It’s not always easy to know what’s “normal” when it comes to your period. Most women have menstrual cycles that last between 21-35 days, with periods lasting anywhere from 2-7 days.
Period symptoms vary between women, and even from month to month in the same woman, but there are some issues that are never considered normal. From heavy menstrual bleeding to severe menstrual cramps, it’s important to recognize when your menstruation issues might need medical attention.
At Abortion Care, Dr. Sanford White and our team specialize in diagnosing and treating gynecologic issues that impact your menstrual cycle and your quality of life. Through our comprehensive well-woman exam services, we’re here to help you.
We recommend scheduling an OB/GYN appointment to discuss your menstruation issues if you’re suffering from any of the following menstrual symptoms.
Abnormal menstrual bleeding
The first day of your period marks the beginning of a new menstrual cycle each month. If you aren’t pregnant, your uterus sheds its lining and the tissue exits your body in the form of menstrual bleeding.
Every woman’s menstrual flow is different, but irregular periods could be a sign of an underlying condition. Light (or nonexistent) periods may be considered normal if you’re on certain types of hormonal birth control, but inconsistent periods aren’t normal if you’re not taking birth control. Irregular or absent periods may indicate problems with ovulation.
On the other hand, menstrual bleeding that’s very heavy could also indicate a problem.
You could be suffering from abnormally heavy periods if:
- Periods last longer than seven days
- Blood soaks through a pad or tampon within an hour
- You need to change pads or tampons at night
- You need to use more than one pad at a time
- You pass blood clots that are larger than a quarter
Periods that are consistently too heavy can interrupt your daily life, make you feel fatigued, and even contribute to anemia in severe cases.
Chronic pelvic pain
Many women experience pelvic pain in the days leading up to their menstrual periods and the first few days after bleeding starts. When you have your period, your uterus contracts to shed its lining, and it’s this action that causes menstrual cramps.
The severity of menstrual cramps varies from woman to woman, but there are some signs that indicate your cramps could be worse than normal.
Make an appointment with us if you have cramps that:
- Don’t improve with over-the-counter pain relievers
- Come along with heavy bleeding
- Interfere with normal daily activities
Pelvic pain that occurs outside your menstrual period is a sign that you should visit the doctor, too. Pain with sexual intercourse, urination, or bowel movements isn’t normal and may require medical attention.
If the length of your menstrual cycle varies by more than 7-9 days between months, it’s considered abnormal. For example, if your cycle is 21 days one month and 35 days the next month, and a varied pattern continues, it’s considered irregular.
Ignoring abnormal period symptoms like heavy bleeding, severe pelvic pain, or irregular cycles could put your health at risk. Many of these symptoms are signs of underlying conditions like endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Seeking treatment for your menstruation issues gives us the opportunity to diagnose and treat any gynecologic conditions affecting your health. Treatments often include hormonal birth control or minor, in-office procedures aimed at reducing menstrual bleeding and pelvic pain.
Even if we don’t detect an underlying health issue, starting birth control can help regulate your periods and put an end to severe menstrual symptoms.
There’s no reason to suffer from abnormal period symptoms in silence. Schedule a well-woman visit at Abortion Care to get the medical attention you need. Call our office in Somerset, New Jersey, at 732-408-6182 or send us a message online.