Menstrual problems may also be a reason for infertility in women and it is better to know about it clearly. The role of food in menstruation is explained here.

What are the menstrual problems?

At first, a few words about everything, the ovaries produce the two main female sex hormones, estrogens and progesterone. A large quantity of estrogens is produced when a girl reaches puberty, about 9-13 years old. This enables her to develop quickly into a normal young woman with the child bearing capacity. In this reproductive phase of her life, the menstruation plays a vital role.

The common problems relating her menstrual flow are:

• Pre-menstrual tension
• Painful menstruation and
• Excessive menstruation.

If there is a problem which you cannot manage alone, report and consult your doctor as early as possible.

What are the pre-menstrual tension symptoms?

Some women few days before menstruation become irritable and nervous and may also suffer from fullness in the breasts, headache, insomnia, swelling in the legs and even depression. Acne, bloating, backache, constipation, diarrhoea, abdominal cramp, difficulty in concentrating and difficulty in handling stress can be also the other symptoms.

These are mainly because of hormonal imbalance and these symptoms disappear within a day of the start of the menstrual flow.

What is a painful menstruation?

Painful menstruation is a very common problem and this symptom can appear immediately before or during the menstrual flow. Some women have this pain two or three days before the flow. Here also the reason is hormonal imbalance.

What is the excessive menstrual flow?

This is common in women, some diseases like fibroids or the hormones play a role here. The excessive menstrual flow is a risk factor for anaemia.

If the menstruation stops, what are the reasons?

It is only abnormal when a woman is not pregnant or at the menopause. The main causes of menstrual stoppage are anaemia, serious emotional disturbances such as grief, worry and fear. Malformation or displacement of the womb can also be the reason. It may also happen during some sickness or after an illness. Jetlag is also one of the reasons for disturbed menstruation in air hostesses.

Does food play a role here?

There are many foods which may help here, to tell a few, calcium, manganese, fat and cholesterol.

What is the role of calcium here?

Foods rich in calcium like a glass of skimmed milk every day apart from your normal meal may help to prevent and cure mood changes and physical pain before or during your period. At the same time all other health aspects must also be considered taking more calcium and an optimum amount could be found out with the help of your dietician.

What about manganese?

The problem here is with heavy menstrual flow, just imagine the flow is almost the double amount than normal, the body loses more manganese, iron, copper, zinc and other essential elements because of increased blood loss. The cause for the heavy flow is not known. Fruits, especially pineapple, vegetables, whole grains products, nuts and seeds contain many essential elements we need including manganese.

Black or green tea has also high manganese content.

What is the role of cholesterol here?

One of the greatest threats to menstruation and reproduction is a deficiency of cholesterol in the diet as well as in your body. Even LDL or bad cholesterol is important to menstruate normally. Women who want to be slim or thin try fanatically with exercises and with diet to reduce the amount of fat in their body, thus wrecking their menstrual cycle which may even lead to temporary infertility. These women are also susceptible to fragile bones and osteoporosis in later years.

It is possible with correct food, enough exercises and with normal menstrual cycle you can be slim, the simple thing to achieve this is, you must know only how to do that.

Are carbohydrates, including sugar and chocolates a cure or cause for pre-menstrual symptoms?

Many women feel less depression, confusion, fatigue, tension and anger and it may be because carbohydrates produce higher amount of serotonin, a neurotransmitter which can elevate the mood. The main reason is relaxation. So do not deny a craving for carbohydrates including chocolates, sweets and desserts during your period. This is also good to reduce cramp and sluggishness.

Small portion, but often, in two to three hours can do well, but try to find out which is good for you to get relief from your suffering.

What about coffee?

If you have pre-menstrual symptoms which upset your life, give up coffee and other beverages with caffeine for few months to see whether it helps you. But, one to two cups a day may not bring problems and if you drink more, reduce it to one cup. Here the information from the women is very contradictory, sometimes it helps and sometimes, it does not.

What about smoking?

Stop it immediately, it helps you surely. Even in India 2.6% of the women do smoke.

What about alcohol?

It is advisable not to drink alcohol because pain, headache and cramp are not in a line with alcohol consumption. It may help in small amount in postmenopausal women only.

What about processed foods?

It is better to avoid all the processed foods.

What about having an ‘all fruits day’ in a week?

It is generally good for your health which can also have influence in your menstrual cycle, do not forget to eat bananas because you need calories to do your normal work.

Are there home remedies for this problem?

There are several home remedies for this problem as follows:

Sesame seeds
Coriander seeds
Bengal gram
Banana flower
Mango bark
Ashoka tree bark
Indian barberry

These may help in menstruation problems, try slowly to find out the correct one and the amount needed for your problems or consult your doctor or dietician.

In my own experience many women in the child bearing age drink less water. It is a must to drink, three to four litre water per day. If they sweat more, they have to drink more. 70% of the fluid intake must be pure drinking water and it does always good.