By: Amanda Anderson
It is the one time of the month that every woman hates. During our menstrual cycle, we cramp, we’re irritated, and we secretly want to locate Eve’s ass and drag her to the pits of hell for setting every woman up for this unwanted monthly visitor that brings us nothing but trouble.
It’s no secret that it sucks when our monthly visitor arrives, and we may suck teeth and complain about its visit; but when it doesn’t show up or acts all kind of crazy, we start to feel like our whole life is in shambles.
Before you make that trip to the doctor, here’s a few things you need to know about your menstrual cycle. Who knows, maybe these facts could save you a trip.
So what exactly is a normal period anyway?
We’ve been told since our Sex-Ed days that an average menstrual cycle comes every 28 days. But the fact is, there are many women who receive their periods every 21 days. And 21 days is pretty normal and nothing to panic about.
The average time span of a menstrual cycle is 3 to 5 days. But some women are completely cursed, and will have their cycle for a full 7 days.
Neither one of these factors truly matter as each woman is different. So don’t be alarmed if your numbers don’t look anything like these.
What really matters
So if the time span or frequency of a woman’s menstrual cycle don’t really matter that much, what does? Changes.
Women should be concerned if they recognize too many changes in their cycle. It is not normal for a woman to experience frequent changes in the time span and frequency of her menstrual cycle.
If you’ve noticed that your period has slowed or stopped completely, there is definitely something unhealthy going on with your body. If you aren’t approaching your 50s, you shouldn’t experience a stopped menstrual cycle.
Causes of a stopped period in young women other than pregnancy is excessive exercise. Yes ladies, it’s totally possible to exercise so much that you become unhealthy.
And ladies who are experiencing excessive dieting can also stop their periods.
More serious and life threatening causes of stopped periods are stress, Ovarian failure, disease of the uterus, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, thyroid or pituitary gland disorders, disorder of the hypothalamus, and obesity.
If your period has stopped completely and you’re in your 20s and 30s with no proof of pregnancy, see a doctor immediately.
During a menstrual cycle, most women will only lose about 2 to 3 tablespoons of blood every month. Those with heavier cycles will bleed about 5 or more tablespoons.
Heavy menstrual cycles are one of the greatest causes of anemia in most women. Those who lose more blood, also lose large amounts of iron. Low iron levels causes one to become Anemic.
Anemia is a very common health condition, but even it can be life threatening if it becomes severe and is left untreated. Blood transfusions could be needed if you don’t catch anemia in enough time.
Other causes of heavy flows are a change in birth control, miscarriages, clotting disorders, cancer of the uterus, and Uterine Fibroids.
Oral contraceptives are effective in lightening the flow of your menstrual cycle, so speak with your doctor to find a contraceptive that will work for your case. If you take contraceptives and find no improvement in blood loss, you might need an ultrasound immediately.
Spotting Between Periods
This is a serious condition and should not be taken lightly. There is nothing regular about bleeding in between periods.
Causes of spotting can be an irritated sore in the vaginal area, failure to properly take your birth control, as well as more serious causes such as miscarriages and cancer.
Be sure to see your doctor immediately if you are bleeding between periods.
Pain During Menstrual Cycles
It’s normal to cramp during your period, but if you find that pain medication such as Aspirin isn’t doing the trick, and you can’t seem to get out of bed, you need to contact a doctor immediately.
Excessive pain is just not normal during a menstrual cycle.
Painful periods, called dysmenorrhea, are accompanied by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, and discomfort in the lower back.
A pap smear, pelvic exam, ultrasound or laparoscopy are essential to finding out the cause in an intense menstrual cycle. To battle the intensity, a pain medication prescribed by your doctor can also cut out intense cramps and discomfort.
Be sure to pay close attention to your menstrual cycle and report any unwarranted changes to your doctor immediately.