Spanning some four decades of our lifetime, periods are an unavoidable reality of womanhood.
And while we might have to put up with the monthly visits from Aunt Flo...it's surprising just what else some woman have put up with because they are afraid to tackle the...err sticky subject that is abnormalities in periods!
To help you understand what is normal...and what you should consider speaking to your GP about we enlisted the help of expert Dr Ginni Mansberg!
PMS is super common. Studies show that 47.8% of women experience it. Given that we still don’t know what causes it, getting to the bottom it can be frustrating for everyone but if your PMS is so extreme that you can’t function while it’s happening, you need help. If for example you get such severe PMS that they can feel suicidal, and can’t go to work you might benefit from medications or other interventions to help you survive PMS.
EXTREME HEAVY BLEEDING
A period is normally between 10 and 60 mls in total. Not that I expect you to measure, but if you’re leaking through, passing clots, bleeding onto your sheets through the night, chances are your bleeding is too heavy. Sadly one in five women between the ages of 35 and 49 have heavy periods and 75% of them don’t seek medical help- often because they don’t realize this is a problem. Apart from losing precious blood and risking anaemia, the bleeding itself might be a sign of a medical problem so you simply must see a doctor. We can help you get your periods back under control in no time- and no that doesn’t mean we’re whipping you off for an instant hysterectomy!
This is a funny one. Lots of my patients are worried because their periods can be anywhere from 27 to 34 days apart. That’s regular- don’t worry about it! But once you start having periods every six or seven weeks, never know when they’re coming regardless of how nasty they are when they arrive, you need to check in with a doctor. Because we need to find out why this is happening. Your doctor will examine you and do some blood tests to look for common causes like polycystic ovaries and thyroid problems.
Many of my patients worry about periods changing colour. Brown blood totally freaks many girls out. So let me explain why it’s FINE! Blood contains iron which turns brown when exposed to oxygen. It gets exposed to oxygen when it sits around for a while so older blood is brown while fresh blood is bright red. Any period bleeding that is very light will be brown because the lack of volume means the flow slows down letting it have time to oxidise. So brown blood is light bleeding which is AOK!
Blood can smell weird but shouldn’t smell foul. Foul smells usually come from bacteria. Culprit number one is a urine infection. You might only notice the smell when you go to the toilet and assume it is connected to the period. It may not be. Just because it doesn’t sting or hurt, doesn’t rule out a bladder infection. Check in with your GP if there’s a doubt. The other one to be wary of is leaving a tampon in. This stinks like hell. Have a feel. If in doubt- get checked by a doctor ASAP.
Talking about periods can be uncomfortable...but living with heavy periods is worse! Head to wearwhiteagain.com.au to find out how you can have the confidence to wear white again. If you experience heavy periods, we want you to know that you are not alone.