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All women have a love – hate relationship with their period. From the cramps to the blood, everything about your period seems to hamper you! But skipping a period means the beginning of another kind of anxiety. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have a new member added to your family soon – it could also indicate health problems!
Yes – you read that right! You’ll be surprised to know just how many signs from your period can indicate health problems you could be having – problems that you should immediately get checked! Knowing a few things about your period can come extremely handy in the long run even if there’s nothing wrong with your menstrual cycle at the moment. Here are a few critical warning signals you need to watch out for to find out what your period says about you:
Some of us have it lucky with minimal cramps that barely slow us down. For most us though, menstrual cramps are a constant through those five days. However, if your cramps are so bad that you they hinder you from going about your daily routine and you need to take leaves or holidays and stay in bed – you might be facing a problem. If, despite taking over-the-counter pain killers, your cramps are not bearable, you might have endometriosis, a condition where the uterine tissue (that forms the lining of the uterus and shed during periods) is outside the uterus. Since, during periods when the lining sheds, the blood doesn’t have anywhere to exit the body – it results in these cramps.
Endrometriosis has other symptoms as well, like heavy flow and bleeding between periods. It can cause infertility issues as well.
Colour and Consistency of Period
Period colours can indicate a lot of things about your health. The ideal colour and consistency of a period is cranberry juice red – a nice, saturated red!
If the colour is darker with a thicker ’clotty’ texture, then it means that your estrogen levels are high. If there are too many clots, you need to watch out for a hormonal imbalance and maybe even uterine fibroids. Don’t panic – they’re mostly benign – but they can be painful! Cutting on consumption of soy, dairy and sugar could help you in such cases.
If the color of period blood is on the other end of the spectrum with a pinkish colour, you could have low estrogen levels. If this is extremely sudden, due to a workout change or accompanied by watery consistency, you may have a nutritional imbalance or be at risk of osteoporosis or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). However, it could also mean you are entering the perimenopause stage where your body is preparing itself for menopause. It is best to get it checked by your doctor in any case. ||
Flow of Period
On an average, women lose about a cup’s worth of blood per blood. However at times, women do experience heavy flow, and if consistent, it can cause anameia, fertility issues, uterine fibroids, or as discussed above, endometriosis.
On the other hand, a very light period could be the result of a variety of reasons ranging from hormonal or nutritional imbalance, stress or even perimenopause. However, abnormally light periods could also mean you are at risk or have more serious health issues like autoimmune disorders, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), or Asherman’s syndrome.
Frequency of Period
The average period lasts two to seven days and occurs every 21 to 35 days. The menstrual cycle ideally becomes more regular as you age. However, irregular periods past your teens could be a result of stress, extreme weight loss, pregnancy, consumption of excessive alcohol or the use of certain drugs. Birth control pills can also cause light spotting between periods. However, if you’re spotting without taking these pills, you should get evaluated immediately as it is a symptom of cancer or pre-cancer. It could also be a sign of a vaginal infection or a hormonal imbalance. Irregular periods from time to time shouldn’t be a cause of worry but its best to get checked by your doctor especially if this happens for a prolonged time.
If you have a surprise period with no bloating, PMS or other any symptoms that you generally experience, there’s a chance you’re not ovulating. This is mostly seen in overweight or obese woman and could be an indicator of the fact that you’re pre-diabetic since insulin resistance can effect on your menstrual cycle. It’s imperative you get checked by your doctor and look at a weight control program – especially if you’re planning a pregnancy.