Every woman’s menstrual cycle and period is different, but there are some expected norms. How do you know if your period is normal or abnormal?
At Obstetricians & Gynecologists, PC, in Grand Island and Hastings, Nebraska, our women’s health experts diagnose and treat abnormal bleeding. Though we can’t always identify the cause, an abnormal period is a common symptom of many gynecological conditions.
Here, we share the common signs and symptoms of an abnormal period.
In order to know what an abnormal period looks like, you need to know what we consider normal. Your menstrual cycle is a complex process controlled by hormones that help get your body ready for pregnancy. When you don’t get pregnant during your cycle, you get your period ― the shedding of the uterine lining.
The first day of your period marks the start of your menstrual cycle. A normal menstrual cycle runs about 28 days, but it can range between 21 and 38 days. Teens can have a cycle that lasts up to 45 days. So, depending on your age, a period that comes every 21, 28, or 45 days is normal.
Bleeding during your period may last two to seven days, with the heaviest bleeding occurring in the first three days.
Symptoms of an abnormal period
It’s not uncommon to have fluctuations in your menstrual cycle throughout your life. So, when is your period abnormal? Signs and symptoms to look for include:
- Your period frequently comes too soon (a cycle that’s less than 21 days)
- You only get your period every other month
- Your periods are three or more months apart
- You bleed for more than seven days
- You bleed so much that you need to change your tampon or pad hourly
- You have severe pelvic pain during your period
- You bleed in between periods
If you bleed so much during your period that you feel faint or dizzy, you may be anemic, which is another sign that your period is abnormal.
When to see your OB/GYN
Some women can set their calendar by their menstrual cycle, but it’s not unusual to have a period that’s unpredictable. However, if you have any of the above signs and symptoms indicating your period is abnormal, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your OB/GYN.
An abnormal period is a symptom of many gynecological conditions including endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and fibroids. You may also experience changes in your menstrual cycle if you have a sexually transmitted disease (STD).
It’s important to determine the cause of your abnormal period, or at least rule out serious medical conditions, so you get the right treatment. We can prescribe hormonal birth control to regulate your period or perform a procedure like an endometrial ablation to reduce heavy bleeding.
Do you think your period is abnormal? There’s never a wrong time to schedule an appointment with our experienced women’s health experts. Call the office nearest you today or book your appointment request online.