People often view menstruation as nothing more than a reminder that they are not pregnant. Although there is a lot of truth behind this sentiment, there is more to your period than just letting you know that there isn’t a bun in the oven.
Here are six different warning signs your period might be trying to tell you:
Cervical or Uterine Polyps
Experiencing an unusually heavy flow during your menstrual period and bleeding or spotting in between periods may be a symptom of cervical or uterine polyps. The most common treatment for cervical or uterine polyps is a surgical removal that can be performed during a pelvic exam.
Irregular bleeding and bleeding in between menstrual cycles can also be symptoms of uterine cancer, according to Alyssa Dweck, M.D. Experiencing pain during sex can be another warning sign of uterine cancer, however these can be symptoms of less serious conditions as well.
Painful cramps are often associated with menstruation, however if this pain reaches the point where it becomes almost unbearable than it may be a symptom of dysmenorrhea. According to the Upsala Journal of Medical Sciences, this type of menstrual pain can be related to factors such as having a low body mass index, smoking, or having a prolonged menstrual flow. If you are an avid tea drinker and experience painful cramps, then consider switching to chamomile. According to a study conducted by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, chamomile tea contains compounds that can help relieve menstrual cramps.
Hyperthyroidism and Pituitary Gland Issues
Having a light-flowing period may indicate a problem with your thyroid, says Dweck. According to Mayo Clinic, symptoms of having an overactive thyroid include menstrual cycle changes (such as lighter bleeding and less frequent periods) along with muscle weakness, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, shaky hands and weight loss. Having a strong immune system is key to having a healthy thyroid, so if you want to prevent hyperthyroidism it is important to eat foods that are rich in antioxidants. These can include strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and many other types of berries. Having a light-flowing period may also signal a problem with your pituitary gland.
Having a late period can cause either fear or joy, depending on the situation. However, if your period is late this may be the symptom of something other than pregnancy. It could also signal a hormonal imbalance. According to the New York Academy of Sciences, treatment should focus on restoring a natural menstrual cycle in order to prevent both long-term and short-term consequences of hormonal imbalance. Many experts suggest doing this by making appropriate lifestyle changes before attempting any medical procedures. This includes changing your diet, exercising and finding ways to reduce stress.
Missing your period could also be a sign of having a pituitary tumor. Other symptoms include having a milky breast discharge and headaches, says Dweck. This could be the result of either a benign or cancerous tumor and are often found in older adults.
During your next period, watch for these signs. If you notice anything, get tested for thyroid health and the possibility of cancer. The best thing you can do is prevent, not treat – start with changing your diet and your lifestyle.
A healthy, holistic lifestyle is the key to a long, satisfying life.