Menstrual problems are common, but they don’t have to be the norm for you. In fact, it shouldn’t be the norm for any woman. In this article, we will review some of the common period or period problems that women experience and some tools to help those problems go away.
5 common period or period problems and their causes
If you find that your period or period wo n’t stop or seems to last for more days, maybe it’s time to visit the doctor. The periods last on average between three and five days.
If your periods are long or heavy, or you just seem to be losing too much blood, then you likely have what is called menorrhagia . These are some common reasons for longer periods.
One of the most common causes of a long period that doctors miss is thyroid disease. Hypothyroidism can cause all kinds of menstrual problems, and periods that are long or won’t stop is definitely one of them.
This is also a common reason why women take the pill. Many women are prescribed the birth control pill to stop their periods, but as we delve into their history, it becomes clear that what they were struggling with from the beginning was a thyroid disorder.
Missed hypothyroidism should be considered if you are experiencing this problem, and you may need to see an endocrinologist / or if you are looking to see if you have it.
A simple blood draw and a thyroid panel can help you identify if your problem is the thyroid.
Fibroids and uterine growths can cause long periods that are often painful.
Menorrhagia or prolonged periods can also be due to endometrial hyperplasia, which is a thickening of the uterine wall. In this condition, your uterus is being stimulated to grow too much of the endometrium, which is what it sheds during your period. This is common in the estrogen domain, especially when progesterone is too low.
Iron deficiency anemia
Iron deficiency anemia can also be the cause of long or heavy periods. Checking your iron levels, especially if you’ve been losing more blood, is an important step in assessing your health.
Maybe you have no idea when your period will appear, or maybe those periods are sometimes 30 days, sometimes 45 days, and completely unpredictable.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
For women with irregular periods, one of the first things to look into is PCOS. In this metabolic disorder, women develop irregular periods and other hormonal symptoms such as hair growth on the chin, chest, and abdomen.
Women with PCOS are at increased risk for heart disease and diabetes. Testing your blood sugar and insulin is important to understand if this is your problem. And because it is a metabolic disorder, if your periods are very irregular, you should definitely investigate why, before starting a hormonal contraceptive that will only mask the symptoms.
You may have heard that periods are simply painful or downright horrible since that’s what being a woman is all about. The reality is that they don’t have to be.
There are many supplement, nutritional, and lifestyle interventions that can help ease period pain so you don’t have to dread that time of month.
Extremely painful periods, such as bending over when it hurts, vomiting, or feeling like you can’t get out of bed should be investigated. Endometriosis is a common cause of painful periods that cause women to kneel on a monthly basis.
The first line of treatment in conventional medicine is taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) to treat pain. This is because it specifically blocks hormone-like chemicals known as prostaglandins, which cause cramps in the uterus.
Unfortunately, NSAIDs have also been shown to delay ovulation, which can result in lower progesterone levels, leaving you at the mercy of estrogen dominance. Which causes a lot more pain and bleeding during your period, not to mention a host of PMS symptoms. AND
As long as you work on the root cause, then, you can alleviate symptoms by using herbs, nutrients like magnesium, and topical heat while working on the causes.
Fibroids and other uterine growths can also be a reason why periods are incredibly painful. This is something your doctor can help you investigate to understand if this is your root cause.
Period or rule absent
So what if your period is completely gone? This is what is known as amenorrhea in medicine. It is diagnosed when your period has been absent for more than three months. And there may be a few reasons for that.
Primary ovarian failure
Primary ovarian failure also known as early menopause. If you are under 40 years old, an investigation with your doctor is warranted.
Amenorrhea after contraceptive use
If you have recently discontinued the birth control pill, IUD, patch, or any other form of hormonal birth control, this may be a sign of post-pill amenorrhea, which is one of the ways birth control syndrome can occur. If this applies to you, then you should definitely see an expert as soon as possible and start addressing it.
If there is any chance that you could be pregnant, then you should take a pregnancy test. If you experience abdominal discomfort, pain, fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, and no period has appeared, this could be a sign of ectopic pregnancy. This requires immediate medical attention and can be fatal.
If you are over 40 or early 50, this may be a sign that you are entering menopause and missed periods or periods are becoming more and more part of your cycles.
Other causes of amenorrhea
Other reasons that we may have menstrual problems such as missing a period include adrenal disease, low body weight, high stress, traumatic brain injury, malabsorption disorders such as celiac disease or inflammatory bowel disease, pituitary tumors, and thyroid disease. So, as you can probably glean from that list, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor if your period hasn’t lasted for more than three months.
When to visit a doctor
Here are some of the “you should seek immediate help now” signs:
- Severe pain
- Pressure in the pelvis.
- Extremely heavy bleeding that needs a sanitary pad every hour.
- Your period has recently become irregular.
- Your period has been absent for more than 3 months.
- If at any point you are concerned, definitely contact your doctor.
What can you do about menstrual problems
To establish a foundation of hormonal health while investigating your root cause:
Let go of stress
While you’re stressed, your body boosts cortisol production and buffers your progesterone, which means estrogen dominance is right around the corner.
It also means you’ll sleep less, feel more stressed, and be a lot more irritated with the people in your life when your period hits.
You can walk 10 minutes daily on your lunch break. Over time, increase the number of daily walks, you can start incorporating yoga and any other hobby that you like.
Follow your cycle
One of the most powerful things you can do right now is to start tracking your cycle and your symptoms so that you and your doctor can understand if there is a pattern or clues your period is giving you.
Now, if you’ve just started your period and this is just your first or maybe third cycle, your body may take some time to find its own rhythm. Follow-up can help you identify early if problems start to crop up. After all, no one knows your body better than you.
Take advantage of your labs
If you have problems with your period, definitely consider doing lab tests to understand what is the main cause that leads to this.
Magnesium inhibits prostaglandins, you know those little hormone-like substances that like to make cramps so bad. If you are a girl who has headaches along with your period, magnesium can work wonders too.
You can usually start with 150-300 mg of magnesium glycinate every night. Then increase to 300-600 mg the week before your period.
Curcumin as an anti-inflammatory in the period or period
Curcumin is an anti-inflammatory and supports healthy liver detoxification. It’s also great for gut health, which is a key part of creating hormonal balance. Turmeric can reduce pain that boosts prostaglandins and supports healthy estrogen levels.
Blood sugar balance
This is a crucial piece for creating amazing hormones, and if you are a girl experiencing irregular periods , this is definitely essential for you. Make sure to eat regular meals throughout the day.
Include good fats and protein with each of your meals, as this will help with your insulin and blood sugar levels so that the rest of your hormones can be rebalanced.