Menarche, a female person's first menstrual cycle, marks the commencement of a monthly event that will be part of your life for up to 40 years. Typical periods come with an array of side effects, rivaling those of the medications you see advertised on television. Beginning around age 12, you may have learned to live with a myriad of unpleasant aches, pains, and added hygienic responsibilities. Although most of this is very normal, there are some things about periods a woman shouldn't ignore.
For the next four decades, you probably become accustomed to at least one of the following: bloating, cramps, moodiness, or breast tenderness. You experience these while attempting to adequately absorb the four to 12 teaspoons of blood and tissue escaping through your most intimate region. You treat the acne well into adulthood, ignore the lower back aches, and push through the pounding headaches. You learn to adjust to the many changes in her cycle that will come after pregnancy, as you age, or due to the use of hormonal birth control. What you don't want to do, though is be so tough and adaptable that you overlook certain period-related issues that can signal a serious problem.