All women’s periods are different – some have bleeding for 2 days while others may experience week-long periods. Your flow might be light and barely noticeable or heavy enough to make you uncomfortable. You may or may not get cramps, and if you do, they might be mild or painful.
If your periods remain consistent – regardless of what is “normal” for you – there’s probably no reason to worry. But you should stay alert in case you experience in changes to your monthly cycle. Here are 7 period symptoms you should NOT ignore and we would suggest calling about:
- Skipped periods. Some women have more regular periods than others, but most get a period every 28 days. If your periods suddenly stop, there could be a few reasons for that. One possibility – not surprisingly – is pregnancy, and a pregnancy test can easily determine the answer to that question. If pregnancy isn’t the case, there are some other causes such as weight gain, intense exercise, a health condition, extreme stress or event polycystic ovary syndrome that could be the cause – call Affinity Physicians for Women for an appointment to discuss.
- Heavy bleeding. As noted, periods vary from person to person, but if you go through one or more pads or tampons an hour, you have menorrhagia – an abnormally heavy menstrual flow. Causes of heavy bleeding can include a hormone imbalance, fibroids or polyps, endometriosis or several other issues. It’s important to know the cause – and that can be taken care of with a visit to your doctor.
- Abnormally short or long periods. Normal periods can last anywhere from two to seven days. Short periods may be nothing to worry about – especially if that’s normal for you. Also some of the same factors that cause heavy bleeding, as noted above, can make your periods longer than usual. Our physicians work with women who have heavy bleeding; there are really good solutions for this problem, so ask us today!
- Intense cramps. Cramps are unfortunately a normal part of periods. But if you are starting to experience very painful cramps out of the blue, there could be some serious issues that need addressing.
- Bleeding between periods. Some causes of this – like a change in birth control – aren’t serious. Others require a trip to your doctor – these can include but aren’t limited to: uterine polyps or fibroids, ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage, perimenopause or several others. Better to be safe than sorry.
- Breast pain. It’s normal for your breasts to feel a little tender before or during your periods, but if your breasts hurt or the pain doesn’t coincide with your monthly cycle, it’s time to get checked out.
- Diarrhea or vomiting. Some women do get an upset stomach during menstruation; but if these symptoms aren’t typical for you during your cycle, they could indicate a more serious medical condition such as cysts or other issues that need medical attention.
If you have or are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s probably a good time to get checked out by your doctor. Many times, it’s nothing serious, but it’s always better to err on the side of caution.
Have more questions about your period or our gynecology practice? Click here. We would love to hear from you – Affinity Physicians for Women is all about our patients and do all we can to make their lives more enjoyable on every level.