Is your period your best friend? If you compare the amount of time you spend with Aunt Flo to that of your friends, she’d probably eclipse their time doubly! Your period is something you can rely on when you’re a woman unless you’re pregnant or on birth control.
The 30+ years that you spend with your period can differ depending on how old you are. When you’re a bright, young 20-something, your period might perform one way while this can very well change in your 40s as you near your menopausal years. What should you expect from your period in your 20s, 30s, and 40s? Let’s find out!
You love consistency, don’t you? So do we! When it comes to your period during your 20s, if there’s one thing you should expect, it’s for your period to regulate itself. After the fluctuating hormones that you can associate with puberty and being a teenager, your menstrual cycle will begin to “normalize” during this decade. An entire menstrual cycle can last from 21 to 45 days and an average period can range from 2 to 7 days.
While you can expect for your period to become more predictable during this time, factors such as pregnancy or birth control will affect your flow.
Let’s keep the consistency going, shall we? During your 30s, your period should continue to be a regular appearance in your life. While things like period trackers might help you narrow it down to the day, for the most part, your flow should continue on its regular path. This is true IF you have yet to have your first child. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), women are having their first child around the age of 28 and with pregnancy often comes a change in your period.
Being pregnant immediately changes your period because your menstrual cycle stops. Even after giving birth, it takes a few weeks for your period to return. If you’re breastfeeding, it could take weeks or even months for your period to return. Many women have even attested to changes in the length of their cycle and flow after pregnancy. The luckier ones might sometimes find that their cramps are easier to deal with!
Did you love the consistency? Get ready to kiss it goodbye! When you enter your 40s, this marks the beginning of your perimenopausal years meaning the time before you actually go through menopause. While you might not have entered it yet, your body begins to prepare itself for the change. This once again means fluctuations in your period. Menopause marks the end of your menstrual cycle, and this is why missed periods are a big part of that time.
While this is most of what you could expect while on your period, there are always factors that could change. If you have concerns about what’s happening to your body, don’t keep them to yourself! A trip to the gynecologist can either put you at ease or help you catch a problem you weren’t aware of.