Decoding Your Period - What’s normal and when should you see a doctor?
So, you’ve noticed that something about your period has changed. Your first instinct is to go to the internet and search for answers.
The second you click ‘search’ you are overwhelmed with thousands upon thousands of websites discussing different theories, symptoms, illnesses, etcetera. It is frightening, confusing and you don’t know where to look first.
How do we know? Because we’ve been there too.
Luckily, we’ve done extensive research and put everything together in one place. Just for you.
Why is my cycle so irregular?
Birth control, menopause, medication... the list goes on. There are many possible causes of an irregular cycle. Thankfully, the solution might be simpler.
Experts recommend a healthy diet, exercise regimen and sleep schedule to help regulate your cycle.
We know what you’re thinking. That sounds easy enough, right?
Well, yes, but if your cycle has been regular until recently (anywhere within the last couple of months), then you should book an appointment with your doctor. Any sudden change in your period is best checked by the experts.
My cycle seems too short
Short cycles are the norm for many women. They tend to be less heavy and women can experience less PMS symptoms on average than women with longer cycles.
However, if your cycle is less than 21-days, this could be a cause for concern. Such regular blood-loss has been known to cause deficiencies and even lead to anaemia. So, if your cycle is less than 21 days, we recommend seeing your doctor.
And again, if your cycle has suddenly changed in frequency and now occurs much more often, seeing your doctor is the best thing to do. Trust us. It’s always better to be safe.
Bleeding between cycles can occur without any underlying health issues, but it can also be a sign that something isn’t quite right.
Determining which is which can be difficult, so we will always recommend that you let your doctor know if this happens regularly.
My periods seem heavy
It’s difficult to quantify what makes a period ‘heavy’, but the general rule is: if you are producing more than 2.7 ounces of blood, you are experiencing a heavy period.
Heavy periods are completely normal, and most women will experience at least one in their lifetime. But a change from lighter to heavy periods that recurs for more than three months is cause for a trip to the doctor’s office.
And remember, if your heavy comes with clots, you may also need to see your doctor (more on these later).
Intense period pain?
Period pain varies from woman to woman, and some studies show that cramps can be helped by eating healthier and exercising more frequently.
However, intense period pain can be a symptom of underlying conditions like endometriosis. We recommend seeing your doctor if you experience unbearable cramps, or if intense period pain lasts more than two periods.
You might notice clots in your menstrual blood. These are completely normal and the majority of women will experience clotting at some point.
(Did you know that clots are actually the body’s way of trying to prevent you from losing too much blood? We think that’s pretty cool.)
If clotting occurs frequently or is accompanied by pain then you may need to visit your doctor.
Did you know that checking the size of these clots is also important? Are they larger than 2.5cm? If so, it’s time to see the doctor.
You may have noticed a common theme within this article.
Many of the possible period-irregularities you could face can be managed with a healthy diet, regular sleep pattern and exercise regimen.
We think that taking steps to implement some of these changes into your lifestyle is a no-brainer!
And if you are currently suffering from any of the more serious issues raised in this article, we strongly recommend seeing a doctor. Stay safe, ladies!
As always, we wish you an incredible period and a fantastic day!