Menstruation, or period as it is also known, is the monthly shedding of the uterine lining in all women.
Menstrual blood flows from the uterus through the cervix and leaves the body through the vagina.
This process is part of the female reproductive system and prepares your body for a possible pregnancy.
As long as your periods are consistent, there is nothing to worry about.
However, some women experience irregular periods once or more in their lifetime.
What is an abnormal period?
Most women have menstrual periods that last anything between four to seven days. In fact, a woman’s period cycle can ideally range between 21 days to 35 days.
So, in case you experience any changes to your monthly menstrual cycle, it is a clear sign of an abnormal period and you might need to report it to the doctor.
Here are 5 signs of abnormal periods you should not ignore:
1. Bleeding less than 2 days or more than 7 days
The usual period cycle is mostly between four to seven days. So, if you experience a shorter blood flow or a lengthy blood flow during a particular menstrual cycle and it happens frequently, it might be a cause of concern.
While menorrhagia means extra heavy periods, hypomenorrhea is a condition that is characterized by light periods and in this case, the menstruation occurs for less than two days with blood volume less than 80ml.
2. Cycle is less than 24 days or more than 38 days
The number of days between periods can vary for each woman, but the normal range falls anywhere between 24–38 days.
So a cycle that falls outside this time frame is termed irregular or abnormal. In fact, if it varies for more than 20 days in length and it happens from month to month, it is ideal to see a doctor.
3. Changing fully soaked pads or tampons every 3 hours
Period blood volume also changes from woman to woman. However, if you soak through one or more pads or tampons every 3 hours, there are chances you have menorrhagia, which means an abnormally heavy menstrual flow.
Along with the heavy bleeding, the woman suffering from menorrhagia might also show signs of anemia such as fatigue or shortness of breath.
But don’t worry too much, a heavy menstrual flow is common and most women eventually end up seeing their doctor about it.
4. Passing multiple clots
Passing blood clots during your periods is normal. However, passing large blood clots means there is something wrong. If your periods are heavier than usual or you are passing very large blood clots, check with your doctor to determine if there’s an underlying problem causing blood clots to happen.
5. Not needing a pad at all or spotting
Spotting may be managed with a pantyliner instead of a sanitary pad. But even that light menstrual flow needs your attention. Amenorrhea is a menstrual disorder, which is characterized by absent or missed periods for continuous three cycles.
So if a woman’s normal menstrual cycle becomes increasingly irregular or absent, she might be suffering from amenorrhea. There can be several reasons to it, and the most common are biological changes like breastfeeding, pregnancy, or menopause. Sometimes,