Period Bleeding: What’s Normal and What’s Abnormal?
The monthly bleeding period, excruciating stomach cramps, and unpredictable mood swings are typical for women. Women have already marked this anticipated week-long menstrual cycle in their calendars. However, while the standard for women, periods can come in many forms. They may be dark red or brown, or the flow may be heavy or light.
Periods are accurate markers and telltales of a person’s health. Thus, abnormal period bleeding can tell much about a person’s general well-being. However, how can we tell what is normal or abnormal with the varied forms of period bleeding?
Do not fret; here is a simple guide to tell which is typical from the abnormal:
Timing and Flow: What is normal?
The menstrual cycle can be measured from the first day of one period to the first day up until the next. Thus, the length of the menstruation cycle varies from woman to woman. Menstrual cycles can occur every 21 to 35 days or three to five weeks. It is important to note that long cycles are frequent in younger generations, in the first several years after the first menstruation.
Furthermore, cycles can be regular, having the same duration each cycle. But, they may also be irregular. Irregular periods are regular if the discrepancy in the course is only about one to two weeks. Periods that occur every three months or longer would require attention from a healthcare provider.
Periods can also last from two to seven days. As you age, periods tend to shorten. Your usual seven-day-long bleeding may become a three-day struggle as you get older. In addition, those who are taking birth control pills may experience differences in their period timings and flow.
Spotting: When is it Normal?
How can you tell the difference if you have what seems to be spotting in your vaginal discharge yet are anticipating your period? Here are several distinctions between monthly bleeding and spotting.
Spotting is a lighter flow of blood than menstruation. Spotting is defined medically as one or more days without bleeding before or after menstruation. Furthermore, severe cramping or blood clots should not follow menstrual spotting. Unlike normal bleeding characterized by red or dark brown discharge, normal spotting’s hue is either light brown or pink.
Spotting can occur at any point throughout your cycle and is frequently associated with ovulation, thus, called ovulation bleeding. It can also indicate other changes in your body. Therefore, if you experience pain in your lower abdomen, fever, or spotting after menopause, seek a medical health professional as soon as possible.
Abnormal Types of Menstrual Period
When are menstrual periods abnormal? Here are four of the most common types of irregular menstrual period:
If you need to change sanitary pads often during the day, or if your period lasts for more than the seven-day standard, you may be experiencing menorrhagia. The average woman loses 60 milliliters — about 2 ounces — of blood during her period. Prolonged, severe bleeding characterizes the illness, losing about 80ml of blood.
The opposite of menorrhagia is hypomenorrhea. Menstruation usually lasts less than two days or is less than 80ml. Some causes of this disorder are hormonal contraceptives such as birth control pills.
Period cramps are normal in menstrual cycles. However, extreme pain and discomfort are not. Dysmenorrhea is a disorder that causes discomfort and cramping during menstruation.
Depending on the cause, it has two types. Primary dysmenorrhea is abnormal uterine contractions caused by a chemical imbalance—secondary dysmenorrhea with underlying medical problems.
If you have not experienced periods in the last year, you may be experiencing Amenorrhea. Amenorrhea is a menstrual condition characterized by missing periods over three cycles.
What can you do?
Periods come in many forms. As menstrual cycles are telltale signs of health, it is essential to know what is abnormal to what’s not. Always track your calendars for regular menstrual cycles and monitor blood coloration.
If you have noticed abnormalities in your menstrual cycle and experience one of the four common types of abnormal menstrual bleeding, consult with a medical professional such as an OB-GYN, immediately.