The period cycle is like a forever-ticking bomb. Even though you just got done with your menses, you know the countdown for the next day of cramps and blood is already underway! The paranoia of which only reaches its height once the last 4 to 5 days remain.
Keeping track of your periods can be stressful though. Especially in those months when your otherwise regular cycle becomes irregular and almost gives you a panic attack. Questions such as “Is there something wrong with me? Is this normal? Am I the only one facing this?” are bound to run wild in your mind. And you might be too embarrassed to ask your gynecologist. Despite knowing how important they really are.
Luckily, for those of you who’re still hesitant to get on the phone with your gynecologist, we’ve prepared a list of 6 period questions you may have along with their answers. Read on!
1. “Is Not Having A Perfectly Regular Cycle Always A Cause For Concern?”
The short answer is – no, it’s not! An average period cycle’s duration can range between 21 and 35 days and anything that falls under that range is normal (1). It’s okay to notice occasional changes in the length of your cycle – happening early one month, late the next month. The same holds true for the number of your period days as well. They can vary from 2 to 7 days. So, don’t worry if your menses last a day longer (or lesser) than last month!
2. “What’s The Difference Between Spotting And Periods?”
The color of the blood is a major distinguishing factor between periods and spotting (2), (3). Period blood is of a deep red color and is mixed with a little bit of the mucus membrane that lines your endometrium. Blood that comes from spotting, on the other hand, has a light brownish hue.
Spotting generally occurs in between your periods and as such is not dangerous. Happening during the time of ovulation, spotting can be caused by a lack of estrogen in your body. It might also be accompanied by lower abdominal pain in certain cases. That said, there’s no need to panic!
3. “When Should I See The Doctor For Spotting?”
As a general rule of thumb, bleeding in between your periods can be indicative of an anomaly. To know if it’s serious enough for you to visit the doctor though, you should keep close tabs on the kind of discharge you experience after your ovulation.
A temporary endocrine structure known as ‘yellow body’ is responsible for producing progesterone in your body (4). This hormone, in turn, prepares your body for pregnancy each month. However, if your body experiences low levels of progesterone, you may experience irregular bleeding (5).
You should visit a doctor if intermittent bleeding occurs regularly for you, especially at the same time each month. You should also get an appointment booked if the bleeding is caused by the birth control pills you use and is accompanied with a fever and cramps.
4. “How Can Birth Control Pills Cause A Fake Period?”