Author: Monika Preuk, medical writer
Last updated: July 14, 2021
The type of bleeding during your period provides important information about the hormonal status, fertility and diseases such as endometriosis or benign and malignant tumors. The main signs and what they can mean.
It usually comes once a month, but many women find their period a nuisance and are happy when it is over. Women usually do not talk about whether the bleeding is weak or heavy, how often menstruation occurs and whether it is associated with pain. What is certain is that the period is one of the last taboo topics. Wrongly – because the nature and type of period provide important information about the state of health and should ideally always be clarified by a doctor.
At a glance:
Period pain during your period
The medical name is dysmenorrhea. They are pulling, stabbing abdominal cramps. They arise when the uterus contracts and sheds its lining. If the period pain is severe, the cause may be endometriosis. Uterine tissue that grows outside the uterus begins to bleed on a cycle-wise basis. This is where the massive pain occurs. Experts assume that between seven and 15 percent of sexually mature women suffer from more or less pronounced endometriosis.
Very short cycle
The cycle length of the period can differ. Everything is normal, which is between 21 and 35 days. However, if menstruation occurs more frequently, it can have various causes:
- ovulating too early
- the luteal hormone progesterone is not sufficiently produced
Very long period
If the period only comes more than 35 days apart, this can be a sign that ovulation is not taking place. In addition, menstruation is sometimes delayed in women who constantly eat too little or at a very young age.
Color of the menstrual bleeding
- Medium red: Normally the menstrual blood is a rich medium red.
- Dark red: Dark red color and thick liquid, on the other hand, are the signs of a high level of estrogen. It is responsible for the fact that the uterus builds up a thick mucous membrane, which leads to heavy, dark menstrual bleeding when it is rejected. This is often the case in the last period before menopause. But fibroids that grow inside the uterus can also cause the dark bleeding.
- Light pink: Light pink bleeding is a sign of low estrogen levels. The cause can be starvation, high alcohol consumption can also play a role.
Strength of the bleeding
If your period is weak and you lose little blood, hormone fluctuations can be responsible – for example, due to stress. However, the light bleeding can be age-related, for example because the estrogen level drops.
Typically, the amount of blood a woman loses on her period is only 65 milliliters. If the menstrual period is much heavier, for example the tampon plus pad will be perfused within a few hours, fibroids, polyps, cancer or endometriosis may be the cause.
An irregular period, which sometimes comes too early, then later again, indicates hormone fluctuations such as with PCO. They are usually quite normal and after a few months the cycle returns to its original rhythm. These fluctuations are also typical for the onset of menopause. However, if they persist, alcohol, stress, or dieting could be triggers.
Bleeding after your period
If intermenstrual bleeding or spotting occurs a few days after your period, this could indicate a bacterial infection. However, it could also be the first sign of a precancerous stage, such as cervical cancer.
Missing your period
If menstruation does not come (medical amenorrhea), many women think of pregnancy first. But there are also a few other causes: hormone changes that are triggered by being very overweight or, on the contrary, being very underweight. In addition, women who exercise excessively over a long period of time often no longer get their periods.
Source: Lifeline | Das Gesundheitsportal by www.lifeline.de.
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