrine disorders.

Incidence and Prevalence: Secondary amenorrhea affects about 5% to 7% of menstruating women annually (Popat). Prevalence does not vary among racial groups and corresponds to the prevalence of causative diseases. Primary dysmenorrhea, or menstrual cramps and discomfort in the absence of pelvic disease, may affect as many as 50% of menstruating women and usually manifests within the first few years following the onset of menstruation (Calis).