It’s important to pay attention to your period so that you can learn what is normal for you. This will also help you notice when something is amiss. Dr Leah Millheiser, an OB/GYN, when speaking to Cosmopolitan added that one way to know the status of your health is by paying more attention to your period. If you notice any of these symptoms, see your gynaecologist for further diagnosis.
The normalcy of menstrual flow varies from one woman to the other. However, if you notice your flow is different, it could be a sign of an underlying problem.
A flow that is heavier than usual can be cause for alarm. It could be an indication of conditions such as fibroids, hypothyroidism or may well be as a result of taking some medications or birth control.
The colour of your period varies throughout the duration of your period. For women with regular periods, it starts off as bright red before darkening to a brownish colour as you near the end of your period.
If you notice darker blood, it could just be old blood, as Dr Millheiser explained. It could also be as a result of using an intrauterine device (IUD) which makes you lose less blood than usual so it stays in your body longer, oxidises and turns brownish.
The severity of cramps will vary from woman to woman and depending on what day you are on in your cycle. You experience cramps because the muscles of your uterus shrink in order to remove the lining.
Severe cramps might be a sign of endometriosis a condition where cells that should be growing in your uterus grow on the outside. When it’s time for them to be shed, they are shed just like those that are shed during your period.
While some women usually have an irregular flow, if this isn’t normal for you, it could be a sign of another problem. Stress is one common cause of an irregular flow.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can also bring about an irregular flow. This is a hormonal disorder, where a woman produces more androgen, a male hormone, leading to weight gain and hair growth.
Scar tissue, say from an abortion, might also hinder the removal of the uterine lining. Those who exercise intensely consequently produce less hormones which can result in less to no bleeding during your period.
It’s normal to have small clots that come occasionally in the course of your period. However, if they are larger and more frequent this could be a sign of conditions like fibroids, hypothyroidism and anaemia.