At some point in your life, you went to pee and there it was, a red stain in your underwear and your life changed forever. So now every month there is pain , mood swings , broken relationships and burnt houses.
For some it didn’t happen again until after few months some of us really don’t know if it will happen this month. Period can mirror reproductive health so here are health implications of period “problems “.
1. Heavy periods: The amount of flow differs between women . There is a comfortable flow (normal) that can be handled without causing effects. Having to change your pad every hour or having a period last more than seven days should alarm you. This is particularly true if you experience dizziness, low energy and awareness of heartbeat after the period.
Having to change your pad every hour or having a period last more than seven days should alarm you
2. Irregular periods: Irregular menses are normal for younger women who have just started getting their periods and older women who are almost (in a very subtle way ) getting done with this s***. Women who are middle-aged are expected to have proper regulation of hormones and periods are therefore expected to be regular. Irregularities can be caused by stress , medication ( allergy medications , the morning after pill and a few months after getting off the pill). Thyroid problems can also cause such irregularities.
3. Surprise bleeding : Bleeding in between periods happens for some women during ovulation or conception. For most however, bleeding only occurs during menstruation. Bleeding in between periods should suggest hormonal imbalance and in older women a possible growth in the uterus . However in younger children or young adults bleeding can occur after an assault ( https://youtu.be/dTH7cpgFByA). If there is a suspicion of rape appropriate measures should be taken including going to the hospital where you can receive preventive treatments for things like HIV initiation and possible insertion of an IUD .
Bleeding in between periods should suggest hormonal imbalance and in older women a possible growth in the uterus
4. Bring out the devil in you: Do you experience extreme mood swings , anger , acne and cravings nearing your period? It’s probably PMS! Did you know there are over 90 symptoms (see here) of PMS? They can range from mild to severe and you can experience more than one. Hell, you can experience all of them.
Give yourself time and make plans with your menstrual cycle in mind . Some recommend eating less salt, avoiding coffee, working out ( I know!) and drinking lots of water. Pain medication and rarely antidepressants are recommended.
5. Shame: And the last but obviously the most important red flag (not a literal one) is period shame and stigma. Periods are a normal healthy occurrence. Periods have propagated the human race. Period blood is not of a violent origin. So why so much fuss, why are conversations on periods short ,scary and secretive. Is it crack we are talking about?
It is important to have open conversations regarding periods. It is in these conversations that little girls are affirmed and solutions ( like this) can be found around challenges faced in regards to periods. It is through these conversations and healthy perception toward periods that we can promote menstrual health.
If you experience any symptom ( even those not mentioned here) , seek medical advice. Information provided here is only meant for educational purposes and should not replace a hospital visit.