BeingGirl Points - Major Bragging Rights

Show everyone what a superstar you are by racking up BeingGirl points. The more active you are on the site—taking quizzes and polls, playing games, commenting on articles, and submitting questions to Ask the Experts—the more points you’ll earn.

Looking for more
awesome articles?

Register to become a BeingGirl
member so you can:

  • Receive helpful tips and
  • Ask your own questions to the
    BeingGirl Experts
  • Respond to what other girls are
    saying about your favorite articles
  • Enter the BeingGirl Monthly

No Thanks

My Period

Menstruation & Your Cycle

« Back to Articles

Added September 25, 2014

Menstrual Problems

  • ViewsIcon 117709
  • CommentIcon. 2

What's a problem? What's normal?

According to textbooks, your period should come every 28 days or so, and the menstrual fluid you lose is on average, six to nine tablespoons. The trouble is, your body can’t read textbooks, and it may do something very different.


Some women have:

Periods that don’t come regularly (in fact very few have a consistent 28-day cycle)

  • Heavy periodsa very heavy flow of blood each month
  • Painful periods
  • An absence of periods (called amenorrhea)


A few women have a combination of menstrual problems. Sometimes these things are normal; sometimes it means something is wrong. So if your periods aren’t regular, or are too heavy or painful or if your period stops coming, you should talk to a doctor.


Infrequent Periods

Typically, after a woman has been menstruating for a year or two, she will get her period every month or so. Therefore, most women get about 12 or 13 periods a year. If menstruation DOESN’T happen every month, a woman will only get five or six periods a year. This would be considered infrequent, and she should see a doctor.


You might not have had a period for a few months, and when it comes, it might last one day or ten. This is normal. Your body will take a while to settle into a cycle, and it could take two years or more.


However, if you've been menstruating awhile, there are some things that can delay menstruation one month, making it appear that you’re "skipping" a period. The most common reason to skip a period is pregnancy. But other reasons for menstrual problems include: 

  • Weight loss
  • Illness
  • A really big decrease in calories eaten
  • An excessive amount of physical activity (for example, running over 40 miles per week)
  • Extreme stress or excitement
  • Summerit isn’t unusual to skip a period during the summer. The additional hours of daylight can affect your cycle.


When women get near the end of their reproductive years, "skipped" periods may be a sign of approaching menopause.


Irregular periods

"Regular" periods mean the time between periods is pretty much the same from month to month. Women can have their periods every 21 to 35 days, and 28 days is the average. But when you first start menstruating, the cycle isn’t usually regular. You could have one period and then wait six months for the next one! This isn’t unusual. Until your body adjusts, the time between your periods may be unpredictable. But after that, it should regulate itself. If not, see your doctor concerning menstrual problems.


Bleeding or "spotting" between periods

The only type of normal bleeding or "spotting" (light bleeding) between periods is spotting that happens for some women when they ovulate (which is about 14 days before the start of the next period). If you have any other type of bleeding or spotting between cycles, you should see your doctor.


Absence of periods

Sometimes your periods may stop altogether, a condition known as amenorrhea.


This menstrual problem can be caused by: 

  • Pregnancy
  • Dramatic weight loss. Amenorrhea is a frequent telltale sign of the eating disorder anorexia nervosa, an illness in which someone, usually a young woman, starves herself in order to be thin
  • The "binge/purge" disorder, bulimia, in which the patient eats a lot of food (bingeing) and then makes herself throw up (purging)
  • Excessive exercise, like running more than 40 miles per week, or elite training in ballet/gymnastics, etc.
  • Polycystic Ovary Disease (multiple cysts on the ovary)
  • On some very low dose birth control pills, there may be little or no menstrual flow


Heavy Periods

Heavy periods are defined by a flow that requires the highest absorbency tampon or pad that must be changed sooner than recommended, usually within an hour.


The reasons women have heavy periods include: 

  • The natural flow is just heavy
  • Use of the birth control method called an IUD (intra-uterine device)
  • Hormonal imbalance (too little or no progesterone)
  • Fibroids or polyps (growths that sometimes occur in the uterus)
  • Thyroid problems (the thyroid is a gland in the neck that helps control many body functions)
  • Endometriosisa condition in which cells from the lining of the uterus travel and grow in other parts of the body
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Childbirth(Many women have heavy flow during the first year or so after childbirth)


Some of these conditions don’t need to be treated. Others may require treatment.


When to see a doctor about heavy periods

If you have a normally heavy period, there is usually no need for concern. However, you should see a doctor if you experience "flooding" (leaking through a super absorbency pad or tampon within one hour). If your periods get heavy and change in consistency, you should see a doctor. If no medical reasons are found for heavy flow, the doctor may prescribe oral contraceptives, or use cyclical progesterone to regulate the periods.



Rate this:
comments so far
Posted May 19, 2014
I got my period,2 weeks ago and it's my 3rd week and all I get is vaginal discharge!What the heck!I don't know what's going on!!Please help me.
queen supreme
queen supreme
Posted July 31, 2011
Sometimes the cramps get really bad but surprisingly for this week i barely had any cramps. I am so grateful for this:)
The period diaries
Watch Videos
Protection you need. Security you love.
See what other girls are asking about periods.
See what other girls are asking about periods.
Todays Hot Poll
find this quiz and more
Are you a
daddy's girl?


In order to get the best possible experience using this website, we
recommend that you use Internet Explorer 7 or above. You may
download it here.