Periods come every month, but talking about periods is considered one of the most taboo topics. Well, now is the time to talk about it openly. Often, women think that their periods are the only indication that they are pregnant or not. Cramping, bloating, heavy flow, and back pain are often thought of as a part of periods that should simply be endured, but periods can reveal much more about your health than this.

Here are some health problems that periods can indicate -

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  1. Excessive Bleeding Due To Fibroids
  2. Irregular Periods Caused by PCOS
  3. Light Flow During Period Due to Stress
  4. Irregular Menstrual Cycle Due to Diabetes
  5. Period Cramping Due To Endometriosis
  6. Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding Due To Cervical Cancer
  7. Sudden Absence of Menstrual Cycle May Indicate Low BMI
  8. Sudden change in periods due to thyroid
  9. Takeaway
Doctors for What does your period say about your health?

A fibroid is a layer of muscle that builds up on the walls of the uterus due to hormonal activity, which can affect your menstrual cycle. This can lead to heavy or prolonged bleeding. Because of this, it later becomes a tumor and causes cancer if left untreated. In a 2012 study published in BMC Women's Health, researchers surveyed 21,499 women in 8 countries. The findings found women with a diagnosis of uterine fibroids were more likely to have heavy bleeding (59.8% vs 37.4%), prolonged bleeding (37.3% vs 15.6%), and bleeding duration (33.3%) than other women (who did not have fibroids). vs. 13.5%) reported.

Another study published in 2014 in the International Journal of Women's Health concluded that heavy and prolonged bleeding is the most commonly reported symptom in women with fibroids. If suddenly you are having more periods than usual, contact your doctor to know the reason behind it.

(Read More - Long periods treatment)

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Symptoms like obesity, excess hair on the face and body, hair loss, and acne can indicate polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). In the condition of PCOS, excess testosterone activity in the body leads to cysts in the ovaries. These cysts affect the entire menstrual process, due to which there is a problem of irregular periods.

A study published in Human Reproduction in 2014 confirms that irregular periods during the teenage years are associated with PCOS and infertility in the future. Take it seriously and consult your doctor.

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Light bleeding is common in women who are entering menopause or use a hormonal birth control method. If there is a sudden light flow as compared to the previous period, it could be due to overstress or hormonal changes in the body.

Your periods may be light if you bleed very little or for less than two days. Your bleeding is considered very light, such as spotting, if you miss one or more regular-flow periods.

Once your stress levels are under control, your periods should return to normal. If you're feeling stressed, try exercising on most days of your period, practicing meditation, and getting talk therapy to reduce your stress levels.

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Irregular menstruation may be linked to insulin resistance and the risk of type 2 diabetes. Overweight women with irregular menstrual cycles are probably thought to be suffering from type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance also affects ovulation, which in turn affects the menstrual cycle.

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A 2001 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association followed more than 100,000 women who described their menstrual cycles as normal between the ages of 18 and 22. After the 10-year study period was completed, women with longer or more irregular menstrual cycles (40 days or longer) were twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes than women with normal cycles. Women with irregular periods (21 days or less) are 1.5 times more likely to develop diabetes than those with normal cycles.

(Read More - Avoid these mistakes during periods)

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Intolerable and painful cramps during menstruation can indicate that you are suffering from endometriosis. Endometriosis occurs when endometrial tissue (which lines the inside of the uterus) grows outside the uterus. These tissues then become 'stuck' in the pelvic area and lower abdomen, causing swelling and more pain. This type of pain is different from normal period pain. This pain gets worse before periods. Abdominal pain is often accompanied by back or pelvic pain.

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Irregular vaginal bleeding is the most common symptom of cervical cancer. Irregular vaginal bleeding can also occur between periods or after sex. Sometimes it is also known as blood-streaked vaginal discharge, which is described as spotting. Women of almost all ages are at risk of developing cervical cancer and vaginal bleeding can also occur in postmenopausal women. Therefore, contact your doctor immediately if you experience bleeding between menstrual cycles or sexual intercourse.

(Read More - How late can your period be)

When your body mass index (BMI) falls below 18 or 19, you may be experiencing missed periods due to too little body fat. Body fat is important for making estrogen, which regulates your menstrual cycle. Low body fat puts the body into an emergency mode, where its main focus is only on performing the most important and life-sustaining functions.

To have regular periods and to be able to conceive, your BMI should be at least 22. If your periods are coming irregularly, check your BMI. Aim to keep your BMI in the normal range to promote regular and healthy menstrual cycles.

(Read More - What to eat if periods are not coming)

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Since your periods are hormone-driven and the thyroid gland plays a key role in hormone production and balance, early or late periods can be a sign of a thyroid problem.

Also, a sudden change in periods such as lighter or heavier flow can be a sign of a thyroid problem. Heavier, longer, and more painful periods are often associated with hypothyroidism, while infrequent, or absent, periods are associated with hyperthyroidism.

So, if you are noticing slight changes in your periods, you need to consult your doctor and get your thyroid levels checked.

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The regular arrival of periods is a sign of good health. On the other hand, if there is any problem related to periods, then it can be a sign of some physical problem. Therefore, the duration of periods, bleeding, and menstrual cycle should be taken care of. Any disturbance in these can be due to thyroid, diabetes, cervical cancer, etc.

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Dr Sujata Sinha

Dr Sujata Sinha

Obstetrics & Gynaecology
30 Years of Experience

Dr. Pratik Shikare

Dr. Pratik Shikare

Obstetrics & Gynaecology
5 Years of Experience

Dr. Payal Bajaj

Dr. Payal Bajaj

Obstetrics & Gynaecology
20 Years of Experience

Dr Amita

Dr Amita

Obstetrics & Gynaecology
3 Years of Experience

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