Understanding Age-Related Menstrual Cycles Changes
February 8, 2022
Having surfed the crimson wave for years now, you know what to expect from your menstrual cycle. But just when you thought that you have finally mastered tracking your menstrual cycle, you start to observe certain changes like easier PMS, heavier flow, or disturbing period cramps. And it strikes back to you all over again – the war between you and Aunt Flo hasn’t settled (yet).
Our bodies change as we age and so do our ‘lady times’. You can blame it on the hormones, but it’s only natural that the monthly bleeding we experience is likely to be different in our 40s than what it used to be in our 20s.
Characteristics of a Healthy Period
Every woman’s body is different and so is her menstrual cycle. But there are certain accepted characteristics of a healthy period –
When your menstrual cycle is 24 to 35 days long with a maximum of 80ml of blood lost in a span of 4 to 8 days, you are said to have a healthy period.
As for cramps, some women experience mild pain while some experience moderate to heavy discomfort. Luckily, there are many effective period pain medications available that can provide relief from menstrual cramps.
If you experience any major deviation from the characteristics of a healthy period, it is time to make a call to the gynecologist.
Do periods get worse with age? Let’s find out.
Period In the 20s: Knowing Your Flow
If you have been struggling with irregular, messy, and highly unpredictable periods in your teenage years, here’s the good news: your 20s will welcome you with a more consistent menstrual cycle as you begin to ovulate more regularly to maintain optimum fertility. However, this might also be accompanied by breast tenderness, cramps, and PMS.
The 20s are also when most women start using hormonal birth control methods. This can further regulate your cycle, that is, if you find the right BC for you.
If you see sudden abnormal changes in your period, you must consult a gynecologist and keep an eye out for PCOS, endometriosis, fibroids, etc.
Period In the 30s: Mixed Feelings
This is when you might see your period symptoms changing the most. The major gamechanger here is giving birth. As you know, Aunt Flo goes MIA during pregnancy. It may not return until 6 weeks after delivery or till the time you stop or reduce nursing. However, for many women, menstrual cramps get better after going through pregnancy.
The late 30s can also send you off to a new journey: perimenopause. It is the 8 to 10 years leading up to menopause where you might again experience crazy bleeding patterns as a result of lesser estrogen and progesterone production in your body.
If some benign health conditions like fibroids, polyps, and unusual uterine growths pop up, then be sure to take medical help.
Period In the 40s: Predicting the Unpredictable
Period changes at 40 can get as erratic as ever. While for some women, perimenopausal symptoms may continue to bring about changes in the menstrual cycle after 40; for some, the late 40s or early 50s could be the beginning of the menstruation ending age where the process of ovulation becomes more irregular.
Symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, improper cycles, menopause weight gain, night sweats, mood swings, vaginal dryness, and overall tiredness might throw your mind and body off. The flow could be irregular until one fine day, it completely stops.
Delaying Your Period
Menstruation is a natural process. Although women always try to ease through it, sometimes you might want to delay your period by a few days. It could be for your wedding, a vacation, or a big sports tournament. Luckily that option is available to women. You can safely postpone your periods using some medications that your doctor may prescribe or you may find them through an online pharmacy.
While it is hard to escape periods, aka the monthly visitor, you can now be better prepared to find an answer to the question “why have my periods changed?” And if anything feels unusual, be sure to consult your gynecologist to take professional help.
Author Bio: Krishma Patel is the Co-founder and the Superintendent Pharmacist at MedsNow, an online pharmacy in the UK that provides health and wellness products and treatments along with free online consultations. She is passionate about showcasing the integral function community pharmacies can play in supporting the healthcare system and the NHS by providing patients with high quality, safe and discreet access to healthcare at their convenience. Along with being the co-founder of MedsNow, Krishma is also the Director and the Superintendent Pharmacist of Enimed Ltd., an independent pharmacy group comprising 32 branches.
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