Your “time of the month” can be a strange or even stressful time, as there is a lot of change occurring in your body – and much of it can be unpleasant. Many women have questions about their period that they may be afraid to ask because they seem taboo or embarrassing. At The Ashford Center, we are here for you and encourage you to ask any questions you may have. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some great questions to get you started:
- Is it normal that my period is this painful?
Cramping is normal, but if it’s so bad that you can’t get out of bed, you need to check with your doctor, as the pain could be caused by a number of disorders: endometriosis, adenomyosis or uterine fibroids.
Your doctor can discuss treatment for all of the above.
- How heavy of a flow is too heavy?
If you’re having to change your pad or tampon every hour or less, then you may be experiencing something abnormal. Before talking to your doctor, note the size and amount of blood clots you see. It could simply be a hormone imbalance, extreme changes in weight or pregnancy. Or, it could be more serious, including uterine cancer or fibroids and pelvic inflammatory disease, which is an infection of a woman’s reproductive organs.
These issues can be detected early by alerting your doctor and receiving a physical exam or ultrasound.
- My cycle seems off — what’s going on?
If you’re concerned your period is irregular, begin tracking it on a calendar ahead of your doctor’s appointment. Typically, it’s considered normal for you to miss one or two periods per year (or even more for some women). Common causes range from rapid weight change and stress to the use of certain medications. Your doctor will help you determine what next steps are right for you.
- Are there other options besides pads and tampons?
If you’re frugal and worried about waste, ask your doctor about alternatives to traditional pads and tampons. Reusable menstrual pads like Glad Rags and New Moon Pads are options to discuss, as well as menstrual cups that you suction inside of your vagina to catch your menstrual blood for up to 12 hours. The following are made by women who know exactly what your needs are: DivaCup, Lunette and Mooncup. The latest alternatives are period panties from Knixwear, Dear Kate and THINX. Instead of wearing hygiene products, these panties are designed to absorb blood throughout the day. They’re also washable and reusable.
- Why are my bowel movements so weird during my period?
Having bowel movements more frequently during your period is normal. What is alarming, however, is if your stool becomes slimy during your period, as it could mean something is off with your digestive system. Mention this to your doctor so that your gut can be examined, too.
Remember that your women’s healthcare provider is here to help you with your concerns, so we welcome any and all questions you have. Our goal at The Ashford Center is to help women feel their very best, and listening to your concerns is key to figuring out exactly how we can do that. Call us today at (706) 353-2550 to schedule an appointment.