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How Periods Change as You Get Older: An Overview

Periods. Who'd have em, eh? Your monthly bleed is rarely a walk in the park, but if it's particularly heavy or painful, it's worth knowing that your flow could change - often for the better - as you age.

Today on the Chemist.co.uk blog, we're delving into periods and what happens to them as you get older.

Your First Period

You may have got your first period in your teens, but the average age to start Aunt Flo is 12, according to Kids Health.

Bear in mind that, during puberty, it's completely normal for periods to be irregular. In some cases, in can take a few years for hormones to balance out and a girl's period to become regular.

Some girls find it useful to track their periods on a calendar, noting down the date they start and the duration; it can help to predict when the next period might be to ensure they always have a stack of sanitary towels or tampons to hand.

In Your 20s

You may be using the contraceptive pill, the injection or coil now you're in your twenties; you might have started birth control before then, even. Contraception can often make your periods lighter and this is common.

Switching contraceptive methods, or going off and on birth control can cause changes in the length of your period or your flow. This isn't a problem, but be aware that a missed period can be a sign of pregnancy. It could also be a sign of stress, in your twenties or indeed at any other time.

It's vital, therefore, that you speak to your GP about the right conceptive method for you, as well as ensuring you know how to use it properly to prevent pregnancy.

In your 30s

More and more women are waiting until their 30s to have a baby - but regardless of what age you are when you give birth, you may find your period changes following pregnancy. In some cases, periods are heavier and longer after a woman has had a baby, while some women will notice positive changes in their flow - for example, it's lighter or less painful.

If you choose to breastfeed, you may not have periods at all while nursing your newborn.

In your late 30s, you may find your monthly bleed happens less often. This could be a result of perimenopause, which is the very beginning of your - and your body's - transition to the menopause.

If you are trying to conceive and your periods are irregular, it's always worth making an appointment with your GP. Irregular periods are common but there may be an underlying cause which can, in some cases, affect your ability to get pregnant. Make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your concerns and help you better plan for pregnancy.

In Your 40s, 50s and Beyond

From 40 onwards (or earlier, in some cases), your ovaries will begin to slow their production of estrogen. This will result in shorter, lighter or less frequent periods. If your period stops completely for 12 consecutive months, you are officially in you menopausal years, but this could happen in your late 40s or early 50s.

Did you find this article useful? Don't forget to check out the rest of our blog here for more pieces like this.

You might also like: Period Pains and What to Do About Them, Focus On...Clearblue Pregnancy Tests, and The Menopause and How to Handle the Side-Effects.

Until next time...

Disclaimer: If you are allergic to any of the ingredients listed in the products mentioned, do not consume them. Always check with your doctor before trying a new medication or regime, and if irritation or allergy occurs stop using the product or medication immediately.

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