Dear Dr. Kate,
Why is my period worse some months more than others?
— Bloody Mary
Blame normal fluctuations in your hormone levels. Sometimes your uterus is stimulated with more prostaglandins, the chemicals that cause cramping, so you’re hitting the Advil bottle more than usual. And if your lining is thicker one month than another, you’ll see heavier bleeding and sometimes even clots. Variations like these are normal, albeit a pain to deal with. The easiest way to get predictable periods (both in flow and comfort) each month? Most hormonal birth control methods, especially the vaginal ring and the progesterone IUD (Mirena). They’ll make your periods lighter, shorter, and less crampy.
— Dr. Kate
Dr. Kate is an OB/GYN at one of the largest teaching hospitals in New York City. She also lectures nationally on women’s health issues and conducts research on reproductive health. She generously shares her medical wisdom with EM & LO readers every few weeks. Check out more of her advice and ask her a question at Gynotalk.com.