Although your menstrual cycle comes and goes each month, before you throw that pad away, flush, or not pay attention, observe your body’s period symptoms, to know whether your monthly visitor is normal or abnormal.
Menstrual cramps is medically called dysmenorrhea, which happens when the uterine line peels off and sheds during your period. The pain usually happens because of the excess production of the hormone prostaglandin, which is responsible for inflammation and pain. Around 50% of women in the world go through this extreme and unbearable pain in their lower abdomen but if it is chronic, it could signal a deeper issue, such as endometriosis. Women who suffer from this have tissue which is growing outside the uterus near the pelvic area, so as the tissue sheds during their period, the blood has nowhere to go hence causing discomfort and cramping. Around 7 to 10% of people have endometriosis.
The color of a woman’s period blood says a lot about her hormonal health. Although it may not be a pleasant sight to see before throwing your pad away or while peeing, it may be essential. As your hormones change over your 4-week cycle, they also change the color and thickness of your period blood. Here is the basic color and texture gradient for your period blood:
Thick and chunky, it is caused by increased estrogen levels, creating a thicker uterine lining and heavier flow.
Coming in a light pink form, it shows that your estrogen levels are lesser. This can cause low sex drive, hair loss, vaginal dryness and easy tiredness. Women with such a period flow, usually get periods late and at odd times per month.
A light but bright red color and not too chunky but a decent texture is normal and women who have this usually get their period exactly on time. But, these women are also more prone to premenstrual syndrome (PMS), such as mood swings. PMS is considered normal but it is not as it is a primary symptom of early-on hormonal imbalance.
The average period cycle should release less than a cup of blood although it could seem like a perennial flood. Women can have heavy periods, but too much of it can be a sign of anemia, risk of infertility, uterine or cervical tumors and even endometriosis, which only hits them in their 30s. At a younger age, losing too much blood during your period could signal menorrhagia, where the excessive blood loss coupled with cramps makes it impossible for a woman to even function or carry out her daily activities. Those with lighter period blood flows may not be eating right or enough, experiencing hormonal changes or stressing out too much. On a more serious note, it could also indicate polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and even autoimmune disorders.
How often you get your periods is also a telltale sign of how healthy you are. From research by the Mayo Clinic, you need to have your periods every 21 to 35 days and it should last for a healthy duration of two days to a week. With the only condition for short period cycles being more frequent cycles. Periods past a week can be caused by drinking too much which messes with your estrogen and progesterone levels, pregnancy, weight loss and more. An occasional irregular cycle is alright but not a regular one, so it may be advised to see your gynecologist about this.
There may be times a woman thinks her period has finished and just then she will have more bleeding like it was the first day. But this is actually normal for a woman who is on birth control pills. But for those who don’t take them and still experience this, it may be best to consult a gynecologist, as it may be a precursor to cancer, infections, or imbalance.
A period that does not occur is usually a fear of pregnancy for sexually active women, but it could actually be common in those who take birth control or hormonal balancing pills, those who are obese or too skinny, over-exercise, or Another cause is because of something called secondary amenorrhea, which happens to only 4% of women where a woman stops getting her periods for 6 months or more. It could also possibly be chronic symptoms of weakening ovaries, brain tumor or thyroid issues.
So, remember all lovely ladies out there, do keep tabs on Lady Flo and how she works as a health indicator.