One of the constants in a woman’s life is her period. The menstrual cycles or periods that recurs for the length of a woman’s fertile lifespan can either be regular as clockwork and provide no cause for queries or worries (and we hope you belong to this privileged class) or provide a cause for worry once in a while. This, Delhi-based gynaecologist, Dr. Anjana Mann assures us, is normal. She addressed some of the common queries that most women have about their periods/menstrual cycles.
Are tampons safe?
Yes, mostly. Tampons are now becoming more and more popular in India. They are pretty safe to use, but some highly absorbent tampons were linked to a bout of a fatal toxic shock syndrome (TSS) outbreak in the 70s and 80s in the USA and Britain. The main cause of TSS is a particular strain of the bacterium, whose growth is suspected of being aided by the prolonged use of hyper-absorbent tampons. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
So, if you use tampons, be careful to not use them continuously during your period. It is advisable to alternate with sanitary towels, particularly at night. Be sure to change tampons every four to six hours, and don’t use tampons if you’ve had any unusual discharge.
Why do I have irregular periods?
In young girls who have just begun to have their periods, irregular periods are pretty normal. It can take a couple of years (and sometimes even more) for the hormones to take control and reach a balance in the regular menstrual cycle. But for older women, irregular periods could be a sign of hormone imbalances. This is easily rectified, and it is strongly advised that you visit your gynaecologist for more advice.
How to deal with menstrual cramps?
Painful menstrual cramps experienced during the period are called dysmenorrhoea.