15 period symptoms you shouldn’t ignore
It is totally normal for periods to be accompanied by uncomfortable symptoms such as cramps, mood swings, and breast tenderness. You have nothing to worry about as long as these symptoms are mild.
In some cases, though your period symptoms may signal a problem. If you experience severe and unusual symptoms, it is recommended that you seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Here are 15 symptoms to look out for during your cycle:
- Heavy bleeding and long-lasting bleeding, also known as Menorrhagia. This could mean that you have to change your pads or tampons every two hours. Heavy bleeding is often due to hormonal imbalance or an underlying health condition.
- Periods that last longer than seven days
- Your period cycles are shorter than 21 days or longer than 35 days
- Severe cramping during your menstrual cycle that you are unable to carry out daily tasks such as going to work, school, cooking, or even standing. Pain during your period, also known as dysmenorrhea, is normal but if it is unusual or severe all of a sudden, you need to see a doctor.
- You experience dizziness or you feel lightheaded, weak, or tired each time you have your periods
- You have chest pain or trouble breathing during or after your period
- Your menstrual blood contains clots that are abnormally large. While blood clots are normal, especially on days when periods are heavy, however, if the clots are larger and appear more often than usual, it is possible that there’s a health issue causing it such as fibroids. In some cases, clotting could be due to a miscarriage.
- You have spotting or bleeding anytime in the menstrual cycle other than during your period. While certain contraceptive pills can cause spotting, this is only normal in a few months of use and not throughout. In rare cases, bleeding between periods could be a sign of a bigger problem such as cervical or ovarian cancer.
- You haven’t had a period in three months and you’re not pregnant or breastfeeding. There are many factors that could lead to missed periods including stress, rigorous exercise, PCOS, and certain contraceptives. Talk to your doctor to find out the exact cause.
- Your periods used to be regular but they’re now irregular.
- You haven’t had your first period by age 15
- You’re still bleeding after menopause, which is when your menstrual cycle comes to an end. Menopause usually takes place in your 40s or 50s. This is especially if you had stopped having periods for 12 months straight and are now bleeding again
- Your vaginal discharge looks abnormal or smells unusually bad. If you have abnormal blood consistency that you suspect is different from your usual consistency, it could indicate a problem.
- You experience unusually high fevers with your periods.
- You experience nausea, migraines, or vomiting during your periods.
If you experience any of the above symptoms during your period, or if you feel that you are experiencing unusual symptoms, we recommend that you seek medical attention.
As a tip, keep a symptoms record (sort of a period diary) so that you can understand your cycle such that if anything is unusual, you can spot it right away and take the necessary action.