Questions About Your Menstrual Period

Published February 21, 2013 by teacher dahl

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Don’t let your period cramp your style each month. Once you know the answers to these eight questions, you’ll be able to master your menstrual cycle.

1. Is Moodiness Normal?

Feel crabby if you run out of chocolate just before your period? Cry when watchingTwilight for the umpteenth time? Mood swings are, for the most part, normal around the time of your cycle.

That’s about your hormones, which can also prompt headaches, fatigue, bloating, acne, tender breasts, or food cravings. Those are symptoms of PMS (premenstrual syndrome). Most women, but not all, have some PMS symptoms before their periods. They’re usually mild. But if yours feel extreme, mention it to your doctor.

2. How Bad Should Cramps Be?

It’s OK if they’re mild, but see your doctor if they’re really bad.

Many teen girls and women get cramps for a few days when their period starts. You feel this as achy muscles below the belly button and sometimes in your low back.

That’s a side effect of a hormone called prostaglandin.

Mild pain is no cause for worry. If your cramps are so strong that you double over in pain, call for a checkup. Your doctor may be able to treat painful periods that have a physical cause.

3. Am I Bleeding Too Much?

To tell if your flow is too heavy, count your pads or tampons. More than ten per day is too many. Soaking through an entire pad, every hour, for several hours in a row might be a problem. Same if your period lasts longer than seven days.

Check with your doctor to see if you need an office visit to deal with heavy flow.

It can seem like you change pads or tampons a lot. Yet the total blood lost is less than you may think. A woman normally produces about two tablespoons of menstrual fluid each cycle.

Your flow will likely be light at first, and heavier the second day. Then it tapers off as your period ends.

4. Isn’t Blood Supposed to Be Red?

Your menstrual blood can be any shade between red and dark brown. It may look almost inky black near the end of your period. Darker color shows older blood that doesn’t leave the body quickly. It’s OK.

5. What Are Those Clots I See?

Clumps of blood sometimes pass with your period. These clots are usually harmless. You’re most likely to see them on your heaviest day of bleeding.

If you start seeing a lot more clots than normal, or you have one that is larger than a quarter, tell your doctor. In some cases, clots can be caused by a miscarriage, a fibroid, or hormonal changes.

6. Why Does My Gut Feel Blah, Too? 

It’s another side effect of the hormone called prostaglandin. It causes the muscles in your bowels to contract. This is why you can have loose stools, diarrhea, and stomach pain when you get your period.

7. What if My Cycle Has a Mind of Its Own?

It sure would be nice to know exactly when you’ll get your period. But that depends on when your body releases an egg, called ovulating. If you don’t ovulate every month (and you may not at first), you won’t have regular cycles.

It’s tricky for almost everyone to pinpoint a start date, except women taking birth control pills, which regulate your cycle.

Many women get their period about every 28 days. A regular cycle is from 25 to 35 days. To determine the days in your own monthly cycle, count from the first day you start bleeding until the first day you start bleeding again.

You may not get the same number of days next month. So it’s a good idea to be ready for your period to start a bit sooner than you expect.

8. Why Did I Miss My Period?

If you’re having sex, your first thought is apt to be, ”Yikes, am I pregnant?” You could be. Another possibility is changing hormone levels.

Check with your doctor when:

  • A pregnancy test is negative and your period is still missing.
  • Your periods were once regular, but no longer show up when they should.source: Web MD

7 comments on “Questions About Your Menstrual Period

    • Irregular Periods
      Irregular periods aren’t unusual they affect about 30% of women in their reproductive years. An irregular period is any type of bleeding that is abnormal when compared to your usual menstrual cycle. This can include a late period, an early period or bleeding between periods. It can also appear as particularly heavy bleeding (menorrhagia) or scanty bleeding. Many women also experience irregular periods in the form of a missed period, continuous periods, or periods that occur twice in one cycle.

      Causes of Irregular Periods
      Irregular menstrual periods are usually the result of hormonal signals that have been thrown out of sync. In order to produce a period, your body makes hormones, like estrogen and progesterone. These hormones are kept in the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and ovaries inside your body. In order to trigger ovulation and menstruation, these parts of the body need to send signals to one another. Sometimes, these signals get crossed or skipped, causing irregular periods.
      Thanks for this question..Keep in touch.

      Like

    • Regular Periods
      Before we can define an irregular period, we must first determine what a regular period is. People often say that a regular period occurs every 28 days, but actually, every woman’s menstrual cycle is different. Depending on your body and your hormones, you may get your period every 20 days or your may get your period every 35 days. A good way to determine if your periods are regular is to keep a chart and count the number of days between each period. If they occur with roughly the same number of days between each cycle, then your periods are regular. A regular period typically lasts 5 days, but it is completely normal to menstruate for anywhere between 3 and 7 days.
      Thanks for being interested. I hope i was able to help.

      Like

  • Thank you for writing this article. I found it extremely “spot on”–no pun intended 😉 I invite you and your followers to join us and health expert Nicole Jardim on Facebook.com/scensiblebags this Thursday at 11am PST for a live Facebook Chat where we dish about all thinks period and answer your juiciest questions!

    Like

    • You’re welcome. Thanks also for reading this blog, and for your invitation. I am not sure about live chat with my student-followers, as right now it is school break and they are on summer vacation. Maybe if i will post it on my wall and they have read it, they might be interested.
      Keep in touch, the Feminine touch way.

      Like

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