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Everything you want to know about Periods

In this edition of That’s Puzzling, we answer the most commonly asked questions about periods aka menstruation! From unbearable pain and mood swings to swimming and menstrual cups, today we answer all your questions on this subject. Let’s dive in! 

Q. Is it normal to have really painful periods?

No, it’s not normal to have unbearable period pain that affects your daily life. If your pain is making things difficult for you, it could be a sign of an underlying issue. It’s a good idea to see a doctor and get it checked out. 

Q. How can I maintain proper hygiene during my period? 

  • Change your pad or tampon every 4-6 hours.
  • Take a daily shower (twice if you sweat a lot).
  • Keep your vaginal area dry. After peeing, wipe away any moisture.
  • Wear clean cotton underwear and change them if they get stained.

Q. Why do periods cause mood swings and cramps? 

During your menstrual cycle, your uterus contracts and expands to let the blood flow out. These movements can cause cramps. Hormonal changes and chemicals in your body during this time can also lead to mood swings.

Q. How should I dispose of a pad? 

Wrap it in a paper and throw it in the bin you use for toilet-related trash. 

Q. What are menstrual cups? How can I use them? 

You can find all the information you need about menstrual cups by following this link

Q. Can I be physically active during my period? 

Yes, if you are comfortable you can play sports or do any kind of physical activity you wish to.

Q. Are pads 100% safe?

Yes, millions of women use pads every day. However, some pads may cause rashes if you have sensitive skin. There have been reports suggesting that certain pads contain chemicals that may increase the risk of cancer. If you’re concerned, you can opt for organic pads (chemical-free) or try using a menstrual cup.

Q. Is it normal to have periods twice a month?

Yes, it can be normal if there is a gap of 21 days between periods. Period cycles can be as short as 21 days or as long as 35 days. But if your periods occur within 21 days and the gap between them is irregular, it’s best to consult a doctor (gynaecologist). 

Q. How can I find relief from period pain? 

For mild pain, you can use a hot water bottle on your stomach or take a pain reliever and get some rest. If the pain becomes unbearable and disrupts your life, it’s important to consult a doctor (gynaecologist).

Q. Why does the blood flow differ between different cycles? 

It’s normal for the flow to vary during periods. However, if you notice a significant difference (huge increase or sharp drop) in flow between cycles, it’s a good idea to get it checked by a gynaecologist.

Q. Why is it considered wrong to do religious rituals during periods?

In the past, people believed that period blood was impure and thus menstruating women were excluded from religious rituals (that were considered pure activities). However, we now know that it was just a myth, and there is nothing wrong with performing rituals during periods.

Q. What does it mean if I have irregular periods? 

It’s normal for periods to be irregular in the first few months after you begin your periods. It usually takes 6 to 12 months for your period cycles to become more regular. However, if your periods are irregular even after that and have no pattern, do get yourself checked by a gynaecologist.

Q. What if I miss a period? 

Periods can often not come at their regular time because of a variety of reasons. Stress, hormonal change in the body and so on. If you have been worried, unwell or seeing changes in your mood and body, this could impact your periods. Wait for a week or two and if it still doesn’t come, you can see your doctor. 

Periods can also be missed if one conceives after sexual activity. That is, when sex happens without using protection (condom), the sperm can enter the body and fertilize the egg to cause pregnancy. A missed period is a sign of pregnancy but only if a sexual activity has taken place. In such a case, a pregnancy test needs to be taken after 10 days of missing the period date.  

Q. Can I swim while using a menstrual cup?

Yes! Just make sure the menstrual cup is properly placed before swimming. You can also swim using tampons.

Q. Are irregular periods common?

Irregular periods are common, but it’s best to get them checked by a doctor to address any underlying issues such as PCOS or PCOD.

Q. Is it normal to have white discharge? 

Yes, white discharge is normal. However, if it is accompanied by pain or has a foul smell, it’s advisable to consult a doctor. Read more about it here

That’s all for now. If we have missed any questions, do add them in the comments section below and we will add them to the FAQ list with an answer. And remember, it’s important to have open conversations about periods and seek medical advice if you have any concerns or issues.

Photo: Shutterstock/Persons in the photo are models and their names have been changed. 

“To learn more about the topic, do check out this cool video :

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