6 common questions about menstruation: Q&A

It’s normal to have questions about your menstrual cycle. Truth is, most of us still don’t fully understand what’s happening to our bodies during that time of the month. Here are 6 common questions I receive often about menstruation.

Question 1: Why do I feel pain when I’m on my period?

Period pains are normal, and most women experience them. They are muscle cramps that mostly occur in the abdomen area, and they can sometimes spread to your back. The pain usually occurs a few days before you get your period and during your period.

Some pain, cramping, and discomfort during your period is normal. However, excessive pain that causes you to miss work or school is not, and you should consider seeing your healthcare provider if you experience excessive pain.

Here are some tips to relieve the pain during your period.

Question 2: Will I fall pregnant if I have sex on my period?

Yes, it’s possible to fall pregnant if you have unprotected sex on your period.  Every time you engage in unprotected sex, you increase your chances of falling pregnant. Irregular periods are common, which can make it hard to track your menstrual cycle. To fully protect yourself from unplanned pregnancy, consider dual protection method

Question 3: Why is my period blood dark, red and sometimes pink?

Blood color during menstruation varies from almost black or brown to shades of red and pink, and that is totally normal. See your healthcare provider if your period blood is accompanied by large clots, severe cramping, and excessively prolonged periods.

Question 4: I’ve missed my period, am I pregnant? 

Missed or late periods happen for many reasons other than pregnancy, Choma. You can read my article on other possible reasons for missing your period. If you’ve engaged in unprotected sex latelym it would be wise to take a pregnancy test.

Question 5: I can go 2 months without seeing my period, is that normal?

There are many causes of irregular periods, ranging from stress to more serious underlying medical conditions. Change of lifestyle, birth control, fibroids, endometriosis, cysts etc. can all contribute to irregular periods.   

If you’ve missed 3 or more periods in a row, and you’re not pregnant, you should visit your healthcare provider as soon as possible.

Question 6: Why am I seeing blood clots during my period?

It’s normal to pass some small, yet visible, blood clots during menstruation. Blood can be mixed with mucus and look like a clot. However, if you see a clot the size of a quarter or larger, that is not normal, and you should see your healthcare provider because this could be a sign of a serious health condition.

It’s important to keep track of your menstrual cycle by checking if your menstrual cycle presents any out of the ordinary symptoms. If you have any other questions, you can ask me or visit your healthcare provider.

Remember, if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send a Facebook message or a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).