Here are 6 things that happen to your menstrual cycle when you hit your 30s
By Emily Hagan | Published on Oct 18, 2023
Entering your thirties brings not just changes in appearance and mindset but also noticeable shifts in your menstrual cycle. As we take our first few steps into this new decade, our periods can undergo transformations that reflect the interplay between our lifestyle, mental health, and reproductive well-being.
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So, what are the most common changes that can impact your menstrual cycle in your thirties? Let’s explore:
1. Heavier Flow
One noticeable change is the possibility of a heavier period. Hormonal fluctuations, certain medical conditions, and even discontinuing birth control pills can contribute to this shift. To understand the cause behind the change in your menstrual flow, a visit to the doctor is recommended. It’s important to identify any underlying issues and seek appropriate guidance.
2. Increased Pain and Discomfort
If you’ve noticed an escalation in the pain accompanying your menstruation, it could be a sign of endometriosis. This condition, linked to the lining of the uterus, can cause significant discomfort. Dr. Gandhali Deorukhkar Pillai, a consultant obstetrician and gynecologist at Wockhardt Hospital in Mumbai, notes that endometriosis is most commonly observed in women in their late twenties and thirties. However, it’s essential to consider other potential underlying medical conditions such as uterine fibroids as well.
3. Occasional Missed Periods
Using certain forms of birth control can lead to missed periods or lighter flows. Birth control pills, for instance, can alter your menstrual cycle. If you experience irregularities, consult with your healthcare provider to ensure that everything is on track.
4. Intensified Mood Swings
Stress tends to increase as we enter our thirties, and an inactive lifestyle coupled with a poor diet further impacts our hormonal balance. All these factors can exacerbate premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms. Dr. Pillai explains that the worsening of PMS symptoms may also be attributed to decreasing estrogen levels in the body.
5. Pregnancy-Related Changes
Childbirth often occurs during this phase of life. Pregnancy can bring complete alterations to your menstrual cycle. Breastfeeding mothers may experience a hiatus from periods until they either reduce nursing frequency or stop nursing altogether. Furthermore, after giving birth, women may notice a milder intensity of cramps. This occurs because the cervical opening enlarges, resulting in more bearable uterine contractions during periods.
6. Fluctuating Cycle Length
In your thirties, you may observe variations in the length of your menstrual cycle. Some women may experience a shorter cycle, while others may notice a lengthening. These changes can be attributed to hormonal fluctuations in the body, which may also be associated with conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). If your cycle significantly deviates from its usual pattern, consulting with your doctor is advised.
Your menstrual cycle serves as a window into your overall health. As you enter your thirties, it’s crucial to remain attentive to any changes you encounter. By staying aware and seeking professional guidance when necessary, you can navigate these new phases of your menstrual journey with confidence and ease.