WHAT'S 'NORMAL' when it comes to your period? (updated!).

July 16, 2021

The Snuggle is Real Moxie mini hot water bottle
We've looked after a lot of periods in our time and have learned a thing or two along the way... Here are our verdicts on some common occurrences experienced by us period-having folk, and what might be cause for conern (and a sign that it's time to touch base with your GP).

 

PERIODS THAT LAST MORE THAN A WEEK

Periods should usually last between 3 – 5 days but some people do experience them for 7 days or more. This is considered prolonged bleeding and probably means there is something amiss, like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or a hormonal imbalance.

Our verdict: Get things checked out by a trusted Doc, Moxette. 

 

YOU GET YOUR PERIOD SPORADICALLY

This is called 'oligomenorrhea' (say that quickly!) and refers to periods that occur infrequently. This is a tough one, because there are a heeeap of reasons why you may miss a period (pregnancy, you’ve lost or gained weight, stress, the list goes on. Read more about why your period has gone awol, here).

Our verdict: We were unsure about this one, so we consulted our resident Gyno, Dr. Nicole Stamatopoulos , who advised that "periods should be 21 - 35 days apart. Anything beyond a regular cycle that is more than 6 weeks apart should be investigated".  

 

YOUR PERIOD GOES COMPLETELY AWOL FOR 3MTHS OR MORE AT A TIME

"Regular periods are a sign of ovulation and so if periods are not occurring regularly at 4 - 6 week intervals, it should be cause for concern", says Dr. Stamatopoulos. 

Periods that occur this infrequently (unless you’re pregnant, breast-feeding, on a contraceptive like the pill or Implanon, or, are going through menopause) are referred to as a condition called 'amenorrhea' and is usually caused by problems with the reproductive organs or with the glands that help regulate our hormones. Treating these underlying causes will also usually help re-regulate your period.

Our verdict: Not normal. Make an appointment with you Doc. 

 

YOUR PERIODS ARE REALLY REALLY LATE (OR, JUST VERY FAR APART)

And by "really really late", we mean 35 days or more. Some people-who-period ovulate less often than others, which generally isn’t a problem; but it can cause issues like difficulty getting pregnant, pain, and not to mention the inconvenience of it all (you know, like when it strikes unawares?!).

Our verdict: It's quite common for your period to be a few days or even a week late; but if you're experiencing a period only once every few months, it may be worth checking in with your GP. 

 

YOU FEEL LIKE SOMEONE IS COMPLETELY TEARING OUT YOUR INSIDES

Some mild discomfort during periods is considered normal and is extremely common in most women, but severe, debilitating pain is certainly not.

"Period pain is an actual condition", says Dr. Stamatopoulos. "It's known as dysmenorrhoea. It may be 'primary', which means that it is due to the contraction of the uterus; or, 'secondary' which is due to another reason such as endometriosis". 

While severe pain could be the cause of a condition like endometriosis, it could be a raft of other things - pain is often over-looked or down-played, but we can't stress enough how important it is to treat your pain seriously! Your period shouldn't be painful to the point where it seriously affects your life.

Our verdict: OUCH. As Dr. Stamatopoulos explains, severe period-related pain isn't normal. Please get checked, Moxette.

 

BLOOD CLOTS DURING YOUR PERIOD

They sound gross, but they're just a bodily fluid (usually a mix of 'old' blood that's been in the vagina a little while, mucus and vaginal tissue) and are nothing to fear! Blood clots during period week are actually super common and generally harmless. Read more about clots and period blood colours (and what each of them means) here.

Our verdict: Pretty normal! But if they're larger than the size of a $1 Aussie coin, are experiencing them frequently and are accompanied by a really heavy period (like, you have to change your pad or tampon every hour or so), best to make an appointment to see your Doc.

 

BLEEDING OR SPOTTING IN BETWEEN PERIODS

The technical term is “metrorrhagia”, but it’s generally just known as intermenstrual or uterine bleeding. This does happen, but it shouldn’t. There are actually a heap of possible causes for this (from hormone imbalance, to stress, infection, a growth in your uterus or cervix to some more serious health conditions like cancer). Check out our Moxette's guide to spotting for more info.

Our verdict: Spotting is actually super common but if it's happening on the regular, then there may be something else going on - play it safe and get checked.

 

Keep in mind, Moxettes, that sometimes “normal” is what is normal for YOU. Every person is different, every BODY is different – get to know yours! There are no set rules and the above are just guidelines based on our own research. If you have any concerns whatsoever about your periods or health, please see a trusted health professional.

 



Also on The Regular

Period progress report.
Period progress report.

September 20, 2021

We’re working to be a better, more inclusive and honest period-care brand. Here’s what’s changed (and, what's new!).
Read More
THIS IS MOXIE: Ruby Staley. Dream dresser, rampant writer, PMS-haver.
THIS IS MOXIE: Ruby Staley. Dream dresser, rampant writer, PMS-haver.

August 27, 2021

We touch on recent write-ups, contraception and faraway photoshoots.
Read More
50 SHADES OF... PERIOD BLOOD (and what each of them mean).
50 SHADES OF... PERIOD BLOOD (and what each of them mean).

June 10, 2021

Period blood flows in various different shades - here's what they mean...
Read More