Menstruation is something all we women have to live with, but that doesn’t mean we have to suffer through it. If your periods are abnormal in any way, it could point toward a more serious problem. Watch out for these six symptoms that something is wrong.
1. You haven’t been getting your period.
Not getting your period is called amenorrhea. If you don’t start your first period by age 16, that’s called primary amenorrhea. If you started your period at a normal age, but have skipped 3 or more periods, that’s called secondary amenorrhea.
Primary amenorrhea can be caused by a few different genetic syndromes, inter$ex conditions, and a wide variety of hormonal disorders. These are all things that you should know about so that they can receive the proper medical treatment. If you, your daughter, or any other girl you know doesn’t get her period by age 16, she should see a doctor.
Secondary amenorrhea can be caused by pregnancy, menopause, or hormonal disorders. These are also things you should know if you have it, especially pregnancy. If you experience secondary amenorrhea, take a pregnancy test and then go see your doctor.
2. Your cramps are unbearable.
Dysmenorrhea is the medical word for when your period is especially painful. In addition to pain, you might experience nausea, vomiting, digestive problems, dizziness, and headaches. If your period is very painful, it could be a sign of a condition such as endometriosis, leiomyoma, adenomyosis, or ovarian cysts.
These conditions can cause complications including infertility, preterm labor if you become pregnant, and anemia. Some women’s health conditions such as ovarian cysts may require surgery if it becomes severe. So, you should always talk to your doctor if your period cramps are too much for you to bear.
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3. You bleed A LOT.
If you have to change your pad or tampon more often than every 2 hours, then you are bleeding too much. This is a symptom of a condition known as menorrhagia. Menorrhagia is often caused by a growth in the uterus, whether it’s a fibroid, polyp, or cancer. Although these are most often benign, they have the potential to be life-threatening. Therefore, it’s extremely important to seek medical attention if you have excessive menstrual bleeding.
4. Your period seems to last forever.
If your period lasts for more than 10 days, this is also a symptom of menorrhagia. As menorrhagia can be an indication of abnormal growth in the uterus, talk to your doctor if you have overly long periods.
5. You PMS like crazy.
About 80% of women have symptoms before their period, such as acne, bloating, fatigue, tender breasts, and mood swings. This is colloquially known as PMS. About 30% of women experience the medical definition of PMS used by doctors, which strictly refers to emotional symptoms that are severe enough to disrupt your daily life (for example, uncontrollable crying or being so irritable that your boss is displeased).
However, around 5% of women experience a severe form of PMS known as a premenstrual dysphoric disorder. If you have severe PMS symptoms, talk to your doctor. A premenstrual dysphoric disorder can make your life hell and should be treated with prescription drugs and therapy.
6. You HATE getting your period.
Do you hate getting your period for any reason? Maybe it’s the inconvenience, maybe it’s the pain, maybe it’s the mood swings. If getting your period makes you unhappy for any reason, you should look for a way to change that. You can research new methods of pain management and try different painkillers if your period is painful. If pads and tampons are inconvenient to you, try a menstrual cup instead. If you wish you didn’t have to get your period at all, there are forms of birth control available that can keep you from getting your period for up to a year at a time. You don’t have to live with periods if you hate them!
If you experience any of these problems, it’s important to bring it up with your doctor. These problems have solutions, and you deserve to be free from problems, so don’t hesitate to seek medical advice.
Edited by: Jessa (March 1, 2019)