There’s a big difference between an ideal cycle (perfect periods) and ‘common’ side effects (which are less than ideal!) Intense cramps, bloating, irregular cycles, extreme mood swings – none of these should be happening. Your period should NOT disrupt your life.
If your time of the month has caused you problems, you’re not alone. 32-40% of women reported periods so painful they had to miss work or school, according to a Healthline study. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
‘Common’ Period Problems (that shouldn’t happen)
- Large clots (bigger than a grape)
- Intense cramping that disrupts everyday life
- Bloating and gas
- Changes to bowel movements
- Extreme mood swings
- Breast tenderness
- Spotting in between periods
- Irregular cycles and missed periods
- Heavy bleeding (soaking through a pad every hour)
Does any of this sound familiar? We are often told not to worry about common symptoms like these – that they are ‘normal’ because many women suffer from them. BUT just because something happens often doesn’t mean that it should.
These issues can signal a deeper-rooted problem. Digging deep and treating the root cause can make many of these ‘normal’ symptoms disappear. (Wouldn’t that be lovely?)
An Ideal Cycle – Your Picture-Perfect Period.
So, what should a perfect period look like? This is one area of your life where you want to aim for perfection!
Anatomy of an ideal cycle:
- Every 28-32 days
- About the same length each month (4-8 days)
- Bright red
- Minimal clotting
- Light cramping (that doesn’t disrupt everyday life)
If this doesn’t sound like your period, maybe something is a little off within your body. We are complex creatures, and everything in our bodies is connected. If something feels off to you, it is worth investigating.
Potential Causes of Period Problems
There are many reasons why a period could be causing you problems. Discuss your issues with a professional who LISTENS rather than someone who dismisses your concerns as ‘normal and common.’
Potential causes of issues:
- Hormonal imbalances (high estrogen or low progesterone)
- Nutritional deficiency
- Perimenopause or menopause
- Changes from birth control pills
- Pituitary gland or ovarian disfunction
- Thyroid function
This is by no means a complete list of potential issues but a good starting point when investigating concerns.
Fixing Your Period Problems
To treat the symptom, you must get to the root cause. The first place I always start with my patients is a detailed intake where I ask LOTS of questions. We need to be comfortable talking about our bodies – we chat about periods, clots, gas, bowel movements (all the fun stuff).
Don’t be shy. A minor thing may be an indicator of the underlying issue. Once I know where to look, I order testing to define the root cause accurately.
Once we know what we are looking at, treatment options may include:
- Dietary changes
- Lifestyle and environmental changes
- Eliminating toxins and hormone disruptors
You don’t have to accept irregular and uncomfortable periods as part of your life. You deserve perfect periods! If something feels off to you, reach out for help. Do not let someone dismiss your concerns. Advocate for your health and feel your best. Reach out to Dr. Henna, ND if you have any of these symptoms so you can feel your best again and have perfect periods!