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We girls hate that time of the month when our body becomes a walking tap of blood but when that doesn’t show itself for a month or two, we become even more paranoid, because that means something is wrong with our body. Well, it is not just when we miss our monthly cycle, that it is a matter of concern. Sometimes, you need to notice some subtle shifts and changes like irregularity in flow, unbearable cramps, to know about the disparities demanding to be addressed.
However, there is no definition of a perfect period but there are certainly few aspects that determine whether you are healthy or not. You should watch for intense red flow without any mucus or clots and with little-to-temperate swelling, cramping and mood swings.
However, the good news is that it is not as difficult as rocket science. You'll just have to analyze it closely, and with the points below, you can easily understand if anything is wrong or not.
When we say heavy, it means you'll have to change your pad, cup or tampon four or five times a day. Heavy bleeding can be a serious issue as it can mean you have endometriosis, polyps or severe tumors that can adversely affect your fertility. Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, an OBGYN professor at Yale School of Medicine and author of A Woman's Guide to Sexual Health, tells Health.com that this is more common as we age, but it's more likely to happen to African-American women. A rarer cause, but one that is worth looking into if you're releasing more than a cup of blood daily, is Von Willebrand disease, a bleeding disorder that prevents the body from clotting.
If you are taking birth control then light flow is self-explanatory but if you are not on birth control or any other non-hormonal IUD and you are using nothing more than a panty liner than you are most probably having hormonal disbalance. Dr. Adelaide Nardone, clinical OBGYN instructor at Brown University, says that if your period is super light, you might have a problem with your thyroid or pituitary gland. There's even a small chance that you are carting around a Mullerian anomaly, a disorder resulting in a malformed hymen, which stops the menstrual blood from naturally exiting the body. Strangely light periods are sometimes also linked to autoimmune disorders and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Any unexpected and unrelated bleeding to your normal cycle is called breakthrough bleeding. If you are on a birth control pill, this is a normal side-effect. Although, if you are not a pill user, you should definitely talk to your gynecologist regarding it because these breakthrough bleeding could be an indication of cervical or uterine polyps, which is the result of too much estrogen in your body. It can also point towards fibroids or any other dangerous infections. And, vaginal bleeding is linked to cancer too.
If you experience mind-numbing cramps during your periods and thinking that it is a normal occurrence, then you are wrong. Curling up in a soothing position to lessen the pain might be normal but the pain to continue for more than two days is harmful for you. . Dr. Daniela Carusi, director of General Gynecology at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, told O magazine that young women come into her office all the time under the impression that they are required to endure mind-numbing cramps - yet it's harmful to ourselves if we keep quiet about them.
If your very first though on late period is that you might be pregnant, then congratulations! But if the possibility of that happening is zero to none, then there are few other things to be aware of. Dr. Carusi says you might not be ovulating regularly or could have PCOS, making it harder for you to know your fertile days. If you are obese or have a very low percentage of body fat, there might be a serious imbalance, meaning it's time to make some permanent changes in your life. Women who are overweight and missing periods need to check to see if they have Type 2 diabetes, because insulin resistance directly affects the ovaries. So if you experience any of the above issues, do not just sit there, talk to your doctor now!