Your Period and Your Health: How It’s All Connected
That time of the month, sure it’s never fun but there are many aspects and symptoms of menstruation that can be directly tied back to your overall health. Paying attention to your cycle can be key in spotting any potential health concerns. Below are a few symptoms that may reveal what your period says about your health:
Severe Cramping: At some point as a menstruating woman, you will likely experience cramping before or during your period. While it’s certainly no fun, there’s a big difference between normal cramping and severe cramping. Extremely intense and unmanageable cramping could be a sign of endometriosis, a painful condition where tissue grows outside of the uterus causing and is definitely something to consult with your ob/gyn on.
Blood Clots: Small clots of blood (less than the size of a quarter) are a normal part of menstrual bleeding and generally not something to cause concern. Unless you see these clots all the time and they are very big. This could be a sign of uterine fibroids (noncancerous growths in the uterus) or menorrhagia (very heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding).
Watery Discharge in your Blood: Menstrual blood comes in a variety of shades from bright red at the beginning of your cycle to a brownish red as it comes to an end. However, if your blood is watery in consistency and looks more like a washed red/pink, this is a discharge that could be a sign of an infection (STI), cervical cancer or even pregnancy.
Irregular Periods: Consistently irregular periods can be a sign something is off hormonally. In a lot of cases, this can be attributed to stress. Read more about how stress affects your period now! This can also be a sign of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) a somewhat common and manageable hormone disorder.
While there’s no such thing as a “normal” period, these are a few signs that you should be aware of to keep your body, cycle and health in check! Always consult your gynecologist with any questions or concerns.