Menstruation usually starts at puberty and ceases at the menopause. These two stages in a woman’s life are determined by the levels of female sex hormones in the body. The menstrual cycle itself is also governed by a combination of hormones, all of which are produced at varying levels throughout the cycle. Many conditions or disorders upset the balance of these hormones.
This section begins by discussing some common menstrual disorders. Several of these disorders are still not fully understood, but advances in diagnostic techniques have made investigation easier, and modern surgical methods have improved treatment. The articles that follow discuss health problems associated with the menopause and other disorders caused by an imbalance of the sex hormones. The widespread use of hormonal treatment has helped to relieve many of these disorders.
Related disorders that affect the female reproductive system are dealt with in other sections (see Disorders of the female reproductive organs, and Sex and reproduction), as are disorders involving hormones other than the sex hormones (see Hormones and metabolism).
For more information about the structure and function of the female reproductive system, see Female Reproductive System.
From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.
The subjects, conditions and treatments covered in this encyclopaedia are for information only and may not be covered by your insurance product should you make a claim.