Is there such a thing as a “normal” period?
No two periods are the same. In fact, your period may even vary from month to month depending on factors such as stress, diet, and lifestyle. Over time, hormonal changes such as pregnancy or menopause will also cause changes to your period. However, here are some general guidelines that indicate a healthy period:
- Menstrual flow that occurs every 21 to 35 days. Your cycle may not be completely regular, and that’s okay. Cycle variation is common during the first few years of your period. However, in general, you should be getting your period every 3-5 weeks.
- Bleeding during menstruation lasts between 2 and 7 days. Bleeding lasting longer than a week, or the absence of a period, may indicate an underlying condition.
- Total blood loss between 10 and 35mL. To give you an idea, one fully soaked pad or tampon usually holds about 5mL of blood.
- Cramping or discomfort that may be mild to very uncomfortable, but can be managed with proper rest and over-the-counter pain medication.
Symptoms to watch out for
Periods that fall outside a normal range may be a sign of an underlying condition. Some abnormal period symptoms you should watch out for include:
- Bleeding for longer than 7 days.
- Soaking through one or more pads or tampons per hour, for multiple hours.
- Skipped periods or a complete absence of menstruation.
- Debilitating cramping and pain that cannot be managed with at-home remedies and prevents you from participating in day-to-day activities such as school or work.
What causes abnormal period symptoms?
There are many factors that could contribute to abnormal period symptoms, including stress, being severely underweight, and conditions such as PCOS and endometriosis.
If you are experiencing abnormal period symptoms, reach out to a doctor as soon as possible to identify any underlying causes. You can book a menstrual health teleconsultation with an Ease physician at any time––we offer judgment-free, discreet care and treatment for your sexual health. Over a menstrual health teleconsultation you will be able to clarify questions about and/or get treatment for conditions such as heavy menstrual bleeding, severe cramps, frequent spotting, nausea or vomiting during your period, irregular periods and lack of energy or weakness during your period. While further testing may be required after the teleconsultation, you will be able to clarify questions and figure out next steps with one of our doctors for just $20.