You’re in perimenopause and haven’t had a period in months. Suddenly, you experience menstrual bleeding. What gives?
A popular television character recently called this having a “flash period.” Whatever choice of words you use, know that irregular bleeding during perimenopause is common and often normal.
You may find that you have small amounts of blood on your underwear in between your periods. Typically spotting is nothing to worry about, and is a symptom of your changing hormones. If you’re spotting regularly, talk to your Southdale OBGYN provider to see if there are any options for relief.
Once you’ve missed 12 consecutive periods, you’ve reached menopause. Before that time, you may experience longer cycles or missed periods. This means two things: 1) that you may still be able to get pregnant during this time, so don’t rely on period tracking methods to determine fertility, and 2) tracking your period may become difficult if downright impossible.
Enter the “flash period.” This is when you’ve missed several months of periods, and suddenly your menstrual cycle makes an appearance. This may take you completely by surprise and be unwelcome if you’re completely unprepared. Our advice: until your healthcare provider has confirmed you’re in menopause, plan for the unexpected menstrual cycle and consider stocking up on your preferred menstrual products. Panty-liners may be useful for times when you find yourself spotting, or on days when you’re wearing an outfit that makes an unexpected menstrual cycle especially risky.
When your progesterone levels are low in relation to your estrogen levels, you may experience the opposite end of the spectrum — unusually heavy menstrual cycles. Having a heavy period can be disruptive to your work, your life and especially your sleep. If you’re experiencing heavy bleeding that is becoming a disruption, consult with your healthcare provider about treatment. The use of hormones during perimenopause may help with symptoms, but they’re not right for everyone.
A flash period can be annoying, but menstrual irregularity is a normal and common occurrence during perimenopause. However, it’s important to remember that when you feel like something is wrong, trust your intuition and see your healthcare provider. You can still develop endometrial cancer during perimenopause, so knowing your body and checking in with your Southdale OBGYN provider when you have questions or concerns is always the right move.