This article is written by medical professional Dr. Alice Byram, whom you can read more about at the end of the article.
Is your period causing problems? Period problems can mean anything from having an irregular flow to suffering extreme PMS symptoms. If problems with your periods are affecting your life, there's help and support available. Many menstrual problems are very common, we can help you diagnose your problem, suggest solutions and help you decide when to see a doctor. We also have a range of special health posts about how to keep your pelvic floor strong and avoid prolapses. These exercises are for everyone to do at any time, any place and as often as possible.
What Are The Symptoms Of Abnormal Periods?
Periods are not always straightforward! To find out if your periods are abnormal look at the most common symptoms of abnormal menstruation below. The links will take you to our medically reviewed posts with more extensive information.
- What is a normal quantity of menstrual flow? It varies in duration and quantity and many people are not aware that there may be a solution to their menstrual flow issues. A Ruby Cup will help you quantify how much flow you have and our heavy periods post will explain why it might be happening.
- Heavy periods can be caused by:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
Bleeding between periods or abnormal uterine bleeding.
- If you track your period you may notice bleeding when you weren’t expecting it.
- Working out where the bleeding comes from is the first part and then you can speak to your doctor about possible causes which include:
- PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome)
- Vaginal cancer
- Ectopic pregnancy
- You may be used to having irregular periods, but sometimes this should be a trigger for you to see your doctor. We explain when to consult a health professional and also which lifestyle factors such as sudden weight changes can lead to irregular periods.
- Dysmenorrhea or menstrual cramps can really affect your quality of life. You may have been putting up with them all your life but it’s never too late to find out if there is a treatment for you.
- Some of the reasons to see a doctor include:
- Period pain radiating down your legs
- Period pain with a temperature
- Period pain with a smelly discharge
- In addition to medications, there are a few proven natural remedies.
- Find out if and when blood clots are normal. See your doctor if you have any of the following:
- You feel faint
- The clots are bigger than usual
- Your period is lasting longer than usual
- You have a temperature
- Other reasons
- Using a Ruby Cup will mean that you can see the clots better than if you use other menstrual products.
- Periods can come early for a variety of reasons including forgetting your contraceptive pill, stress or even not getting enough sleep.
Health Conditions Linked To Periods And Your Menstrual Cycle.
There are a variety of health conditions which are linked to your menstrual cycle. Even if you don’t have the condition yourself, friends or family may. Knowing what they are going through can help you support and understand them.
Your first period
- Although not a problem in itself you may want more information about what happens when your first period arrives. Our information is useful if you need a reminder of the facts for your daughter or other young people you know.
PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
- 1 in 5 women in England are affected by PCOS and getting the diagnosis is the first step to getting help with the symptoms.
- If you have any of the following, consult your doctor:
- Irregular periods
- Increased hair including increased facial hair or loss of hair on your head
- Problems getting pregnant
- Rapid weight changes
- Depression and mood swings
- Endometriosis is a vastly underdiagnosed condition which affects the lives of millions of people across the world. Uterus-like cells are found outside the uterus (or womb).
- Some of the symptoms include:
- Pain when having sex
- Back pain
- Pain on urinating
- Period-like pain at other times of the month
- Have you ever noticed that your hair is falling out, that you have a fast heart rate or that you are tired all the time? You may even have an uncontrollable desire to eat ice. This can all be signs or symptoms of anemia.
- PMS is linked to your menstrual cycle and can really affect your life. If you need help with dealing with PMS, we have some proven solutions.
- Sometimes some of the symptoms you have you may not have even realised were linked to PMS such as diarrhoea.
- TSS or toxic shock syndrome occasionally created worrying headlines in the press. We explain what it is, how it is linked to menstrual products and what you need to keep a lookout for.
Written by Dr Alice Byram Bsc Med & Surg UMA MA Hons MML Cantab
Dr Alice Byram was born in England to a French-British family. Following on from a degree in Spanish from the University of Cambridge, she went to Spain to study medicine. On her return to the UK, she worked in Emergency Medicine for several years before recently returning to Barcelona.