For people who menstruate, that monthly visit is rarely a joyous event. Even for those who are fortunate enough to have short, cramp-less periods, menstruating is never anything anyone would call fun. But one of the good things that comes with menstruation is that, like the rest of your body, certain period symptoms can let you know if things are running smoothly, or if something isn't right. When this happens, it's time to go to the doctor to see what the issue is.
"Monthly periods are normal; some experience cramps and discomfort while others don’t," Dr. Savita Ginde, a physician and vice president of medical affairs at Stride Community Health Center, tells Bustle. As Ginde explains, because pain and discomfort are individual experiences in what one can tolerate, it's when these symptoms start to impact your life that it's time to consider being evaluated.
However, because all bodies are different, it's up to you to decide what symptoms are "normal" for your menstrual cycle and your body. This is especially true if things that were once bearable, like pain and blood flow, have gotten worse with time or suddenly. That's why it's important to pay attention to your body and what it's trying to tell you.
Here are five period symptoms that should have you visiting your doctor.