Period symptoms vary considerably among women—some experience little cramping at all with a light menstrual flow, while others have considerably more. Some women have irregular cycles while others get their period like clockwork. Variations even occur between a woman's own periods, with some being lighter or heavier than others.
However, sometimes an unusual period can be a symptom of an underlying problem. When is it time to see a women's health specialist about it? Read on to find out the signs you need to watch for.
Missing Three or More Periods
It's entirely normal for women to miss a period or two, especially during times of stress. However, missing three or more periods in a row is a cause for concern.
Your menstrual cycle is governed by the hormones that your body produces, and missing three periods can be a sign that you're experiencing hormonal problems. It could represent a problem with your pituitary gland, your thyroid gland or your ovaries. It may also be a sign of polycystic ovary syndrome.
If you've missed three or more periods in a row, schedule an appointment with a women's health specialist. A blood test will be performed to make sure your hormone levels are normal.
Note that this doesn't apply if you think you may be pregnant. If you're sexually active and you miss a period, schedule an appointment with a women's health specialist as soon as possible. There's no need to wait until you've missed a second period.
Some periods will be lighter or heavier than others, but persistent heavy bleeding may be a sign that something is wrong. If you're bleeding through tampons and pads within an hour, if you're waking up in the middle of the night to change your pad or if you're planning work and school activities around heavy your menstrual flow, then schedule an appointment with a women's health specialist.
This can be another sign of polycystic ovary syndrome, and it may also be a sign that you have a bleeding disorder.
Cramping is a normal part of having a period, as it's the way that your body prepares to shed the lining of your uterus. Severe stabbing pain, however, is certainly not normal. It can be a sign that you have an ovarian cyst. If you're unable to manage your period pain with over-the-counter pain medication, talk to a women's health specialist.
Constipation or Blood in Your Stool or Urine
All of these are potential signs of endometriosis, which occurs when you have endometrial tissue building up in your body somewhere other than the inside of your uterus. When this endometrial tissue sheds, it sometimes results in blood appearing in your stool or urine. Constipation shortly before your period and during it is another potential sign of endometriosis.
If you notice any of the above signs, talk to a women's health specialist in your area to determine what may be causing them. Even if no underlying cause of heavy bleeding, severe cramping or irregular periods is found, you can manage your symptoms by taking oral contraceptives. These regulate your body's natural hormone cycle, and you'll typically experience regular, light periods while taking them.Share
25 September 2019
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