While your period may be inconvenient, it shouldn’t feel like a major health crisis every month. If your period is irregular, painful, or seems particularly heavy, you’re likely experiencing an abnormal period. Continue reading for a list of the 3 most common types of abnormal period.
You Have an Irregular or Absent Cycle
If your cycle occurs less than every 21 days or longer than every 35 days, or the days between periods varies greatly, then gynecologists consider your period irregular. It’s also abnormal if you go for months without having a period, called amenorrhea. Both irregular and absent cycles can indicate an underlying health condition, including ones like polycystic ovary syndrome that can cause infertility, so it’s important to check in with your OB/GYN as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment.
Your Periods are Painful, With Severe Cramping
While most women will experience cramping from time to time, it’s abnormal for you to have cramps that leave you writhing in pain every time you have your period. Severe cramping in the abdomen and back before or during your period may be accompanied by fatigue, nausea, or diarrhea. These symptoms can indicate a health condition like pelvic inflammatory disease or endometriosis. Both of these conditions are treatable, but it requires you to alert your gynecologist first.
Your Menstrual Flow is Either Heavy, Long, or “Reappears” Between Periods
Do you soak a tampon or pad in an hour? Do your periods last longer than seven days? Do you have spotting or bleeding in between periods? If you answered yes to any of these questions, your menstrual flow is considered abnormal. Besides being inconvenient, heavy and continued bleeding can leave you at risk for anemia, a condition that can leave you exhausted and irritable. Heavy bleeding can indicate health concerns such as uterine fibroids, particularly if you’re reaching menopause. Heavy bleeding can usually be treated with hormone therapy.
Seek Help For Abnormal Periods
It’s important for you to know that you don’t have to suffer through abnormal periods! Regardless of the cause, abnormal periods can almost always be treated. Birth control pills, endometrial ablation, or (as a last resort) robotic hysterectomies are all treatment options that might work for your situation.
As we’ve mentioned before, the first step in resolving the pain and inconvenience of your abnormal period is to contact your OB/GYN as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. When you come in, try to bring a record of your abnormal periods. It helps our gynecologist know how long your abnormal periods have been going on, the pattern of your menstrual cycles, and a list of any symptoms you experience.