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It’s common to feel some pain and discomfort during your time of the month, but how do you know if what you are feeling is “normal” or could indicate something more serious?

What’s normal

Let’s start with what not to worry about. Common symptoms during a woman’s menstruation cycle include bloating, muscle aches, abdominal pain, cramps, tender breasts and fatigue. Additionally, some women may experience skin breakouts and digestive problems. It’s also not uncommon to have frequent headaches during this time.

When to see a doctor

Although the symptoms mentioned above are considered normal, if these symptoms are severe or last longer than normal, tell your doctor.

Symptoms you should never ignore include skipped periods, extremely heavy bleeding, extreme pain in the abdomen or lower back, vomiting and abnormal periods – such as periods as short as a day or two or longer than a week.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should talk to a doctor, as it could indicate issues such as endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), ovarian cysts and even certain types of cancer.

Pay attention to what your body is telling you. Consult with your physician so he or she can rule out any other gynecologic conditions that could be impacting your health.

UCF Health offers gynecological care from its two office locations in East Orlando and Lake Nona.

Weekly Health Tips are brought to you by UCF Health, the College of Medicine’s physician practice. Offering primary and specialty care under one roof, UCF Health treats patients age 16 and up in primary care and age 18 and up for specialty care. Most major insurance plans are accepted. Two locations are now open: the original in East Orlando at Quadrangle and University boulevards just blocks from the main UCF campus, and the newest one in Medical City at Narcoossee Road and Tavistock Lakes Boulevard. Information for both facilities can be found at, or call (407) 266-DOCS to schedule an appointment.

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