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Your Periods– Are they Normal or Abnormal?

young-teen-holding-abdomen-painYoung women are told when they start having their period it will come with cramping and pain.  So when a young woman starts her menstrual cycles and experiences pain she doesn’t think that she is having abnormal periods.  Even if she is laying on her bed curled up in pain she will believe this is normal because it’s all she knows.  She might go for years feeling very ill during her period or have repeated episodes of missed school or work due to these abnormal periods.  Others might tease her that she is “being a baby” because “nobody else gets to take a sick day.”  Over the years I’ve heard it all from my patients–  and a majority of these ladies are well into their twenties before seeking help.  So here’s a little guide to help you determine if your periods are normal or abnormal.

Normal Periods/Menstrual Cycles:

  • Regularly occurring cycles (whether it’s 28 or 35 days, yours are consistent)
  • Length of period is consistent month to month
  • Flow is fairly consistent with changing tampon/pad regularly
  • Flow is smooth without clots or other changes
  • Cramping or discomfort is manageable
  • Pain is easily taken away with over-the-counter medications like Ibuprofen
  • No interruptions of regular life
  • You generally feel okay during your period


Abnormal Periods/Menstrual Cycles:

  • Irregularly occurring cycles or missed periods
  • Length of period varies month to month
  • Flow is inconsistent (super heavy one day, very light the next, etc)
  • Flow has presence of clots or other abnormalities
  • Flow so heavy you change tampon/pad more than once every two hours or so
  • Coincidence of symptoms like diarrhea
  • Cramping is difficult to overcome– unmanageable
  • Pain is not taken away with medication and is overwhelming
  • Interruption of regular life with missed school, work, or social gatherings
Posted in Periods/Menstruation, Symptoms, Teens / Kids / Young Adults

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