I’ve often imagined a long line of women waiting in line in Heaven to kick Eve. After a while, I decided I didn’t want to be in the line…mostly because there are other things I’d rather do. That does not mean I like the results of her actions.
Menstruation is a monthly process of ridding the uterus of its lining. If a woman should become pregnant, that lining would form the placenta. However, if the egg released by the ovaries does not meet up with sperm, the lining has to go.
Most women have a known number of days a period will last. The usual count is four to seven days, but each of us is different. Both the timing and the number of days can be changed. One factor is the number of women in the house. Usually, after a few months together, every woman’s period will start at about the same time.
Another factor that can bring change is pregnancy and childbirth. After the baby is born, your body will have to reestablish its rhythm, and that can mean changes. If the birth is a second C-section, you can expect heavier bleeding, which can be scary.
After a baby is born, there is a flow called lochia. This can last anywhere from two to six weeks. Some women take longer than that, but if you do, it’s best to check with your OB. There may be problems and a flow lasting this long could lead to anemia.
As a woman enters perimenopause, there will also be changes in menstruation. You may skip a period, spot for a month and/or then have a period that never seems to end. While this is normal, that doesn’t mean it’s always good for you. There may come a time when you have to do something about it.
Your doctor will order a blood test to see how your hormone levels are doing. If they are outside the norm, treatment may be recommended. As a rule, I’m not in favor of heavy duty hormone replacement therapies. They can be as dangerous as the problems perimenopause cause.
However, there are new therapies available including low dose birth control. This therapy uses a setup that has a period once every three months, instead of monthly. If your problem is hormone related, you may not have the exact same results as those women who are using it primarily for birth control. Be prepared to have a period even on the days you’re supposed to be “off.”
You may also require iron supplements. This is especially true if Auntie Flo has been going for several weeks. While menses isn’t all blood, there is enough in it to cause anemia.
If you are experiencing any difficulties with your period, you need to talk to your doctor. He or she can explain what’s happening, whether or not it’s normal. The doctor can also discuss treatment options and how to use them safely and effectively.