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Here's How to Find the Cause of Period Problems

Posted on June 03, 2024

Talking about period problems can be uncomfortable, but pretending they don't exist could cause problems for your overall health. Now, some discomfort during your period is normal. So, how can you decide if a menstrual symptom is concerning, and worth discussing with your OBGYN? This post highlights abnormal menstrual symptoms that could be a sign of a problem, while helping you get a better understanding of what happens to your body during that time of the month.

two menstrual pads

What even is a period?

A period describes the time when you shed the uterine lining that has built up during the month in anticipation of pregnancy. If you don't become pregnant, though, your body's hormone levels will drop and the lining will separate from the uterine wall, getting shed as period blood.

Period Problems: How Much Pain is Too Much?

During your period, it's normal to experience cramps in your stomach, or radiating to your back or thighs. Usually, the cramps will improve within three days of the start of your flow. But if your menstrual cramps are severe, get worse throughout your period, or become a problem when you're not on your flow, that's a symptom worth mentioning to a healthcare provider.

Go with the Blood Flow

For most women, the flow of blood is heaviest at the start of the menstrual cycles, becoming lighter as the days pass. So, if you have heavy bleeding for days, (meaning you need to change your pad or tampon every hour); if you regularly leak through your menstrual hygiene products; or can't sleep through the night without waking to change your pad; your cycle could be abnormal, suggesting an underlying condition and increasing your risk for anemia.

Period Clots and Cycle Timing

Many women pass small clumps of blood during their cycle, and this is totally normal, especially when you first start your flow days. But passing clots that are larger than a quarter, or passing multiple clots, could be a sign of period problems worth discussing with an expert.

The timing of your cycle could also become cause for concern. Most women's menstrual cycles (lasting from the first day of one period to the first day of the next) measure between 21 and 35 days. And, during that cycle, you'll probably bleed for 3 to 8 days. So, if you miss a few cycles but aren't pregnant, or if you get your period twice a month, talk to your healthcare provider, since these could be signs of an underlying health condition.

Now, we don't want you to stress. Because, when you speak up about period problems with your doctor, it's almost always possible to figure out the cause...and find a solution! And, if fibroids are the source of changes to your period, click here to request an appointment to explore your fibroid treatment options in Georgia.

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