Getting our period is a way for our bodies to tell us something is going on or, depending how you see it, that something’s not. Menstruation is a sign of fertility, or at least the possibility of it. But it could be warning us of other situations happening inside.
According to University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Gynecologist, Gerson Weiss, one period can change a woman’s life forever. This is is why they should be observant and take note of any unusual signs. Around the world, schools of menstruation exist to teach teen girls about what is happening to their bodies.
In broad terms, a sign of reproductive health is a period that is a bright red, without clots or strange mucous. During those days your vagina should not be swollen and, in the case it is, must only be slightly so. There are several other symptoms telling us that something is not right and that we should make a doctor’s appointment ASAP.
Here are some of the most common symptoms of your body trying to tell you something.
If you need to change your tampon or pad more than five times a day, there might be some imbalance in your system. You might have benign tumors called uterine fibroids that are making the bleeding worse.
Dr. Mary Jane Minkin from Yale University states that this is more common in African American women. Excessive bleeding could be a sign of other rare illnesses such s Von Willebrand, a clot-forming disorder. At times this symptom can also lead to the diagnosis of endometriosis causing polyps or severe tumors.
Certain birth control methods can stop you from getting periods or getting a very light flow. But if you’re not on any of those methods, this could mean hormone imbalance. Dr. Adelaide Nardone from Brown University claims that an extremely light period can imply thyroid or pituitary gland problems. It could also mean a slight malformation in the hymen is stopping the fluids from exiting the body normally. At times it’s a sign of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
But while all those illnesses are possible, at times a light flow could be due to lifestyle or nutrition issues such as stress or insufficient protein intake.
If you’re bleeding or spotting in between your periods this could be due to a morning-after pill or certain birth control methods. But if you haven’t taken any of those you need to schedule an appointment with your physician because it might be a sign of cervical or uterine polyps that appear when the body is producing too much estrogen. At times this means fibroids or dangerous vaginal infections.
Extremely painful periods
We’re not just talking about cramps. We’re talking about asking for a sick day because you know the pain won’t let you get through the day. Cramps are a normal symptom but to get to that point is not at all. Dr. Daniela Carusi, director at the Brigham and Woman’s Hospital’s OBGYN department in Boston, says that this is your body’s way of alerting about the presence of fibroids or endometriosis, a condition that could lead to fertility problems.
This disorder occurs because uterine tissue is growing outside the uterus. When the uterine wall detaches itself during our period, the endometrial tissue also detaches itself, obstructing the blood’s flow. Instead of relying on pain-killers, the best idea is to start a hormonal treatment.
When we’re late, every woman immediately thinks they’re pregnant. But there are other reasons why our period is not on time. Dr. Carusi states that this could be happening because your ovulation is irregular due to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. If you’re overweight, there could be a hormone imbalance you haven’t realized you had. It could also be a sign of Type 2 Diabetes since insulin resistance affects the ovaries. Some kinds of medication can also disrupt your period.
Translated by María Suárez