As women, we all know that our periods can be unpredictable at times. But what happens when they become irregular, heavy, or just downright painful? Irregular periods can be a sign of an underlying health issue that requires medical attention. As someone who has experienced irregular periods myself, I know how frustrating and confusing it can be. In this blog, I’ll be discussing the symptoms of irregular periods and when to seek medical care. So, let’s get started.
First, let's talk about what a "normal" period looks like. The length of the menstrual cycle and amount of blood flow is unique to each woman. However, most women have a cycle that ranges from 24 to 34 days, and the average blood flow lasts about four to five days, with a loss of about 40 cc (3 tablespoons). But it's important to remember that these are just averages and everyone's "normal" may differ.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, your menstrual flow may be abnormally heavy:
- soaking through more than one tampon or sanitary pad in an hour for several hours at a time
- waking up during the night because you need to change protection
- passing large blood clots in your menstrual flow
- experiencing a menstrual flow that lasts more than a week
If you have an abnormally heavy flow, it can cause you to experience symptoms such as fatigue, pale skin, shortness of breath, and dizziness, which may be an indication of anemia.
While every woman's cycle is different, irregularities such as bleeding mid-cycle or bleeding after intercourse are abnormal symptoms. Other symptoms to look out for include:
- periods that consistently last for more than a week
- requiring more than one tampon or sanitary pad in an hour, for several hours in a row
- severe pain
- abnormal discharge or odor
- unexplained weight gain or loss
- unusual hair growth
- new acne
- nipple discharge
If you experience any of these symptoms, it's important to seek medical care. Make an appointment right away if you have bleeding or spotting in between periods, after sex, while pregnant, or after menopause.
During your gynecological appointment, keep track of your menstrual cycles, including how long your blood flow lasts and how many tampons or sanitary pads you use during each cycle. This information will be helpful for your doctor to determine if there are any irregularities.
There are various treatment options available for irregular periods, depending on the underlying cause. Treatment options may include birth control pills, hormone therapy, medication to treat underlying medical conditions, or surgery in severe cases.
So dear friend, if you experience any abnormal symptoms related to your menstrual cycle, don't hesitate to seek medical care. Regular gynecological check-ups and tracking your menstrual cycle can help identify any irregularities early on and improve your overall reproductive health.