Every woman has her own menstrual cycle that can differ from the others. But when the cycle changes, it can be a sign of certain health issues. That’s why it is essential to monitor your condition and don’t skip regular gynecological check-ups. In this article, we have gathered six alarming signs of abnormal periods you shouldn’t neglect. 

1. Your periods become extremely painful

Pain during periods (dysmenorrhea) is a common issue that affects many women of the reproductive age. If it can be eliminated with the help of OTC painkillers and a heating pad, it can be considered normal. But when it causes severe symptoms, you may need to visit a doctor for dysmenorrhea treatment.

It is important to understand that regular pain during periods can be enhanced by various gynecological disorders and diseases. That’s why it is important to evaluate your condition before starting treatment. Otherwise, you can aggravate this condition and complicate further treatment. 

2. Your periods late

If your periods are late for a couple of days, it is nothing to worry about. But periods that occur a week after the regular date can become a cause for concern. There are a lot of factors that can make your periods late. The most common of them are:

  • Stress
  • Pregnancy
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Thyroid issues
  • Birth control

If you experience pain or other symptoms and have late periods, it can be a sign of a certain disorder. Even though late periods can occur without any obvious cause, it is essential to visit a doctor if your periods are late more than for a week. Timely treatment can prevent the development of complications. 

3. You have heavy blood flow

Increased blood flow during periods is called menorrhagia. Women with this condition usually have to change tampons and/or pads more often than others. It is important to understand that heavy bleeding during periods can lead to anemia and other unpleasant consequences. 

Menorrhagia can be caused by hormonal imbalance, uterine fibroids, polyps, endometriosis, adenomyosis, and cancer. Even if you don’t have any other symptoms, you should make an appointment with your gynecologist. 

4. Your periods last longer

If you have prolonged periods (more than seven days), it may be a sign of a certain underlying health issue. The most common of them are:

  • Uterine fibroids
  • Adenomyosis
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Cancer

However, prolonged periods can be caused by medications or hormonal contraception. In this case, you should consult your doctor and change medications to avoid unpleasant complications. 

5. You have missed periods

Even though many women think that missed periods can mean only pregnancy, there are many more causes of this condition. If you experience stress or exercise excessively, it can make your body stop ovulating and menstruating. Sudden weight loss or weight gain can also make you skip periods. 

Additionally, hormonal disorders and other health issues can lead to missed periods. It is important to understand that a lack of periods can manifest fertility issues. Women who have PCOS and thyroid disorders often skip their periods and experience problems with conception.  

6. Your menstrual blood has an unusual smell or color

If you maintain proper intimate hygiene, your menstrual blood should have a slight and even unnoticeable smell. But if you have a strong unpleasant vaginal odor, it can be a sign of an infection or STDs. A forgotten tampon can also cause a bad smell from the vagina. 

Broun, red, and even pink colors of menstrual blood can be considered normal. Dark red or black color of blood can mean vaginal blockage especially if it is accompanied by fever and vaginal swelling. The gray color of menstrual blood can mean infection that causes discharge that mixes with blood.

The bottom line

If you have noticed at least the slightest changes in your menstrual cycle, it is essential to visit a gynecologist. You should know that many conditions can develop asymptomatically and only a gynecologist can define the underlying cause of your abnormal periods. 

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