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6 Things About Normal Menstrual Cycle We Learnt From A Gynaecologist

Normal Menstrual Cycle

Though period talks and women’s health discussions are a lot more common now, we still need to go a long way. The first step is awareness and it starts with understanding what is normal menstrual cycle.

Fortunately, we had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Saima Ashraf, a veteran gynecologist, working as head of the Gynae Unit III at the Nishtar Medical University of Multan. She’s been associated with the department for the last 20 years and runs her own clinic as well. 

Normal Menstrual Cycle with DR Saima Ashraf (Head of Gynae Ward 18 - Nishter Medical University)


We had an insightful conversation about the menstrual cycle, focusing on what’s normal, and what’s not. Here are 6 things from our conversation that we think every girl should know. 

Watch the full interview on our YouTube channel. 

1. The Length Of Normal Menstrual Cycle Ranges From 24-35 Days

Your menstrual cycle, the span between one menstrual period and the next, isn’t always the same for everyone. Dr. Saima Ashraf explains that it’s okay if your cycle isn’t exactly 28 days. Your body has its own rhythm. The length of a normal menstrual cycle, according to her, should fall between the range of 24 to 35 days.

This range of 24 to 35 days encompasses the diverse patterns that women may experience. It is essential to appreciate this variability and recognize that deviations from the conventional 28 days are within the spectrum of normalcy.

2. Bleeding For One Day Or 8 Days – It’s All Normal

No need to worry about how long you bleed. Dr. Saima assures us that whether it’s just one day or up to eight, it’s all considered normal. According to her expertise, every woman is considered normal even if she experiences bleeding for one or two days. 

However, there is a key guideline – the ideal cycle length should be less than 8 days. If the bleeding extends beyond 8 days, it raises a flag as potentially abnormal. 

3. Look Out For These Emotional, Psychological, and Physical Symptoms

Feeling a tad different emotionally, psychologically, or physically before your period is something many women experience. Period cramps and mood swings are some of the very common menstrual cycle symptoms that women face. However, there are certain other aspects that one should keep in mind. 

Dr. Saima mentions menstrual cycle symptoms might include period cramps (mainly occurring in the lower abdomen), bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, mild vomiting, irritability, hormonal breakouts leading to acne, or even a touch of depression. 

While these symptoms may sound like a lot, she assures us that they fall within the range of normal pre-menstrual experiences. 

However, if the period cramps are intense and hampering your quality of life, painkillers serve as a good PMS treatment.

4. Experiencing Irregular Periods In Teenage Is Normal

Navigating adolescence comes with its fair share of changes, and irregular periods are one of them. So, it’s perfectly okay if your periods seem a bit unpredictable during your teen years. Going through some kind of severe menstrual cycle symptoms is a common experience for many young women.

During this phase, Dr. Saima suggests a patient approach. For those teens whose periods aren’t settling into a regular pattern over time, she mentions a potential treatment. If irregularities in menstrual cycle persist, she advises a course of hormones for a few months. 

This treatment can lead to natural hormonal balance, assisting in the transition to a normal menstrual cycle as the teen matures. Here the important point is to assess the intensity of irregularities in menstrual cycle. The better you assess the situation, the better it can be treated. 

5. “Scanty Flow” Is Not A Terminology

The term “scanty flow” might pop up in conversations about menstrual health. Dr. Saima emphasizes that this isn’t a cause for major concern, especially if you’re not grappling with additional issues like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

What you might be overlooking in such a scenario could be your increasing weight. If you’ve noticed a lighter menstrual flow and are carrying extra weight, it could be linked. The solution is simple – losing weight can often contribute to a more balanced menstrual flow.

6. Irregularities In Menstrual Cycle Are Normal If You Are A Teen Or Over 50s

Whether you’re a teen figuring out adolescence or in your fifties embracing the later years, Dr. Saima wants you to grasp a simple truth – irregular periods during these times are normal. Why? Because your body is going through changes.

For teens, as you’re just getting the hang of this whole period thing, irregularities in menstrual cycle are common. It’s like your body is finding its rhythm. Similarly, in your fifties, as you are going towards menopause, irregular periods might pop up. It’s all part of the natural changes your body is experiencing.

However, if you are having severe menstrual cycle symptoms, such as heavy bleeding, or menstrual clots, the cause can be treated accordingly. 

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