WOMEN’S HEALTH 2
During the clinical setting this week, we ventured into what accompanies a menstrual
cycle in a woman’s life. We learnt about conditions such as the Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS)
and the Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). I have always perceived these conditions as
‘normal occurrences’ in a menstrual cycle but I got an opportunity to learn about its effects and
dangers to a woman, both physically and psychologically.
Insight on PMDD and the fact that it is a more severe version of PMS got me worried as I
imagined all the women out there who could be suffering in the assumption that it is just a
normal thing and an almost recurrent ‘rite of passage’ or a sign of ‘womanhood’. PMDD, which
happens three to four days before a menstrual cycle and may continue through the first two days
into the cycle, is a rare condition that occurs to 3% to 8% of women in the world (Conrad &
Shiel, 2017). According to Halbreich (2012) and Rapkin & Lewis, (2013), it is normally
measured by the severity and the recurrence of its symptoms which include: headaches, back
pains, severe menstrual cramps, diarrhea and psychological symptoms that may cause depression
and anxiety disorders.
In most cases, women may not realize that they are suffering from PMDD and this in turn
endangers their lives and makes them vulnerable to other medical conditions that may result to
death. It was also interesting to learn that PMDD symptoms may also be misdiagnosed as thyroid
disease, unless a blood test is done on the patient (Conrad & Shiel, 2017). This was an eye
opener and an opportunity to learn and to look for ways of helping those who do not know that
such conditions exist and those who ignore their severity.