INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The details of what’s going on down there can make women feel uncomfortable. But although it might be difficult to talk about, menstruation is a part of being a woman. News 8 turned to Dr. Cameual Wright, OBGYN at CareSource, who says an open dialogue with a specialist is critical to keeping women healthy and safe.
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Period questions, Wright says, are normal. Below she provides answers to some of her patients’ most frequently asked questions.
How heavy of a flow is too heavy?
What’s considered heavy, Wright says, is relative to the individual. But there are signs that might indicate a problem. Soaking up a menstrual pad in less than an hour or experiencing blood clots larger than a quarter are just two examples of excessive bleeding. Some women, she says, have told her they need to sit on towels during their cycle. If you find yourself in any of these situations, Wright recommends going to your doctor immediately.
How long should my period last?
A typical period is five to seven days, but can be as short as three days. However, if it lasts more than a week, she says, that means a woman is losing more blood than she should, which can then lead to anemia.
Is spotting between cycles normal?
It depends. Sometimes, Wright says, there’s no cause for concern. However, if it’s happening more often than usual or if a woman has already been through menopause, spotting can be a sign of abnormalities in the uterus. At the same time, she adds, women should pay attention if they miss a period. Late is considered six weeks without bleeding since the start of the last period and could be a sign of pregnancy, fibroids, excessive stress or perimenopause.
Can I get pregnant on my period?
Yes. A woman can get pregnant at any time during her menstrual cycle because it is always a possibility there is an egg there that can be fertilized. Menstruation is not a reliable source of birth control.