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How To Know If Your Period Is Normal – How Long Does A Period Last? Menstruation, Your Menstrual Cycle, And Everything You Wanted To Know About Normal Periods, Period Symptoms, Bleeding, Cramps, And Irregular Periods

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How To Know If Your Period Is Normal And How Long Does A Period Last? Menstruation And Your Menstrual Cycle

Have you ever wondered how to know if your period is normal or how long your period should last? Have you always had questions about menstruation, your menstrual cycle, period symptoms, bleeding, cramps, and irregular periods but just felt too uncomfortable or awkward asking your mom or your best friends? If the answer to any of those questions is yes then wonder no more as this article will attempt to explain the basics about normal periods, irregular periods, period symptoms, bleeding, and those cramps that just ruin your day when you least expect it. We will start with the basics such as what is menstruation and how long a period lasts before moving on to more advanced topics such as how to know if your period is normal, irregular periods, bleeding, cramps, and period symptoms later in the article.

The word “menstruation” comes from menses, the Latin word for “month.” That gives you a big clue to what the menstrual cycle is all about. Also, if you have heard friends talk about “that time of the month,” you can probably guess that women go through menstruation about every month.

How To Know If Your Period Is Normal – Do You Have A Normal Period?

It is that time of the month again, or so you thought. So “why am I not getting my period?” you ask yourself. Your friends proudly tell you about how their periods arrive like clockwork every four weeks. They certainly do not understand how it feels to not have a clue when your period is due to arrive. You start to ask yourself “if their menstrual cycle is called regular or normal, what is my period called? Not normal?”

Many women are not sure if they have a normal period or if their period is what is called an irregular period. Even if you have the courage to talk to your best girl friends you will notice that the information that they provide is not always helpful since the range of what is considered normal can be wide, and this is assuming talking about your period is common among your friends since many times even the closest of friends will not reveal how many days they bleed or discuss mid-cycle spotting.

It is also important to keep in mind as you review what is considered a normal period and what is considered an irregular period is that when your period just begins during puberty, it is normal for your menstrual cycle to be a little off as a teenager. The same is generally true for the years just before you reach menopause.

How Many Days Of Bleeding Are Normal During My Period? How Long Does A Period Last?

Some of your female friends will feel their period coming days before they actually get it, while other girls will hardly be aware that their period has arrived. Some girls might bleed for two days during the month, and seven days the next month. The average woman bleeds for three to five days, but it is normal to bleed for as few as two days or as many as seven days. It can also be normal to bleed beyond seven days if it is just spotting. However, if you experience heavy flow beyond seven days, it is not considered to be normal.

How Long Should A Period Last?

When you first start menstruating, the length of your period won’t be regular: it could last one day or ten days. The average length of a period is 5 to 7 days of bleeding.

How Much Blood Is Normal During My Period? Bleeding, And How To Know If Your Period Is Normal

Though it can look like much more blood, the average woman bleeds just two tablespoons worth of blood during their period. Two to three times as much is also considered to be normal. It is not considered normal to need to change your pad in the middle of the night or to pass large blood clots through your vagina (golf ball size or larger). Small, tissue-like blood clots on the first day or two of your period can be normal.

Experiencing a heavier blood flow during the first few days of your period (menstrual cycle) is normal, but it should not be so much blood that you need to change your pad or tampon more often than every hour or every two hours. If you find yourself changing pads every hour for two to three hours in a row, call your doctor right away.

How To Know If Your Period Is Normal – Average Number Of Days Between Periods (Your Menstrual Cycle)

In reality, most women do not get their periods in exactly the same number of days after the last one. Specially for teens, there is a much broader definition of what is considered a normal period. Just as the age you begin to menstruate varies, so does the length of time between each period (your menstrual cycle). A menstrual cycle can be as short as 21 days or as long as 35 days. At some point, as you grow and your body develops, your light and unpredictable menstrual cycle will settle into a recognizable pattern.

The average menstrual cycle length (that would be from the first day of your period until the next period begins) is said to be 28 days. There is a common misconception that anything shorter or longer than 28 days is not considered normal, but this is not true since a menstrual cycle as short as 21 days or as long as 35 days can be considered normal.

In general, two out of three girls develop a regular pattern within two years after they get their first period (they bleed for the first time). It is also not unusual to skip a period within the first couple of years. In addition, be aware that if you participate in sports that require long hours of practice, or are active in strenuous workouts like volleyball, gymnastics, or ballet, you may see less bleeding, shorter periods, and/or less frequent periods. Furthermore, if you are dieting so strictly that you are not getting the calories your body needs, you will be denying your body the fat it needs to menstruate regularly. Furthermore, if you are really worried about an upcoming school test, stressed out about a nasty fight that you had with your best friend, or really worried and concerned about the health of a close family member, you can pretty much bet that your period will be affected by these stress factors.

How Much Variation Between Periods Is Normal? Irregular Periods And Your Menstrual Cycle

Slight variation in the length of your menstrual cycles is normal. For example, if one month your menstrual cycle is 28 days and another month your menstrual cycle is 30 days, this would be within the normal range. However, a large variation of days between your periods is not considered to be normal. For example, if the number of days between your periods (menstrual cycle) was 21 days and then after that it changed to 35 days, that would be considered an abnormal variation. If you have menstrual cycles that vary this much, you are experiencing irregular periods. Sometimes, due to illness or stress as explained above, your period (menstrual cycle) may be delayed. Having one irregular period is nothing to be worried about, but if you go longer than 60 days without a period, and you are not pregnant, you should speak to your doctor.

Why Do Some Girls Have Irregular Periods?

