Menstruation, in all its unpleasantness, is a necessary evil if you ever want to have children. However, there may be many telltale signs from early on that you do not have a normal menstrual cycle and/or normal blood flow during this time of the month. Here is how to identify the "not normal" period things so you can discuss them effectively with your OBGYN.
Blood Clots vs. Clotting Blood and Uterine Lining
Many women experience heavy bleeding for at least one to three days at the start of their menstrual cycles every month. Some women experience clotting blood with their cycles, and this is where the blood mixes with the shed lining of the uterus and forms big, bloody blobs that exit the uterus. The blood tends to soak into the maxi pad, but the shed uterine lining sits on top of the pad. If this happens to you, do not freak out. It is totally normal.
What you do have to worry about is blood clots. This occurs when your heaviest days are done and most of the uterine lining has already been shed. Now you will see lighter flow, but there is suddenly a heavy burst of blood that does not flow but rather exits the body as a clot. What has happened is that there was a blood vessel that fed the uterus, and rather than shut itself off, it created a large clot. The clot, via uterine contractions, shakes itself loose. If you notice one or more bright red clots occurring during your light menstrual cycle days, definitely ask your OBGYN to examine your uterus and abdomen. It could be fibroids or something more serious.
Heavy Spotting Between Periods
If you currently do not take or use any form of birth control, but you have heavy spotting between periods, this is another issue you definitely want to bring up when you visit your OBGYN. When the heavy spotting is also accompanied by cramps and there is NO chance you could be pregnant, these symptoms together could indicate a very serious condition, either inside your uterus or connected to your ovaries and Fallopian tubes. Having your OBGYN take a look and diagnose the problem is necessary in treating these symptoms and possibly even stopping them completely. Ignoring the symptoms only to discover later in life that they have impacted your ability to have children is not something you want to wait on or find out.
If you are looking for an OBGYN, consider a clinic like Florham Park OB/GYN Dr. Donald Chervenak MD.