Why You Should Spend More Time Thinking About Your Period

Why You Should Spend More Time Thinking About Your Period

Jessie Wallace
By Jessie Wallace
Human women have a unique and complex reproductive cycle. Changes in environment and culture can alter how we think and feel about our periods, but despite what society tells us, our cycle is a part of who we are and influences what we do and why. We may like to think that we are in complete control over our reactions and behaviors, but all women, men, and children are subject to their hormones and the chemicals in their bodies. To simply ignore that fact and pretend that our period doesn’t exist is to ignore a large part of ourselves. Periods are so much more than just that annoying time of the month when we stain our sheets and can’t wear some of our favorite outfits. It’s a window into our health and we need to start paying attention to that, or we could miss some vital clues into how to improve our overall lives.

Changes in Bleeding

Most of us are aware that we 1bleed in order to shed the lining of our uterus. This happens when we don’t conceive a child and our body has to get rid of the old egg that is no longer viable. One of the biggest clues that something is changing in your cycle is when your usual bleeding has changed. It may be lighter or heavier, but any change can mean something, such as a shift in fertility.

Everyone experiences their menstrual cycle differently. Some regularly have fewer days between when they get their period than others. Some regularly bleed heavily and some barely bleed at all. If you find that your period flow has noticeably changed you should ask your doctor about it. It can be a sign of something that may impact your ability to get pregnant, such as PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome)

PCOS, and many other issues related to your menstrual cycle, will not only affect your fertility, but can impact other areas of your health as well, such as weight gain, insulin resistance, and increased risk of certain cancers. Some doctors will immediately prescribe birth control pills in order to regulate your period and hopefully get your body back on track, but there are other medications that can help as well.

Changes in Cramps

Another amazing thing your period does, it can indicate if there is an infection or fibroids in your uterus. You may be wondering how on earth your period can tell you something like that. It’s simple; 2cramps. An increase in the intensity of cramps can be a sign that something is wrong internally. If your cramps suddenly get worse than they were, you may want to talk to your doctor. If there is any intense abdominal pain or if these strong cramps are matched with a fever, you definitely want to contact your OB-GYN.

Period Blood Color

Most of us simply want to clean ourselves up and not look at the blood from our period. It’s just gross and doesn’t really matter, right? The truth is, your period blood will likely change through your period and the 3color of it means different things.

Brown or dark brown means the blood is older and slower. Usually, you’ll see this at the end of your period, but some will see it at the beginning too. Some women have experienced black period blood. This usually means the same as the brown blood and is simply darker because it’s older.

Bright red blood is healthy and fast-moving, usually at the beginning or in the middle of your period. It means the blood is fresh and is probably going to be the most common color you see.

Pink period blood can mean low estrogen levels or another imbalance. It can also be a sign of a nutritional deficiency. You may want to mention this at your next appointment if it continues.

If your period blood looks clearer, like it’s watered down, that usually means there is a nutritional deficiency and you need to reevaluate your diet. If it’s really watery it can indicate anemia.

Any gray discharge mixed with your period blood is often a sign of an infection, possibly from an STD and you should probably get it checked out to be certain you’re healthy.

Clotting and clumps are mostly normal as there’s tissue that is coming out in your period blood as well. As mentioned above, your menstrual cycle is basically your body’s way of cleaning out your uterus.

Late Period

Having a late period is most commonly associated with pregnancy, however, there is more than one reason your cycle decided to skip a beat. A hormonal issue like PCOS could be to blame, and infertility issues like it seem to be increasing all the time. There are other health-related issues, but not pertaining to your fertility, that can also cause a delay. Another reason your period may be late is if you’ve started exercising or suddenly stopped. Changes to your physical routine will sometimes cause your body to postpone your cycle, but it should become regular again soon. It may also be due to stress. If you’re going through something difficult or challenging, your body will react in unexpected ways such as slowing down your cycle. Invest some time in meditation or think about taking a short break from whatever is worrying you. If the stress is caused by something unavoidable, then try to do some things that will make you happy.

Early Period

Many of the same reasons for a late period can also cause it to come early as well. Our bodies react strangely to different stimuli. If your period comes every three weeks, it’s still considered normal, but if it’s even earlier than that and it keeps happening you may want to look into it.

Having Toilet Issues

If you frequently struggle with diarrhea or constipation every time you get your period, and it actually hurts to urinate or poop, this may be a sign of endometriosis and you should talk to your doctor. Many women will experience constipation or diarrhea without it being endometriosis. The hormonal changes you go through can cause these issues to arise.

Headaches that Accompany your Period

The drop in estrogen is usually what triggers a ‘4menstrual migraine’, as they’re called. They usually hit around the beginning of your cycle. Another cause for this could be dehydration. While it may look like a lot of blood, you really are not losing that much. However, many women will experience an increase in thirst and dehydration during their period, probably due to hormonal changes.

Periods are actually wonderful things. They give us a look into our health as few other things do. Everything in our bodies works together, and it’s truly fascinating how much is connected. Keeping track of your period and cycle is the best way to be prepared and to recognize the important changes that may be a sign of something.

We are a dedicated one-stop destination for every woman who wants to either track or monitor health-related information across her years. We pride ourselves in being that one place where any woman can enter relevant information before, during and even after pregnancy…with a separate set of special trackers just for her newborn!
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