Is it normal to have a heavier than usual period during a certain season? For some reason, I always find that I have a heavier flow and worse cramps during the summer. I’m really scared. Please help me if you can.
Considering the fact that so many random things – like traveling, exercise, and even catching a cold, to name a few – can affect your menstrual cycle, it doesn’t seem strange to wonder if different seasons and changes in weather can do the same. This seems especially true for the summer, when there’s so much going on. So is it possible for the summertime to make your period heavier and your cramps worse?
To get a really clear answer here, I spoke to Laura Goodman, the Senior Scientist for Tampax and Always, who is an expert on all things period-related. Laura said, “The time of the year shouldn’t have a direct impact on your period.” Some women may notice that their menstrual flow changes every single month, so it’s not weird for it to be heavier one month and lighter the next.
You don’t need to be scared if you’re experiencing a heavier flow, though – there are a lot of different reasons for that. Laura said, “Some other changes in your routine could offer some clues and explanations behind heavy bleeding. If you have recently changed your birth control or started using an IUD, this can cause you to experience heavy bleeding. Are you more or less active this season vs last? Exercise can affect your hormone levels and menstrual cycle.” If you notice heavier bleeding during the summer, it could have something to do with your behavior and lifestyle rather than just your cycle. As you can see from Laura’s answer, these reasons can be totally innocent and nothing to stress over. Think about your daily routine in the summer compared to the rest of the year – there might be a clue there as to what’s going on.
As for really bad cramps, that shouldn’t have anything to do with the season either. Like your flow, your cramps and other PMS symptoms can vary from month to month. Cramps can feel worse if you’re not getting enough sleep, eating too many salty foods and not drinking enough water, drinking a lot of caffeine, or just being unhealthy in general. It’s also worth noting that new birth control pills or an IUD can cause bad cramps as well.
Of course, both a heavier flow and worse cramps could also be a sign of something more serious, like endometriosis. Laura says, “If you are experiencing heavy bleeding but haven’t changed any part of your normal routine, you might want to seek medical treatment to make sure the bleeding isn’t a result of something more serious.” Agreed! If you’re really freaked out by this, go see your gynecologist. But if nothing seems to be too abnormal, it’s probably just normal changes.
What’s on your mind? Heather can help! Send her your question at firstname.lastname@example.org