Answers to Your Top Period Questions
What If I Skip a Period?
Relax. It's normal for your period not to be normal -- especially in the first few years after starting your period. Stress, exercise, and sickness can all cause you to miss one. It can happen if you gain or lose a lot of weight. Of course, it can also happen if you're pregnant. If you skip more than two in a row, talk to a doctor.
Is My Period Too Heavy?
It's probably not as much as it seems. Most women lose about 3-4 tablespoons of blood each period. If you use more than 10 pads or tampons a day or are soaking through a tampon or pad every hour, talk to your doctor.
How Long Should My Period Last?
For most women, it goes on for 3 to 5 days. If that’s not you, don’t worry. One can last as few as 2 days of as many as 7. If you're bleeding more than 7 days in a row, talk to your doctor.
Can I Get Pregnant During My Period?
You can get pregnant at any time, even when you're bleeding. If you don't want that, talk to your doctor about using some type of birth control, no matter what time of the month it is. It's also important to protect yourself against STDs, so check with your doctor to make sure you're safe.
How Do I Get Rid of Cramps?
Try a pain reliever like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen. You can also use a heating pad on your lower back or stomach. Increasing hydration and avoiding caffeine can help. And a warm bath might help you feel better, too.
Does Using a Tampon Hurt?
Not for most women. Remember, your vagina is made to stretch (think childbirth). There should be plenty of room for a tampon to fit. If it hurts, don’t force it, especially if it's your first time using one. A lighter absorbency tampon may work better.
Why Do I Crave Junk Food?
We're not sure what exactly causes cravings and other PMS symptoms, but it seems like hormones are involved. Some women really want foods like ice cream, chocolate, and potato chips when their period comes. Need something sweet? Reach for fruits instead. Want fatty, fried, or greasy foods? Choose healthier fatty foods like salmon, nuts, or avocado.
How Can I Control PMS Symptoms?
You may want to exercise, skip salty foods, and cut back on caffeine the week before your period. If your mood is still tricky, talk to your doctor. She may suggest you take medication.
A Period Means I'm Not Pregnant, Right?
Not always. Sometimes women can still bleed early in their pregnancy. If the bleeding doesn't seem like a regular period, or if you're nauseated or tired, you may want to see your doctor or take a pregnancy test.