Is My Period Normal?
While having a period is a shared experience among most women, it is not always a subject openly discussed. Because of this, many women may lack awareness of what is normal versus abnormal when it comes to their menstrual cycle.
A regular menstrual cycle looks like this:
- A cycle length of 28-32 days. This is counted from the first day of one period (the day bleeding starts) to the first day of the next.
- Duration of bleeding lasting 2 to 7 days
- None to light cramping
- Bright red to slightly dark red in colour, smooth texture with little to no clots
- Lower energy, needing more rest, slightly irritable
- Cravings for sweet, savoury or salty foods
Here are five common menstrual issues that every woman should be aware of:
If bleeding is interfering with your normal activities, it is considered heavy. Almost 1 in 5 women bleed so heavily during their periods, that they are unable to complete everyday tasks. Heavy menstrual bleeding can be caused by many factors such as hormonal imbalances, fibroids, and other medical conditions that you should be assessed for.
When there are no menstrual periods at all, this condition is called amenorrhea. In women who have turned 16 but have not yet started menstruation, this is likely linked to an issue in the hormonal regulation system (aka the endocrine system). When a woman has had regular periods and then suddenly no periods for three months or longer, it may be due to hormonal issues.
Light to moderate cramping is to be expected due to uterine contractions. This has likely been experienced by most women at some point. However, if cramps are especially painful and interfere with regular activities, it is called dysmenorrhea.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
PMS has many faces with the most common being depression. Approximately 40% of women experience symptoms of PMS severe enough to disrupt daily life. Other symptoms include headaches, fatigue, tender breasts, anger, anxiety, and mood swings. These appear about a week before flow and disappear upon flow.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
PMDD is extreme PMS that majorly interferes with everyday life. It causes a complete personality shift in the person the week leading up to their period. The most common symptoms include extremely heightened irritability, anxiety, and mood swings.
If you have any of these issues or want to optimize your menstrual health, book a complimentary meet and greet with one of our Naturopathic doctors to find out how we can help.