As a woman, you will notice that not only does your menstrual cycle change over the years, but your period can also be different as well. This isn’t always a sign that something is wrong, but it could be an early sign of things like pregnancy, PCOS or endometriosis, hormonal changes, and even perimenopause. Keep reading to learn about the signs that your period is not normal and might need medical intervention.
General Signs of Abnormal Periods
Let’s start simple with the main signs of having an abnormal period. While you might not necessarily have an abnormal period with one or two of these signs, they can indicate a problem that you may want to talk to your doctor about. It is always good to be self aware so you know when to seek medical guidance.
Some possible signs of abnormal periods include:
Skipping your periods for 90 days or longer, or missing them throughout the year. This is usually the first thing women notice when their periods are no longer normal. You get used to having a period every month, then suddenly are skipping periods, or they stop completely.
Spotting between periods. Some women get slight spotting around the time of ovulation, which is about 2 weeks after your period. However, if you get more spotting random times throughout your cycle, you might want to talk to your doctor.
Your menstrual flow suddenly changing. Has your amount of menstrual flow increased or decreased dramatically? In both cases, it could mean something else is going on.
Your menstruation lasting longer or shorter than usual. The number of days you are on your period might also change dramatically, such as going from a 6-day cycle to one that lasts only 2-3 days, or much longer going past a week or more.
Are Your Cramps Worse Than Normal?
Now, for the detailed signs, including the most common ones that might indicate an abnormal period. The first sign you don’t want to ignore is when your cramps might be worse than normal.
Getting menstrual cramps is completely normal. Most women experience them on varying degrees each month, usually shortly before your period starts or during the first day or two of flow.
However, if suddenly your cramps become severe, worse than normal, or like it feels there is something wrong, that is a good reason to talk to your doctor.
Are Your Periods Inconsistent?
You might also have irregular periods, which means they aren’t consistent from month to month. This doesn’t mean the occasional missed or late period, but a pattern of inconsistency and irregularity.
Maybe you used to always have periods that were 5 days long, but now some are 10-12 days long, some are 2-3 days long, and some are 5-6 days long. This inconsistency is not considered normal for most women.
Do You Bleed in Between Periods?
Bleeding at irregular times can also point to a period that might be abnormal, including bleeding in between periods.