A normal menstrual cycle goes for about 25 -30 days, with normal bleeding lasting between three to eight days and the blood loss being anywhere between one to six tablespoons. You should, therefore, visit an experienced gynecologist such as Judson Shelnutt M.D. if you notice that your periods have become irregular or are experiencing extreme period symptoms.

Some women experience irregular periods due to several reasons, namely: lifestyle changes, use of birth control pills, stress, hormonal imbalances, among others. Certain changes in bleeding are a sign of abnormal periods that should not be ignored.

You need to visit a gynecologist immediately to know the causes of the abnormality and recommendation of an ideal treatment option.

Heavy Menstrual Bleeding (HMB)

Heavy menstrual bleeding is when you notice large blood clots, or when your period lasts for more than seven days, and you need to change your pad/tampon every hour. This condition is also referred to as menorrhagia.

Menorrhagia in women results in more than 80ml of blood loss in one cycle. However, every woman’s cycle is different, so only you can tell if the amount of bleeding is abnormal. There are three main problems associated with menorrhagia namely: hormonal issues, uterine related issues, and other bleeding and non-bleeding disorders

A gynecologist will run several tests before giving a diagnosis. The main tests to expect are the pap smear test, ultrasound, as well as a blood test to check for anaemia. Your doctor may then recommend other comprehensive tests such as a sonohysterogram and a hysteroscopy to determine the cause of heavy bleeding.

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The treatment option is dependent on the severity of your menorrhagia. Usually, the doctor may recommend medication and other non-invasive therapies. Surgical treatment procedures such as dilation and curettage and endometrial ablation are a last resort.

Missed Periods

Missing your period can, at times, provide relief, especially for women who experience painful cramps. However, unless you’re pregnant, skipping your period should worry you because it could be a sign of a more significant health issue.

One thing you should note is that skipping periods is normal for teens who just begun their periods or for pre-menopausal women. Therefore, if you miss your period and are not in this category, you should schedule an appointment with your gynecologist.

Extremely Painful Cramps

A 2012 study by the American Family Physician revealed that one in five women experience intense period pains that prevent them from carrying out their daily tasks. Close to 50% of women experience primary dysmenorrhea colloquially known as cramps.

Most women consider cramps as a typical symptom of menstruation and may not always recognize when they need to seek medical help. You should get worried when your pains make you miss school or work.
Additionally, you should visit your gynecologist if you notice that over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen and ponstan do not provide pain relief.


It’s normal for some women to experience nausea and diarrhea during their periods. However, if you have never experienced such symptoms before and are feeling dehydrated, you should report these symptoms to your gynecologist.


If you notice bleeding in between every period, you should visit your doctor for them to rule out endometrial cancer.

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Every woman should ensure they fully understand their menstrual cycle and must never downplay any irregularities that occur during their period.