4 Warning Signs of Possible Period Problems
Updated: Jan 7
While no one really likes getting their period and while most women will experience a little bit of irregularity or discomfort at some point with their menstruation cycles, these symptoms can sometimes be extreme or more persistent.
Too often, as well, women essentially suffer in the proverbial silence rather than bring it up to a doctor – or even a friend – thanks to long-standing stigmas and may even assume their problems are actually normal.
If you are experiencing one of these four symptoms, it may be a sign to reach out to your physician:
SEVERELY PAINFUL CRAMPS
Listen, unfortunately, a little bit of cramping is going to be a normal part of having a period (joy!) but if you are experiencing cramps that are on a whole other level – we’re talking extremely painful or unnaturally persistent – there could be a more serious underlying issue such as endometriosis. If your regular heating pads and Ibuprofen regimens are not working and you find yourself doubling over in pain – reach out.
Additionally, if you are experiencing period-like cramps outside of your cycle (i.e., when you are not bleeding), that could indicate ovarian cysts, so make an appointment with your doctor right away.
We have been conditioned to track our periods since the day we first got one, so most women know with reasonably high accuracy just when to expect their period each month. Whether you use a notebook, Google calendar or even just your good old-fashioned memory, you have an idea if you usually expect your period every 25 days, every 30 days, every 35 days, etc.
Not every woman is going to have an exact 30-day cycle, and that is totally normal! What is not normal, however, is if your cycle spacing fluctuates: 30 days one time, 20 days the next, 45 days after that and so on. If you are experiencing peaks and valleys in your cycle, you should reach out to a medical professional as there may be some underlying health issues affecting your body.
A step removed from irregular periods, completely skipping your period altogether – while that may sound like a dream come true – is actually a warning sign of something underlying. If you miss only one period, perhaps due to being under a lot of stress at a certain point in time, that can be normal.
However, missing periods more than once can be a bit of a red flag (no pun intended). You could be experiencing thyroid issues or a hormone imbalance.
Some of us may be cursed to bleed heavier than others, but if you are bleeding to the point of feeling completely fatigued or are suddenly experiencing a noticeable increase in the heaviness of your flow, you may want to reach out as that could be a sign of internal issues.
Additionally, if you find yourself worried about bleeding through, leak-proof underwear offers more coverage and more comfort than a traditional tampon.
No two periods are alike, but make sure you are consulting with your doctor if any issues or questions arise.