A woman’s menstrual cycle is likely to differ from another’s more than often. One can experience three days of bleeding while another may have regular bleeding for seven days. Both can be fine possibly a ‘normal’ menstrual cycle does not follow restricted boundaries.
A woman should essentially consider whether her cycle has changed in any way. Tracking one’s own menstrual cycle is important as it can furnish the primary hint when something is going wrong (or about to go wrong) and likely to create problem(s). The following things can spell problem in menstrual cycle and should be heeded.
Symptoms Of Menstrual Cycle Problems
Irregular Or Stopped Periods
Menstrual cycle can stop depending upon your age. If you are in your 20s or 30s, you should be getting periods regularly compared to another woman in her 40s or 50s (perimenopause). The period surrounding menopause causes ovaries to slow estrogen production and complete stoppage is usually around age 51.
Women who exercise excessively are likely to experience irregular periods. Female athletes may also stop getting their periods owing to excessive hard work (exercise-induced amenorrhea). Even ballet dancers may experience this because they affect their production and regulation of reproductive hormones.
So, if you have ‘normally’ active lifestyle and still upto 30s, you should be getting regular periods. If you are not, there may possibly be something incorrect (except for the cases/causes described above).
Usually, a woman sheds only about 2-3 tablespoons of blood every month. But heavy periods can cause her to lose more blood and along with lose iron, an important hemoglobin producer. It is the key to transporting oxygen throughout the body which keeps it alive and functionally active.
Regular heavy flow must not be ignored and brought to the notice of your doctor so that the iron levels do not fall below the required levels and cause problems.
Bleeding In Between Periods
Once your bleeding is over, you should not bleed in between periods. If you bleed between periods, consider it a warning sign and consult a doctor. Although this essentially may not be harmful, bleeding in between periods should never be ignored.
There can be many reasons for this including an irritated sore in the vaginal area and inappropriate intake of your birth control pill. Nonetheless, the cause may also be a serious one as an ectopic pregnancy or even cancer.
You may experience (temporary) thick and/or heavy flow during bleeding which may be harmless. There can be changes in the color and composition of blood. However, certain problems might also cause abnormal clots or bring changes in color or thickness of the blood.
Miscarriage can cause passing of blood clots (or gray clumps of tissue) from the vagina. Should you suspect pregnancy, consult the doctor immediately on noticing excessive clotting (or bleeding). Polyps in the uterus can also lead to clots or color change.
Pain can be normal in menstrual cycle making your uncomfortable during that week every month. Usually, women experience cramps owing to the contraction of the uterus when the lining is being shed. The pain or discomfort is generally mild and goes away spontaneously.
However, some women experience intense pain and can also get other symptoms as diarrhea, vomiting, headache and discomfort in the lower back.
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