Bruising may not be caused by your periods, but it may be a symptom of something else.
Is it normal to have bruises before or during menstruation?
It is a myth that most women bruise easily during menstruation. Menstruation is a normal process that occurs usually every fourth weeks. The volume of blood a women loses rarely exceeds 50 millilitres; normal mechanisms to stop the bleeding limit the duration of menstruation. In some women, however, some disorders may prolong the duration of the menstrual periods and may increase the blood loss. Large amount of blood lost may make the body lose important clotting factors that help the body stop bleeding elsewhere, such as from cuts or skin wounds and also from bruises.
You may have gotten used to the volume of your menstruation over the years but you may already be developing serious anemia. Bleeding disorders can be the cause of heavy menstrual bleeding and you should get evaluated by a gynecologist. Bruising may already be a late sign of such a disorder and only then do you start to notice that something may be seriously wrong with your body.
The best thing gynecologic checkup to pinpoint the causes of heavy menstrual bleeding. Regular abdominal and/or pelvic examinations should start by the time a woman is 21 years old. Earlier evaluation should be performed for younger women who are already sexually active.
There have been rare reports that some women develop a temporary decrease in platelets during their periods. Platelets are small particles in the blood that plug leaks in the vessels.
This may promote easy bruising. Still, such a condition may be genetic and may require full evaluation by a hematologist (a specialist in blood disorders).
Period myths and truths
We dispel the age-old myths surrounding menstrual periods.
- MYTH Taking a bath during menstruation will make you go mad.
TRUTH You should take a bath at least once a day and wash private parts frequently to prevent bacteria from growing in your bloody discharge and causing odor.
- MYTH Do not eat anything sour during your period.
TRUTH Stay healthy and help yourself to natural sources of vitamin C which include sour fruits like citrus.
- MYTH One should not engage in sports or other activities during menstruation.
TRUTH Your period should not hamper you from daily work and play.
- MYTH Wipe your face with underwear soaked in menstrual blood to avoid getting pimples.
TRUTH Acne is a combination of hormonal, hygiene, and infectious factors. At about the time teenagers get their periods, a lot of androgen hormones are produced in their body and increase their skin oil gland production. These glands may clog up if regular hygiene is not maintained and may be infected by bacteria causing pimples to erupt. Wiping your face with menstrual blood will not affect this process; maintaining good hygiene will help.
- MYTH You can absolutely NOT get pregnant while menstruating.
TRUTH Some women may ovulate early, at the tail end of menstruation. Hence, there is still a chance of getting pregnant. Women who have irregular menstruation (not following the 28-day interval) should especially be wary. Some women even have some amount of spotting or light bleeding at the time of ovulation.
- MYTH Menstruating women who have their tooth extracted will bleed a lot more.
TRUTH There is no scientific evidence of prolonged bleeding after dental surgery in menstruating women according to a study in the Journal of the American Dental Association.