Did you know that your period could actually be revealing important things about the state of your health? Apart from letting you know that you aren’t pregnant, your monthly cycle may give you critical clues about various aspects of your body and its wellbeing, so pay attention if you notice any of these indicators.
6 health issues your period may be warning you about
1. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
An absent or irregular period may be an indicator of this common but serious issue that can cause fertility problems and various other health issues. If your period has stopped or is in any way different to normal, get yourself to a gynae or clinic ASAP.
2. You’re anaemic
A very heavy flow is common among people with anaemia, a form of iron deficiency that can also cause excessive tiredness, dizziness, shortness of breath and/or a pale appearance. If you’re anaemic, your doctor may prescribe iron supplements to treat your symptoms and get you back in good shape.
3. You aren’t eating enough
If you suffer from an eating disorder, it’s often evidenced by your period – or lack thereof. If you’ve been restricting your food intake, and/or exercising excessively and noticing rapid weight loss, it’s possible you have an eating disorder.
4. You have a thyroid problem
Apart from noticeable weight loss or weight gain, another sign of thyroid issues is a noticeably light or short period. If the length or flow of your period has changed significantly, seek medical attention.
If you’re overweight and also missing periods, there’s a chance you may have developed diabetes type 2. Insulin resistance can affect your ovaries, which in turn may have an effect on your period.
7. Certain types of cancer
One of the early warning indicators of uterine cancer is irregular bleeding, bleeding after menopause, and/or bleeding in between cycles. Meanwhile, missed periods combined with a milky breast discharge may be a sign of a pituitary tumour, a mass on your pituitary gland that could be either benign or malignant. Although both these cancers are more likely to occur in older women, they can affect anyone at any age, so never ignore these symptoms.
Worried about your symptoms? We can help
If you’re concerned that Aunt Flo may be trying to deliver an important message to you, don’t wait any longer to figure out what it is. At Marie Stopes centres across South Africa, we’re trained to identify and diagnose all types of medical issues related to menstruation and your general reproductive and sexual health and wellbeing.
Find your nearest Marie Stopes centre and make an appointment online for an affordable and confidential health check-up.