Many women all over the world struggle with abnormal periods. Some women can have heavy blood flow while others experience severe cramping. The normal menstrual cycle can range from 21 days to 35 days and the periods usually last from three to seven days.

If you have noticed that your periods have changed, it is an obvious sign that there are some malfunctions in your body. In any case, it is better to visit a gynecologist for diagnosis and treatment. In this article, we have gathered six alarming signs that your periods are abnormal.

1. Your periods are extremely heavy

Heavy blood flow during periods is a quite common issue that can cause a lot of trouble. You should be careful and change pads or tampons often to avoid leakage. But this is not the main problem since heavy periods can be caused by certain health issues. The most common of them are:
- Uterine polyps
- Uterine fibroids
- Adenomyosis
- Thyroid issues
- Cancer

Due to the fact that all these conditions may require precise treatment, it is essential to visit a doctor as soon as possible. Additionally, regular and severe blood loss during periods can lead to anemia. This condition can lead to headaches, weakness, and other unpleasant symptoms.

2. Your periods occur too frequently

Even though the length of the menstrual cycle can vary, periods that occur too often can be considered abnormal. If you have two periods within one month, it can lead to blood loss and anemia. Additionally, it is important to know what condition exactly causes frequent periods to undergo precise treatment.

Frequent periods can be caused by endometriosis, thyroid problems, and uterine fibroids. However, if frequent periods occur in a teenager that has just started menstruating, it can be deemed normal. But when your menstrual cycle turns out to be too short on a regular basis, it is better to schedule an appointment with your gynecologist.

3. You have skipped a few periods

Some women think that if they have skipped a few periods in a row, it means that they are pregnant. But the reality is that pregnancy is not the only factor that can lead to missed periods. There is a huge variety of reasons why you have missed periods. The most common of them include:
- Stress
- Excessive exercising
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Thyroid diseases
- Ovarian cysts
- Medications
- Weight changes

Additionally, perimenopausal and menopausal women can also skip a few periods in a row due to hormonal changes. If you have noticed that your periods disappear, try to visit your gynecologist as soon as possible. For example, an ectopic pregnancy that is considered a life-threatening condition can also make you skip periods.

4. You suffer from unbearable menstrual cramps

Mild pain and cramping during periods are normal since your uterus contracts to remove the endometrial lining and blood. This condition is called primary dysmenorrhea and it doesn’t require any special treatment except for painkillers and rest. But extremely severe cramping that interferes with your normal activity is a reason for concern.

Severe cramping during periods can be caused by endometriosis, PCOS, uterine fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease, adenomyosis, and cervical stenosis. It is essential to understand that these conditions require treatment since they can become advanced and cause more severe complications.

5. Your periods last too long

Normal periods can last from two to six days. Periods that last more than a week can also be caused by certain underlying medical conditions like uterine fibroids, uterine polyps, hypothyroidism, adenomyosis, and PID.

It is important to understand that your prolonged periods can also make you lose a sufficient amount of blood that can result in anemia. To avoid the advancement of the underlying condition that can make your periods last longer, it is essential to consult your gynecologist. Additionally, if your prolonged periods are accompanied by other alarming symptoms, you should visit a doctor immediately.

6. You experience spotting between periods

Spotting is light bleeding that occurs during periods. It can accompany ovulation occasionally and in this case, it is deemed normal. But if you experience spotting often, it can manifest some health issues. Additionally, if spotting occurs during or after sex, it can be a sign of cervical or uterine damage.

It is extremely important to visit your gynecologist and undergo a pelvic exam in the case of recurring spotting. For example, light vaginal bleeding can be the only sign of developing cervical canc. Timely treatment can prevent the spread of cancerous cells and dangerous complications of cancer.

The bottom line

It is important to understand that rare changes in the menstrual cycle can be considered normal. Additionally many non-medical factors like weight changes, traveling, or excessive exercising can also impact your periods and make them abnormal. However, if you experience certain symptoms in addition to abnormal periods, it is essential to schedule an appointment with your gynecologist as soon as possible.

Author's Bio: 

I am Amelia Grant, journalist, and blogger. I think that information is a great force that is able to change people’s lives for the better. That is why I feel a strong intention to share useful and important things about health self-care, wellness and other advice that may be helpful for people. Being an enthusiast of a healthy lifestyle that keeps improving my life, I wish the same for everyone.