Normal symptoms of menstrual cycle continued

Symptoms That May Seem Abnormal But Usually Aren’t

The best thing to do when you suspect that you’re experiencing abnormal bleeding or menstrual cycles is consult with your health care provider.

However, sometimes what appears to be an alarming symptom actually isn’t. These symptoms may include:

  • Seeing blood clots, which are actually clots of tissue, in your menstruation. Don’t worry, this is a normal occurrence and no cause for alarm. Blood clots such as these are perfectly normal because menstruation involves the shedding of the lining of the uterus.
  • Skipping periods or having irregular periods for the first few years of menstruation. This is a normal process that most young ladies experience.
  • You’re extremely active in sports activities and often skip your menstruation for long periods of time. Nobody is sure why this occurs, but it’s a normal occurrence for many women who regularly participate in intense sports or other activities.

Things to Remember About Menstruation

Here are some menstruation basics every woman should know to help determine if you’re having an abnormal period:

  • Normal menstrual bleeding lasts about 5 days.
  • The typical amount of blood lost during menstruation is about 2 to 8 tablespoons, although it may seem like more than that.
  • The average menstrual cycle is 28 days from Day 1 to Day 1 of your period. However, anywhere from 21 to 35 days between periods is considered a normal menstrual cycle.

 What Period Symptoms Are Normal?

Normal period symptoms include…

  • food cravings
  • emotional sensitivity or mood swings
  • feeling irritable
  • light cramping (especially the day before your period and the first couple days of your period)
  • mild headaches
  • increased acne
  • breast tenderness
  • trouble sleeping
  • bloating

While slight mood swings are normal, serious depression or manic states are not normal period symptoms.

Tearing up at a Hallmark commercial is normal. Crying on and off all day for no apparent reason is not.

Mild headaches are normal. You should speak to your doctor if you experience migraines before your period.

Food cravings are very common, but craving non-food items, like rocks or sand, is not normal.

Is Vaginal Odor Ever Normal?

We’re often told that vaginal odor is a sign of infection. In fact, some odor is normal.

During your period, you may notice a blood-like scent, which makes sense.

A mild, musk-like scent at any time during your cycle can be normal.

A pungent scent or strong fishy smell is not normal and may indicate an infection.

Speak to your doctor, especially if you’re experiencing…

  • itching
  • fever
  • unusual cramps
  • any other worrisome symptom

While you may feel embarrassed talking about vaginal odors, it’s important to tell your doctor.

Don’t try covering up the scent with vaginal deodorants. Some vaginal infections can interfere with getting pregnant, and many, if not all, vaginal deodorants can interfere with fertile cervical mucus (which you need to get pregnant).

Can an Abnormal Period Ever Be Normal?

Your body is not a computer or a clock. If your period is usually normal, but you have an off cycle now and then, it’s likely okay.

Also, just after puberty begins, it’s normal for your cycle to be a little off. Menstruation during the teenage years can be irregular.

The same goes for the years just before you reach menopause. Your cycles will naturally get shorter and further apart.

That said, if you’re worried, talk to your gynecologist. That’s what they are there for!

Asking period questions can feel embarrassing. Remember that this is your doctor’s passion. They chose to become a gynecologist. What you think of as an icky question may be an interesting topic for them!


What is the menstrual cycle How can I track my menstrual cycle
Signs and Symptoms of an Abnormal Period What causes menstrual cycle irregularities
How to prevent menstrual irregularities




Related Topics

Menarche and the Teenage Menstrual Cycle

What is perimenopause

Perimenopausal Menstrual Cycle

What is menopause

Causes of menopause

Symptoms of menopause

Do you need tests to diagnose menopause

Do you need treatment