Period Questions, Answered

Too embarrassed to ask your ob/gyn? Here's 8 things you should know about period problems.
6. Why is my menstrual cycle irregular?
Irregular periods are most common in the first 5 years of having your first menstruation and in perimenopausal women, and the culprit is often a hormonal imbalance. For adolescents, the menstrual cycle usually stabilize themselves over time. Sometimes, irregularity in menstrual periods can strike women of any age. If you've previously had more regular periods, stress, chronic illness, anxiety, poor nutrition or excessive exercise could be at fault.

When to seek help: If irregular periods are making it difficult for you to predict fertility when you're trying for a baby.

7. Should I be worried about spotting between periods?
"Spotting" in between periods occur as a normal and harmless part of ovulation for some women, but using an IUD or oral contraceptives can lead to breakthrough bleeding, too. (If you still experience spotting after the first three cycles of oral contraceptive use, ask your doctor to change your prescription to a pill containing higher dosages of progesterone or estrogen.

When to seek help: Breakthrough bleeding can be an irregular occurrence for many women but for others, it can happen in between most or all of your periods. Most of the time your hormones are the culprits, but as spotting can be an indication of more serious problems, it's best to get checked out just in case.

8. Why do I need to poop when I have my period?
You're not alone! Your period does affect your bowel movement: Research has found that one-third of women experience abnormal bowel movements during their menstrual periods, and many have looser stools for a couple of days at the beginning of menstruation. The exact cause is unknown, but it's believed that progesterone fluctuations may be the culprit.

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