Identify the Signs and Symptoms of a Normal Menstrual Cycle.

Identify the Signs and Symptoms of a Normal Menstrual Cycle.

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01 December 2023 . 3 min read

What is Menstruation?

Words like menstruation or “period” bring about mixed feelings among women. If these words reminded you of painful cramps and discomfort, you are not alone! Menstruation is the normal vaginal bleeding that occurs in a woman’s monthly cycle. During this time, a woman’s uterine line is shed along with some blood. The menstrual blood passes out through the vagina. Periods last three to five days and may be accompanied by other symptoms like abdominal or pelvic cramps, lower back aches, mood swings, headache, bloating and tender breasts.

Why does menstruation occur?

Menstruation occurs to prepare the woman’s body for pregnancy. Every month, one ovary releases a mature egg from its follicle, known as ovulation. When the released egg does not meet a sperm, fertilisation and pregnancy do not occur. This causes changes in hormonal levels and menstruation.


Signs and symptoms of a normal menstrual cycle

To understand what is the menstrual cycle and what is normal and what isn’t, let’s learn more about the four parameters of the menstrual cycle.

  • Frequency: Your menstrual cycle is said to be normal when it occurs every 24-38 days
  • Regularity: Cycle length is defined from the start of the period (day 1) to the first day of the next period. Your cycle length may vary depending on your age. When the menstrual cycle is irregular, it becomes difficult to predict ovulation, making it difficult to plan conception.
  • Duration: While most women experience bleeding for around eight days on average, any significant variation from this number may be a cause of concern.
  • Volume: Losing around 3 to 5 tablespoons or less than 80 ml of blood during one period is normal. However, if you think you are bleeding excessively during each period, consult your gynaecologist.

Besides these parameters, a few common signs and symptoms of a normal menstrual cycle include:

  • Period cramps
  • Muscle aches
  • Lower backache
  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Joint pain
  • Diarrhoea or constipation
  • Breast tenderness or soreness
  • Difficulty in sleeping

Most women experience a few of these symptoms before their period begins. This is called premenstrual syndrome or PMS. It is normal to experience mood swings, food cravings, and physical symptoms as part of PMS.


Changes in your menstrual cycle

Periods tend to change as you grow older. They may last longer, get lighter or become irregular. This does not mean there is always an underlying problem. However, it would be best if you always got them checked by your doctor. If you experience bleeding between your periods, while having sex or after menopause, it must be investigated by your doctor as it may be a sign of infection, abnormalities in the uterus or cancer.

If you miss a period, get a urine pregnancy test or visit your doctor for a blood test to confirm or rule out pregnancy.


Conclusion

Women must understand the signs and symptoms of a normal menstrual cycle. If you find something amiss or experience changes that are not normal for your cycle, consult your doctor at the earliest. Having a normal menstrual cycle is vital for your overall health and well-being. If you need more information about how to reduce period pain, explore our blogs here!