Beyond the Myths: Redefining Normal Periods and Embracing Individuality
Updated: Jul 19
Menstruation, a natural part of a woman's life, is often accompanied by confusion, silence, and a lack of open discussion. Women are left grappling with questions and concerns, unsure of what constitutes a "normal period."But today, we're breaking down those barriers and setting the record straight. We will provide you with the essential knowledge to understand what is considered normal when it comes to your monthly flow. Together, we will unravel the mysteries surrounding periods and empower you with the information needed to confidently navigate your menstrual health.
When it comes to the physical experience of a "normal period," there are a few key aspects to consider. Let's break them down:
Cycle Length: Contrary to popular belief, a period arriving every 28 days is not the only norm. In fact, only a small percentage of 10-15% of women adhere to this precise timing. The truth is menstrual cycles can vary, with lengths ranging from 26 to 32 days or even beyond. The crucial factor here is regularity. Whether your cycle spans 25 or 35 days, as long as it remains consistent and predictable for you, it can still be considered normal.
Cramping: Menstrual cramps occur as your uterus contracts to shed its lining. The intensity of cramping can vary among individuals. Some may experience no cramps at all, while others may have light or moderate cramping. More on Are Your Period Cramps Normal can be found in this post.
Bleeding Duration: Normal periods typically last anywhere from 3 to 7 days. If your bleeding lasts significantly longer or shorter than this range, it may be worth discussing with a healthcare professional.
Clots: It's not uncommon to pass small clots during menstruation. However, clots larger than a quarter (or around 2.5 cm) are generally considered abnormal and may warrant further investigation.
Spotting: Some women may experience spotting at the beginning or end of their period, which can be considered normal. However, if you experience spotting between periods, it may be attributed to a hormone imbalance, particularly in estrogen or thyroid levels. In such cases, completing a hormone test to assess your hormone levels could provide valuable insights.
Blood Colour: During a normal period, the colour of the menstrual blood should be red. It's important to be aware that other colours, such as black, orange, or green, may indicate a possible issue. If you notice abnormal colours, it's advisable to consult a healthcare professional for further evaluation. Brown blood, often seen at the beginning or end of a period, is usually due to oxidized blood and is generally not a cause for concern on its own.
Fatigue: Feeling tired during your period is normal. Your body is shedding tissue that has been growing for nearly a month, which can take a toll on your energy levels. However, extreme fatigue that hinders your ability to function or get out of bed may indicate an underlying problem and should be addressed.
It is crucial to recognize that every woman's menstrual experience is unique. What is considered normal for one person may differ for another. If you harbour concerns about your menstrual cycle or encounter distressing symptoms, it is always prudent to seek guidance from a healthcare professional. They can offer personalized insights, address underlying issues, and help you effectively manage your menstrual health.
Together, let us embrace knowledge, dispel misconceptions, and empower women to understand their bodies and their periods. It's time to embrace a new understanding of what it truly means to have a "normal period."