Menstruation varies among women, with some experiencing discomfort and cramps as early as two weeks before their period, while others have mild symptoms during menstruation.
The duration, frequency, symptoms, discomfort level, and amount of bleeding also differ.
Changes in Menstruation during Summer
Generally, once menstruation begins, the menstrual cycle should remain consistent in frequency, duration, and bleeding. Summer can help regulate the cycle but may also exacerbate symptoms for those with heavy flows (polymenorrhea). These symptoms include:
- Low blood pressure (hypotension)
In such cases, it is recommended to consider vitamin, mineral, and iron supplements.
Occasional sporadic changes in flow are normal, but sudden and significant alterations require consultation with a gynecologist.
Increased Flow during Summer
Experiencing a heavy flow (polymenorrhea) during summer or any time of the year is relatively common and not a cause for concern.
However, if the flow consistently becomes heavier during summer and persists, it is important to investigate the underlying causes with a gynecologist. Possible factors contributing to increased flow include:
- Hormonal imbalances;
- Thyroid disorders (e.g., hypothyroidism);
- Gynecological conditions (e.g., fibroids, polyps, endometriosis);
- Chronic inflammation leading to thickening of the uterine wall and the formation of nodules called adenomas.
Irregular Cycle during Summer: When to Consult a Gynecologist?
A regular menstrual cycle typically occurs every 28 days. However, various factors, including the summer heat, can affect regularity. A slight delay or variation of up to a week should not be alarming, especially during summer.
Disrupted sleep patterns, drastic diets, and excessive physical activity to achieve a desired “swimsuit body” can all impact the hormone levels that regulate the menstrual cycle.
If the cycle does not return to regularity after summer vacation, seeking guidance from a gynecologist is essential.
Conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and pre-menopause, which can begin as early as age 40 with a gradual decline in ovarian function, may contribute to irregular cycles.
Menstruation in Summer and the Birth Control Pill
Women who use oral contraceptives to regulate their menstrual cycles may experience increased leg swelling (edema) as an unwanted side effect during the summer.
Furthermore, women may request permission to take two consecutive packs of birth control pills to skip their periods during vacations or special trips. While this is possible, consulting with a gynecologist beforehand is crucial.