Women tend to have different experiences with their menstrual cycles depending on their age, family history, weight, and other factors. While there is a wide range of what is considered normal for your cycle, there are also a number of signs that could indicate something is wrong. Generally, any change in your menstrual cycle should be brought to the attention of your gynecologist, but there are some more specific signs to look out for that will often be caused by conditions that require treatment.
Long or heavy cycles
If you have periods that last longer than 7 days or bleeding that is very heavy (requiring you to change pads or tampons every 1-2 hours), you may have a condition like endometriosis or uterine fibroids. In some cases, excessive bleeding may be caused by stress, hormonal imbalances, obesity, or non-reproductive medical conditions, so it is important to see the doctor for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Bleeding between periods
Occasional spotting may not be anything to worry about, especially if you are on birth control. However, bleeding between periods can be a sign of a more serious problem, so you should not hesitate to discuss this symptom with your gynecologist.
Excessive pelvic pain
When menstrual cramps get in the way of your daily activities, it is possible to alleviate pain with certain types of birth control, pain medication, and holistic therapies. Pelvic pain that is not associated with your cycle is also a concern that you should not neglect to bring up during your next checkup.
Girls will start their periods at different ages, and some naturally have later periods than others. Still, if menstruation has not begun by age 15, gynecologic care may be necessary.
At Desert West OBGYN, you can find compassionate, personalized care to manage menstrual problems and increase your comfort and wellness. To find out which of our Phoenix-area offices is closest to you, give us a call at (602) 978-1500.