Each woman is different. So can be her menstrual cycle. While one might bleed for just a couple of days, another woman might bleed for an entire week. Needless to say, the menstrual cycle can cause a lot of discomfort in women. But there are a few symptoms that no woman should ignore. Continue reading to find out what they are.

1. Heavy Bleeding- Menorrhagia aka heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding is experienced by women who soak through one or more sanitary pads within an hour. Women who bleed heavily can suffer from anemia and experience shortness of breath and fatigue. Heavy periods might be due to hormonal imbalance, uterine fibroids or polyps, Use of intrauterine devices, Bleeding disorders, Endometriosis, Bleeding disorders, pregnancy complications, cervical or uterine cancers.

2. Missing a Period- Pregnancy cannot be the only reason why a woman might miss a period. While there is no need to worry if it is due to intense exercise, significant weight loss, stress, use of birth control pills or weight gain, certain other reasons like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or perimenopause might be of concern. So, it is important to find out the reason behind your skipped period.

3. Excessive Cramping- Be informed that cramps aren’t a normal part of menstrual periods. Cramps are due to contractions in the uterus that occur while your uterine lining is pushed out. Typically, cramps can start a couple of days prior to your bleeding and can last for two to four days. While some women experience mild cramps that aren’t bothersome, others might have intense cramps aka Dysmenorrhea. Such intense cramps might be due to an underlying health issue such as uterine fibroids, endometriosis, adenomyosis, STDs or pelvic inflammatory diseases.

4. Periods becoming Abnormally Short or Long in Duration- While normal periods can last anywhere between two to seven days, some women might have shorter or extremely longer periods. Short periods need not be worried about, especially if that is typical for you. But if you experience sudden changes in your bleeding pattern, it is better to consult your gynecologist and discuss this. Factors like hormonal imbalance, uterine polyps or fibroids could be the underlying cause.

female reproductive system LJNovaScotia/Pixabay

5. Vomiting or Diarrhea- Several women have an upset stomach during their periods. Studies estimate that about 73% of women have reported symptoms like diarrhea and stomach pain during their periods. If these symptoms aren’t typical for you, it could indicate certain medical conditions like PID and it is advised that you discuss such symptoms with your doctor.