Periods are a monthly hassle for some, and a monthly ordeal for others, and we wanted to find out why. We called upon the brilliant duo The Doctor and Daughter to ask them every awkward period question we could think of. Do you have any others? Drop us a comment and we’ll find out the answer for you. 

What is a healthy period – is it different for every woman? 

Anything from 3 to 7 days , every 21 to 35 days. There is big range of normality and everyone is little different.

Why do I experience a lot of brown blood at the start of my period? 

The lining of the womb does not break down and shed itself all in one go. It takes a day or two for the hormone levels to drop and the start of the period can be a gradual event (as indeed is the end).

When on my period, is it normal to experience lots of blood clots that only come away when I go to the toilet? 

It is quite normal to notice more blood when you pass urine or open your bowels . This is because the pelvic floor muscles contract at that time and squeeze out a bit more blood or clots, if there are any.

Will being on the pill for such a long period of time have any detrimental affect on my returning periods or fertility? 

No. Most women ovulate, and,  if they do not conceive, menstruate quite normally after stopping the pill. Usually within 4-5 weeks. Some fertility clinics use the pill to help with timing and to take advantage of the rebound fertility that some women experience after stopping.  However, if your periods were irregular and / or erratic before you started the pill, ,there may be some delay or uncertainty, as before.

I’ve been on the contraceptive pill since I was 15 years old. My periods started at the age of 13, and were very, very heavy. I’m now 35, and since coming off the pill a year and a half ago, my periods have never returned to what they were before taking the pill. Do I have to worry? We’ve been trying to conceive during that time but nothing is happening. Are lighter periods are a sign that my fertile time is over?

Lighter periods does not mean lower fertility. If they are regular and normal, you probably have normal fertility, but do remember that your ability to conceive is just starting to decrease. Now is the best time!! Start Folic Acid and enjoy a normal sex life (with an awareness of your most fertile time, which is usually about day 14 ( if your cycle is 28 days).

If you have been trying to get pregnant for 18 months without success , then I suggest you go and see your doctor .

After having my two children, now 3 and 1 years old, my periods have never returned to normal. They’re much heavier now and a lot more painful. Why is this?

If your periods are getting heavier and more painful, then I suggest you consult your doctor. An examination and/ or a scan would be helpful to see if all is well. There are some simple treatments that can relieve your symptoms.

How soon after pregnancy will my periods return to normal? 

This will depend on whether it was a miscarriage or a baby. It is most likely that your period will return within 4- 6 weeks after a miscarriage or abortion. After a baby , it can be anything from 6 weeks to a year, depending on how long you breastfeed. Usually, the first period arrives 4-6 weeks after stopping breastfeeding. But do remember you can get pregnant before your periods return. You ovulate before you menstruate.

During labour I experienced contraction pain in the tops of my legs and down my thighs. Since having children, my period pain seems to affect that area too. Is this normal? 

Yes, this is quite normal.

The Doctor and Daughter run regular antenatal classes for pregnant women living in the Balham, Clapham, Wandsworth, Tooting and Battersea areas. To find out when and where our classes take place, click here

The Doctor and Daughter’s Guide to Pregnancy
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