Periods put your body through a LOT every month, so it's normal to ask if everything you're going through is what is supposed to happen! We answer some of your most common questions, and let you know when it's worth getting something looked into.
I’ve missed a period
When you first start your periods it’s perfectly normal for them to be a bit all over the place. You might find you miss your period sometimes. This is just because your body is adjusting to all the changes, so don’t worry too much!
However, if you’ve started your period and not had one for a while, it’s worth getting checked out. Things like your weight, feeling too stressed, or exercising too much can stop your periods coming. Book an appointment with your GP so they can look into what might be happening and make sure everything is okay.
I’m bleeding in-between my periods
This can also be known as spotting, when you find blood in your underwear even though your period isn’t due. There are lots of different reasons why this can happen, from starting the contraceptive pill, taking certain medication, or an STI like chlamydia. If you’re concerned about this, or it’s been going on longer than three months, chat to your GP.
I’ve not started my period yet
It might seem like everyone else around you has started your period, but your time will come – some people just hit puberty later! Your period can start from the ages of 8-16, but usually happens around two years after the first signs of puberty start showing (things like growing breasts, getting underarm hair etc). If you haven’t started your period by 16 it’s worth chatting to your GP about it – it could be that late puberty runs in your family; your body might be feeling the impacts of being underweight, exercising too much and stress; or they can look into things like a hormone imbalance.
My period is really heavy
If you find you are bleeding more that usual, need to change your sanitary towel/tampon/mooncup more often, or even need to add an extra layer of protection so you don’t bleed through your underwear – speak to your GP. Heavy menstrual bleeding is usually defined as losing 80ml of blood or more in each period, having periods that last longer than 7 days, or both.
My cramps are really sore
Cramps can feel like a dull, constant ache. Sometimes you can feel them in your stomach, lower back and thighs. Other times you might get a throbbing pain in your uterus during your period. Quite a lot of people experience cramps during their period, and things like putting heat on the area (putting a hot water bottle on your back) or light exercise like yoga can help relieve the pain. But, if you are finding that the pain is really impacting your life and you’re struggling to do day-to-day things when you’re on your period, it’s definitely worth chatting to your GP about. They might recommend pain killers, going onto contraceptive pills to manage the pain, or will look into things like endometriosis.
I feel really tired
Your body is going through a lot during the menstrual cycle, so it’s perfectly normal to feel lethargic! Bear in mind you are losing blood during this time, so it’s super important that you keep your body well fuelled. Find out more about what a good balanced diet looks like. Again, if you’re finding it really hard to get out of bed or do day-to-day things because you’re feeling totally exhausted, chat to your GP who can look into things like anaemia or thyroid imbalances.
Head back to the Periods Campaign page for more info