The 7 Must-know Essential Menstrual Period Health Tips
Whenever winter comes, the discomfort of menstruation always feels magnified. Do you know the key points of caring for your menstrual period? Is it true that you won't gain weight by eating sweets at this time? Let's see what advice Dr. Connie is going to share with us!

PhotoConnie Hung

TextConnie Hung/ Becky Tu

Health Leader
Connie Hung

Graduated from School of Medicine, China Medical University

Attending Doctor of Department of Gynecology, Central Clinic & Hospital
Attending Doctor of Department of Gynecology, “Taipei Sex Medicine Center,” Central Clinic & Hospital
HYGEIAGRAND Health Clinic Superintendent
Nice Clinique Aesthetics Genital Doctor

Specialty Doctor of Department of Gynecology, Taipei Veterans General Hospital
Rebello Vulvovaginoplasty Clinic Training Doctor
Member of T.U.G.A (Taiwan Urogynecology Association)
Member of F.U.G.A (Formosa Urogynecology Association)
U.S. O-Shot+ Patented Injection Certified Doctor
European Society of Aesthetic Gynecology (E.S.A.G) senior member and certified doctor
Lecturer assigned by FemiLift

Cosmetic gynecology surgery
Urinary incontinence

Dr. Connie's Advice

Take Note of the Key Points of Menstrual Health Care!

Yii: Could you tell us about the menstrual syndrome and what conditions should we seek medical help for?

Dr. Connie:
It is normal for most women to experience some discomfort during the first few days of their period and the first day or two of bleeding, and only a few lucky women experience no discomfort at all during this period. For most women, these symptoms are troublesome, but they are largely manageable and do not interfere with daily life. The common symptoms include:
  • Breast pain
  • Abdominal distention
  • Edema
  • Muscle pain
  • Arthralgia
  • Headache
  • Acne
  • Abdominal cramps and spasms
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Back pain
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Fatigue
However, if the discomfort has affected your quality of life, work or mood, it is advisable to seek the help of a physician.

Yii: What should we take care of when eating during menstruation? Is it true that eating sweets will not make us gain weight?

Dr. Connie: 
Many women feel that they gain weight before their period, sometimes as much as one or two kilograms, but during their period they become lighter and thinner and start to eat and drink a lot, even by eating sweets to ease the discomfort. This is actually a misconception!

It is possible to experience a short period of edema before menstruation, mostly because of the hormone Progesterone. Therefore, after the menstruation, the progesterone value drops dramatically and the edema will naturally improve, but this does not mean that you have become thinner! This time, eating and drinking will not only make you fat but also lead to mood swings due to unstable blood sugar.

The most commonly heard sweet food that people take during menstruation is chocolate, which contains "magnesium" that will indeed relax the muscles to relieve pain. However, most sweet foods are high in sugar, causing a rapid rise and then a sharp drop in blood sugar, which not only fails to relieve discomfort but also causes unstable blood sugar, affecting the hormonal balance in the body, aggravating the feeling of discomfort and possibly leading to a deterioration in mood.

Yii: If you eat ice during your period, will it really cause your menstrual blood to be drained incompletely?

Dr. Connie: 
Eating too much cold food during your period will indeed lead to less menstrual blood flow. This is because taking cold food will indirectly constrict the blood vessels in the uterus, resulting in a temporary decrease in blood flow. As the blood flow decreases, the rate of menstrual bleeding also slows down, causing the blood to oxidize and turning the color of the menstrual blood brown. Therefore, it is often mistaken that the menstrual blood is not drained.

Yii: What are the effects of incomplete menstrual bleeding? Is it really possible to drain menstrual blood by drinking SiWu Tang (Four Agents Decoction)? Or, are there other ways that can help the menstrual blood drainage such as exercise?

Dr. Connie: 
If your menstrual flow is not smooth, you can indeed use some warm compresses, hot drinks, and exercises to activate blood circulation to help drain the menstrual blood. The ingredients of the Chinese herbal medicine SiWu Tang have the function of nourishing and invigorating the blood, thus regulating blood circulation. If you encounter the situation of menstrual blood is not flowing smoothly, SiWu Tang is also a good option.

Yii: What symptoms should I see a doctor when I have my period? Such as severe pain, more or less blood, blood clots, abnormal color, or so on.

Dr. Connie: 
If you find that your menstrual bleeding is too excessive, your menstrual cycle is too long such as more than 7 days, or you often have blood clots, it is recommended to check for fibroids or adenomyosis, or endometrial polyps, or endometrial hyperplasia. However, sometimes eating some more stimulating food or food containing higher estrogen may also cause occasional bleeding.

On the contrary, if you find that your menstrual blood flow suddenly becomes less than before, you should check whether it is occasional, such as a decrease in estrogen secretion due to prolonged fatigue, stress, or jet lag, resulting in a thinning of the endometrium. Unless the condition persists for more than six months or the amount of menstrual blood becomes too low, there is no need to seek immediate medical attention.

Yii: What are the symptoms and causes of abnormal bleeding? Should I see a doctor for all of these symptoms?

Dr. Connie: 
If there is abnormal bleeding outside of the menstrual period, or if there is dripping bleeding, it is advisable to check for structural abnormalities that may be causing the bleeding. For example, uterine polyps, endometrial hyperplasia, or fibroids. If you have pink bleeding during ovulation, it is called "ovulatory bleeding", don't worry too much, it will disappear slowly in about 5 days. However, it is advisable to have it evaluated by a physician for your peace of mind.

Yii: Do I need to pay attention if my menstrual cycle becomes shorter or if my menstrual flow becomes less than usual? Is it a sign of menopause?

Dr. Connie: 
The sudden decrease in menstrual blood volume, or as mentioned earlier, maybe due to prolonged fatigue, stress, or jet lag, resulting in a lower concentration of estrogen secretion, making the uterine lining thinner. However, if you are close to 45 years of age or older, as you approach menopause, the ovarian function will slowly decline and ovulation will no longer be regular, and your menstrual cycle may begin to become irregular and longer, perhaps once every 40 to 50 days, or even once every 3 or 4 months. The average transition period is about 1 to 3 years. If you have not had a period for one year, you are considered to have menopause.

Every menstrual period is an excellent opportunity for women to observe their body condition, so don't miss out on the best time to have a better understanding of your body.

(Model by Lena Lee)

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