First, we will explain what is considered a regular period. Women can have their periods every 21 to 35 days. 28 days is the average number of days between periods for most women. When you first start to menstruate your menstrual cycle could be very irregular: starting, stopping, and starting again. For example, you could have one period and then wait as long as six months for your next period. This isn’t unusual in young women, and until your body adjusts to your menstrual cycle, your period may be unpredictable. But after that, your menstrual cycle should be fairly regular during most of your menstruating years. If your period continues to be very irregular, you should see your doctor.

Once your period is regular you could still have menstrual cycle changes that could affect your period. These menstrual cycle changes could be caused by hormones, stress, powerful emotions, sudden life style changes, and even some medications.

Does Diet Affect Menstruation? Nutrition And Your Menstrual Cycle (Your Period)

Proper nutrition is necessary for the cells and tissues in your body to grow so that you could develop into a beautiful and healthy adult woman, so the better balanced and healthier your diet, the better you will probably feel before and during your period. Just before your period, you may want to avoid caffeine, salt, and carbonated drinks such as Pepsi and Coca-Cola (you should especially avoid diet sodas). Some women have reported that these foods (caffeine, salt, and carbonated drinks) contribute to uncomfortable premenstrual symptoms. Thus, drinking a lot of water instead of carbonated drinks and getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night (to help your body regenerate and fight stress) combined with daily exercise can probably help you to avoid uncomfortable premenstrual symptoms.

Is Spotting Between Periods Normal?

Some women experience light spotting during ovulation, which is approximately in the middle of your menstrual cycle. Not all women experience this, but it is considered to be normal. However, if you experience heavier bleeding between periods, or the spotting seems to occur throughout your menstrual cycle, that would not be considered normal.

Is Vaginal Odor Ever Normal? How To Know If Your Period Is Normal – What If My Period Has An Odor?

Women are often told that having vaginal odor is a sign of infection, but in fact, some vaginal odor is normal. During your period, you may notice a blood-like scent or a mild musk-like scent which can be normal. However, consider making an appointment with a nurse or your doctor if the odor suddenly seems stronger and more unpleasant than usual, continues for several days, and/or is accompanied by pain or irritation (this is not considered normal and may indicate a vaginal infection).

While you may feel embarrassed talking about vaginal odors, it is important to talk to your doctor and not just try covering up the scent or smell with vaginal deodorants. In fact, many doctors recommend that you stay away from scented tampons, pads, and vaginal deodorants since they can cause irritation, which can lead to infections that may make odors worse. Vaginal odors vary throughout your entire menstrual cycle, including during your period. It is normal for some days to feel fresher than others (and you are usually the only one who can tell, so don’t stress about the odor or smell).

What Should I Do If My Period Has An Odor?

Sometimes, our periods smell a little, and other times they don’t smell. If you detect a strong smell that bothers you during your period, try changing your pads and tampons every few hours, and washing your vulva (the outside part of your genitals) with mild soap and water. Do not put soap inside your vagina and do not douche.

What Period Symptoms Are Normal? How To Know If Your Period Is Normal

By this point you may be wondering what period symptoms are considered normal. It might surprise you to know that the answer is not as simple as it may seem since normal period symptoms can include the following:

*Food cravings.
*Emotional sensitivity, feeling irritable, or mood swings.
*Light cramping (especially the day before your period and during the first couple of days of your period).
*Mild headaches.
*Increased acne in younger women.
*Breast tenderness.
*Trouble sleeping.
*Bloating.

While slight mood swings are normal, serious depression or crying all day for no apparent reason are not considered normal period symptoms. Mild headaches are normal, but you should speak to your doctor if you constantly experience strong migraines before your period.

How Much Cramping Is Normal? Period Symptoms Such As Cramps During Your Menstrual Cycle (Menstruation)

Mild cramping, especially the day before and during the first day of your period, is considered normal. However, cramping that is so bad that you consider calling in sick at work, is not normal. Cramping that occurs at times when you are not having your period is also not considered normal. Furthermore, severe pelvic cramps may be symptoms of endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, or other serious medical problems that generally require prompt medical attention.

When You Should See A Doctor And Things That Every Girl Should Know About Her Period

You should probably see a doctor if you:

*Are 16 years old and have never had your period.
*Get periods that last longer than seven days for three menstrual cycles during the past 12 months.
*Experience a dramatic change in blood flow, period duration, or length between periods.
*Miss your period for several consecutive months (unless you are pregnant).
*Are passing large blood clots through your vagina.
*Are soaking through your pad or tampon hourly for two or more hours.
*Are bleeding between menstrual periods.
*Have pelvic pain for longer than a day that seems unrelated to your period.
*Have severe pain while you are menstruating unrelieved by over the counter medication.
*Are sexually active and missed a period.

Can Birth Control Pills Affect Your Period And Your Menstrual Flow?

The amount of blood flow can change when birth control pills are used. Most women who notice a change find that their blood flow decreases rather than increases.

How To Use A Calendar For Tracking Your Period (How To Know When You Will Get Your Next Period)

No girl likes surprises when it comes to her period, and although it can take up to two years or more before you notice a regular pattern in your menstrual cycle, it is a good idea to get to know your menstrual cycle from the very beginning (starting on the first day when you get your first period). In fact, it is always a good idea to keep a record of your period on a calendar. To do this, just circle or shade in the days that you menstruate each month. Do this every time that you get your period. After a few periods, you will probably begin to see a regular pattern on your calendar so that eventually you will know how long each of your menstrual cycles will be, how long your periods will last, and when your period will come again on the following month.

The nice thing about having a calendar is that you will be able to see when your next period will probably start by counting the average number of days between your periods. You can also make notes in your calendar about how you feel on those specific days before your period starts. With time, you will be able to predict fairly accurately when your period is about to come by using the information from your calendar.

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