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Your Periods – and How They Change as You Age

As you get older, you may be finding that your periods aren’t quite as they used to be. This normally shouldn’t be cause for alarm because as you age, your bodily functions change, and your menstrual cycle is no different. And it’s best to understand what’s going on with your period as you age because you’ll be stuck with it for three or four decades!

So how do you know what’s part of the natural aging process and what’s a signal for something not quite right? It’s always safe to check first with your doctor, but for some general tips on normal period behaviour through the years, read on.

Your 20s

You’ve likely had a rocky relationship with your period in your teens, but the good news is that it’s (relatively) smooth sailing from here! Or, at least, you can expect more regular cycles. You’ll be able to calculate the start time of your next monthly period more accurately than ever.

Because of your more regular periods, you may start experiencing full-blown period symptoms like never before. We’re talking PMS, cramping, and bloating galore. But in your 20s is likely when you’ll make the decision of whether to take birth control or not, and if you do decide to, you can expect a lighter flow or an outright absence of your period.

Regular smear tests and other tests can help you stay on the alert for cervical cancer, which includes symptoms like an unusually heavy period or spotty bleeding between menstrual cycles.

Your 30s

While your cycle may be fairly regular and predictable in your 30s, it’s even more important that you keep an eye out for signs pointing to cervical cancer, endometriosis, and fibroids, all of which have a greater chance of appearing as you age.

Your 30s also comes along with some major life decisions, such as deciding to have a baby. Being pregnant changes the game for your menstrual cycle, with missed periods being a tell-tale sign of pregnancy. Your periods may be noticeably different after having a baby. A stretched uterus and a dilated cervix may mean heavier, longer, or more painful periods, or it could mean less painful cramps. Every woman is different in how her body reacts to pregnancy.

Your 40s

Here’s where your body starts prepping to shut things down for good. It’s pre-menopause time! With these hormonal changes, expect irregular periods, missed cycles, spotting between cycles, heavier flows, and PMS symptoms that last longer than usual. Your ovulation may be trickier to track because of all this irregularity, but you’ll definitely still be ovulating, so pregnancy is still on the table if that’s what you’re hoping to do.

Your 50s

If you haven’t hit menopause already, you’ll likely hit it in your 50s. You can expect to wave goodbye to your period for good, but you’ll likely do so with a number of common menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes, difficulty sleeping, vaginal dryness, and weight gain.

As with any other time in your life, be sure to get regular screenings for cervical cancer and watch out for other health concerns, such as thyroid issues, whose symptoms mimic those of menopause.

Have any questions about your period? Let us know in the comments below or reach out to us on Facebook and Twitter.

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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