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7 Surprising Facts About Your Menstrual Cycle

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It’s no surprise that every month women get their periods. But there are some facts about your menstrual cycle that may even be surprising to you. Read on to learn more interesting facts about your menstrual cycle!

1. You’re Not Losing as Much Blood as You Think

You might think you’re losing a lot of blood, but the average woman only loses around 2 to 3 tablespoons during her entire monthly menstrual cycle. It’s also just not blood you’re losing. There’s a layer of the uterus that is shed every 28 days, along with some blood vessels, which is why your period can sometimes be heavy. So although you may be experiencing abnormally heavy bleeding one day or soaked through tampons every few hours or so, it’s not uncommon. It’s only concerning if abnormal bleeding occurs for more than seven days. If that’s the case, you should schedule an appointment with your gynecologist.

2. Your Body Thinks You’re Pregnant Right Before Your Period

Days before your period, your body is actually preparing for pregnancy. The hormones your body secretes, mostly progesterone, causes similar symptoms of pregnancy such as fluid retention, breast tenderness, feeling bloated and acne.

3. Cramps are Abnormal

You would think cramps are a normal part of the menstrual cycle, but they’re actually unusual for you to have. If you are experiencing cramps, it usually means that there is something else going on with your body, such as high estrogen. It could also mean that you recently ate too much sugar, causing an inflammatory response. But there is also a possibility that there is something irritating your uterus, such as a fibroid or a cyst. It’s important to tell your gynecologist during your yearly visit if you suffer from debilitating cramps every month.

4. Weight Affects Your Period

You may not know it, but if your body fat drops below 8-12 percent your period will stop. This is due to fat cells contributing to one-third of your estrogen levels. Without adequate estrogen, your body stops menstruating. Other big contributors are low-calorie diets and inadequate nutrition as well.

5. Cravings Can Be More Than Just PMS

If you experience sugar or carb cravings during this time, it could be a sign that your body is low on progesterone. This type of hormone helps regulate your blood sugars, so low levels will increase your cravings for that sugary treat. To find out if your body is low on progesterone levels, you can find out by going to your doctor and getting blood work done. If you find out your levels are low, it can easily be treated by taking certain supplements.

6. Ibuprofen Can Help Reduce Your Flow

Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory, over the counter pain medication that reduces hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body. Not only does ibuprofen cure painful cramps, but it also reduces the flow of your period. A higher dosage such as 800mg, if taken three times a day, can even stop your period for a short amount of time. But if you’re looking to just reduce your flow and you don’t have any cramping issues, you can take 10mg/kg of ibuprofen to decrease it.

7. Some Period Symptoms are Tell-Tale Signs

There are certain symptoms of your period that can be warning signs that something else is going on in your body. For example, if you are experiencing heavy bleeding, it may be a sign of high estrogen levels. Because estrogen is what is used for the uterus to contract, you should have your hormone levels checked out by your doctor. He or she can offer insight into some natural ways to bring estrogen levels down. But be aware that another sign that you may have high estrogen levels is if you are experiencing back or vein pain with your period. Just as if you were experiencing heavy bleeding, it’s best to have your hormone levels checked.

Treatment for Menstrual Problems in West Orange

At Women First Health Center, we want to ensure that you have an improved, healthy and regulated menstrual cycle in the future. If you think you are experiencing any menstrual problems or would like to know more about your menstrual cycle, please contact us today. Call (973) 669-5711 to schedule your first appointment!

 

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Dr. Claudine Sylvester
Dr. Sonya Youngren

Women First Health Center, an Axia Women's Health Care Center, located in West Orange, NJ, is committed to providing women with a comfortable and welcoming environment where they can receive optimal standard of care.

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