When I was younger, I think I always heard the "u" in "menstruation" as a distinct syllable with long "u". But these days the "u" is pronounced with very little stress (like a schwa) or omitted entirely, like "menstration".
When I first started hearing this, I think it was mainly from people with a southern accent, which I think frequently drops or reduces unstressed syllables. But I noticed this a few days ago when a radio host was interviewing a medical professional, they both hardly pronounced the "u". And today I heard an interview with author Judy Blume on Fresh Air; host Terry Gross said "menstruation", the author said "menstration".
Is this an actual trend taking place, or has it always been that way and I just didn't notice it? Maybe the topic wasn't discussed as much on radio and TV, so I didn't hear the word too often. (It frequently gets mentioned lately in the context of book banning in schools, because books referring to menstruation are among the books being objected to -- Blume's Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret is among them.)
I can understand why this happens: pronouncing two vowels in a row is difficult for the mouth. And I checked some online dictionaries, they list both pronunciations. What seems to have changed over time is the preference for the pronunciation with the elided "u".