When Things Don't Feel Quite Right

As you become more familiar with your period, you’ll get to know what’s unique to your body. Your symptoms and flow may vary each month as your body adjusts to having a period. Everyone is different and sometimes it can take a little time for your body to get into its own cycle. You may have questions about what you’re experiencing. We’re here to help, but please always consult your doctor with any questions or concerns about your cycle.

Are heavy periods with really bad cramping and nausea normal?

Really painful cramps and heavy flow are often related to having higher levels of a hormone-like substance called prostaglandin. It triggers the muscles of your uterus to contract more intensely, so it increases nerve ending sensitivity and can cause you more pain. 

Anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen work by blocking certain enzymes that increase prostaglandin levels. If you find that your severe cramping and nausea are interfering with your daily life, you should speak to your doctor. They will suggest better options for managing this.

What does bleeding between periods mean and why does it happen?

Vaginal bleeding between your periods is called spotting, which usually is no cause for concern. However, in some situations, it could signal abnormal uterine bleeding, which can happen as a result of a number of health concerns such as:

  • Thyroid disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Stress
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Bladder or vaginal infections
  • Uterine polyp
  • Complications due to certain medications
  • Certain types of contraceptive use

If you suspect this may be happening to you, set up an appointment with your doctor.

What does a late period mean?

There are a number of possible reasons for a late period. Aside from a possible pregnancy, it could be the result of:

  • High stress
  • Illness
  • Medications
  • A major change in your life/routine
  • Extreme weight loss or weight gain
  • Excessive exercise

Speak to your doctor if you are concerned about this.

Why are some periods irregular?

Irregular periods can happen during the first couple of years of menstruation as your body is still finding a hormonal balance for a regular cycle. And remember: Everyone’s cycle is different. What’s “normal” for you may not be “normal” for your friend.

Here are some common causes for irregular periods:

  • Stress
  • Illness
  • Excessive weight loss or weight gain
  • Eating disorders (bulimia or anorexia)
  • Increased or excessive exercise
  • Certain types of birth control and hormonal changes
  • Pregnancy and breast-feeding

As you can see, there are many factors that influence your cycle. It’s helpful to track your period every month and take note of any significant changes in your life. How you feel emotionally can impact how you feel during your period. If you suspect something else may be happening to you or you need to better understand why your cycle is irregular, please set up an appointment with your doctor.