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Most women track their periods and know exactly when Aunt Flo is going to arrive. Yes, they come with severe discomfort and cramps, but for most women, periods are usually cyclic and follow the same pattern every month. The flow and duration might be different for each woman, but rest assured, periods are supposed to be largely characterised by stability. Hence, even the slightest change shouldn’t go unnoticed.
Your menstrual cycle provides a window to your health. A change doesn’t always mean things are serious, but in some cases, it could point to hormonal issues, excessive stress and abnormal growth. So, it’s best to speak with a doctor the moment you notice any change in your menstrual cycle.
Make sure to consult your doctor if you notice these 5 changes:
1. Cramps that interfere with your life
Ask any woman what she hates most about her period, and she’ll be quick to say cramps! That’s because they can cause severe discomfort and pain. Most women, however, are either able to brave through it or find relief in pain medication. If your period pain is preventing you from going to work, or even having meals, that means things could be serious. There’s no doubt that cramps are painful, but if the pain interferes with your daily life, you shouldn’t ignore these signs. Painful periods can also make you feel dizzy and nauseous.
2. Extremely heavy flow
It may seem like a lot, but the average amount of bleeding varies anywhere between 5 ml to 80 ml. A heavy period is one where you bleed more than 80 ml in a single cycle. You can measure this using a menstrual cup. Another safe estimate to determine whether you’re bleeding too heavily is to see if you’re pad or tampon is soaked in less than two hours. Excessive bleeding can also cause light-headedness and fainting spells.
3. A period that lasts for too long
Every woman’s period is unique. Hence, the average duration of a period varies from three days to seven days. In case you have a period that lasts for eight days or beyond, you should ideally speak with a doctor. It could be the symptom of an underlying medical condition.
4. A missed period
Most women are extremely careful about their period dates. Even a single day’s delay can become a cause of worry. A missed, or a late period doesn’t just point towards pregnancy but can also signal a developing hormonal or reproductive problem. So, stay alert about your period date, and in case of a missed or delayed period, set up an appointment with your doctor.
5. Bleeding in-between periods
Vaginal bleeding is normal when you have your period, but anything you spot in-between your usual dates, is something to take notice of. Often called intermenstrual bleeding, spotting, and metrorrhagia, abnormal bleeding can point to some serious medical conditions. It is important to get yourself checked at the earliest.
So, ladies, be aware of even the slightest change in your period, because it can prove to give you insights into your health status!