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SHAG Week - Period Health

For SHAG Week your SU have written an article on Period Health, including information on where to find support.

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Period Health

For something that will happen to half the population, on average, once a month for 40 years, a lot of people will grow up with limited knowledge of their own menstrual cycles.

From the length of your cycle and hormonal changes, to what irregularities to look out for, staying on top of your period health is really important.

Just as no two people are the same, no two cycles are the same, what is ‘normal’ for your friends might not be for you. For example, your period might occur every 21 - 35 days and last from anywhere between 2 or 7 days. It might be heavy or light, come with pain or be pain free, and that might even change month to month! Different types of contraception, and perimenopause can also change your menstrual cycle. We are all different, so it is knowing your own body that is important, so you can look out for changes that might be indicative of conditions.

Keeping a record of your cycle on a calendar is really beneficial and there are even dedicated apps that can help you, because remembering to do that every month can be hard!

Irregularities in your cycle are common, but if you are concerned that something has changed significantly, keep a list of your symptoms, and talk to your GP. There can be a variety of health issues causing irregularities such as PCOS or fibroids that can affect your fertility and long term health.

Some irregularities to look out for are:

  • Your periods suddenly stop (and you’re not pregnant)
  • Your periods suddenly become irregular after having been consistently regular
  • You bleed for more than 7 days
  • You have spottling between periods
  • You develop severe pain during your period
  • You bleed more heavily than usual and soak through more than one pad or tampon every hour or two

This list is not exhaustive, and your cycle can change over time. If you have any questions or concerns, speak to a health care professional.  


If you have any questions or would like more information about any of the above, our amazing SU Advice team are always happy to help.  You can reach out to them at suadvice@essex.ac.uk. You can also go to SU reception to collect free sanitary products.


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