Menstrual Cycle Changes: What Do They Mean and Should I Worry?
Have you been going through menstrual cycle changes? Are you concerned or just curious about what the changes could mean? Keep reading to find out.
What is Normal?
Having periods that are not quite regular or perfectly regular, light to heavy flow, painful or free from pain can all be normal. Cycles tend to become more regular as we get older and then start to become irregular when we get closer to menopause.
Why Am I Having Menstrual Cycle Changes?
There are several reasons this could be happening. We’ll take a deeper look at a few of the reasons.
Keep in mind that certain types of birth control methods can change your cycles. If you’ve recently changed to a new birth control method such as an IUD or a different type of pill, it is likely the culprit. Check with your doctor to be on the safe side.
Additionally, you should track your cycle to be sure you know what is normal for you. Take a look at THIS blog to learn how to keep track of your cycle.
Your menstrual cycle typically changes all the time, but you may not notice. Slight differences in color, consistency, and timing can happen without any indication or real reason. But what about those big changes that are drastic enough to cause concern?
Last month, everything was normal. Your cycle started out light, then got a little bit heavier, then lightened up again and stopped. This month is entirely different.
You’re flowing like a river and you have to keep changing pads and tampons. You have cramps. It’s downright uncomfortable, and it’s lasting longer than normal!
Heavy or prolonged bleeding during your period is called Menorrhagia. Most women who have heavy bleeding, do not have menorrhagia. If you have menorrhagia, you cannot function properly.
According to the Mayo clinic,
Signs and symptoms of menorrhagia may include:
Soaking through one or more sanitary pads or tampons every hour for several consecutive hoursNeeding to use double sanitary protection to control your menstrual flowNeeding to wake up to change sanitary protection during the nightBleeding for longer than a weekPassing blood clots larger than a quarterRestricting daily activities due to heavy menstrual flowSymptoms of anemia, such as tiredness, fatigue or shortness of breath
The amount of blood lost with menorrhagia can cause problems such as anemia, if not treated. If you have any of these symptoms, you should talk to your doctor. He or she may be able to help you.
If you know how long your period usually lasts, you will notice if it is shorter or longer than normal. Likewise, if you know when you are supposed to start your period, you will know if you are bleeding in
If your period is more painful than normal, or if you experience a different type of pain, there could be an underlying cause. Have your doctor examine you to make sure you are healthy and nothing is going on with your reproductive system.
If you experience pain in different areas of your abdomen during your period, it could be endometriosis. This is when the lining of the uterus grows in other areas of the body. It can be extremely painful when the lining sheds. Read more about endometriosis HERE.
Changes in Mood or Behavior
Has your mood changed? Are you moodier or more emotional than normal, or are you feeling numb and distant? Pay attention to your moods and make sure things are emotionally stable.
Discuss These Changes With Your Doctor
If you have these menstrual cycle changes, please talk to your doctor. Some changes are natural, but drastic, sudden changes can indicate some underlying condition.
Your doctor can do an examination and perform any necessary tests to figure out why you’ve had these changes. It is better to be safe than sorry. If you learn there is an underlying cause, your doctor can treat the problem.
It is a good practice to know your cycle and be aware of any differences that may arise. If you catch problems early, it’s often easier to treat them.
If you know about a problem that may cause fertility issues, you can start discussing options with your doctor ahead of time. That way, when you’re ready to have a baby, you will know of any challenges you may face.
If you need a little extra help in the fertility department, you can try herbal supplements. Here at Bioterra Herbs, we have a great all-natural, vegan, non-GMO certified Female Fertility supplement. You can get it online at CVS! Just click the image below and it will take you right to the product page!