Monthly Bleeding: What’s Regular and What’s Not?
Whether you give it much thought outside your monthly period or not, your menstrual cycle says a lot about your health. Tracking your monthly bleeding is one of the simplest ways of monitoring your overall health. If you cannot answer when your last menstrual period began or how long it lasted, now is the time to start paying attention.
Tracking your menstrual cycle will help you determine what is “normal” for you. Some women have their periods like clockwork every month. They can narrow it down to the part of a day on a particular day each month when their period will start. Others, however, are not quite so regular. By tracking your monthly cycles, you can time ovulation, know when to expect your bleeding to start, and identify significant changes should they occur – such as a missed period or unpredictable menstrual bleeding.
The menstrual cycle is considered regular when it occurs once a month, every 21-35 days, lasting two to seven days. This is where tracking your menstrual cycle comes in handy. Some women have short cycles while others have long cycles. Unless you know what is regular for you, you will not know when things are out of whack.
Another element of your menstrual cycle is how heavy or light your bleeding is. There are different amounts of bleeding that are considered regular, and your “regular” may be different from family members or friends. There is a broad range of what is considered “normal,” so, again, it is crucial to understand what is regular for you.
Also, keep in mind that birth control pills and intrauterine devices (IUDs) will alter your menstrual cycle.
The definition of “irregular” is different for each woman. However, if you notice that the time between your periods is not consistent, you go months without having a period, or the amount that you bleed varies significantly from month to month – these are typical signs that your period is irregular.
When to Seek Medical Attention?
If you are concerned about your periods and what is regular for your body, please contact Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A., to schedule an exam. It will be beneficial to you and your care provider to try and track your period before your appointment to help personalize your care. Yet, don’t worry if you haven’t been tracking your cycle. You can begin today!