If you notice anything unusual (for you) in your cycle or you start noticing bleeding in-between periods, make an appointment to see your GP.
It's probably nothing to worry about but there could be something that needs investigating so it's better to be sure.
When your periods are a pain
Most women will have period pain at some point in their lives. Lifestyle can play a part, and even if you really just feel like lying on the sofa with a bar of chocolate and a hot water bottle, it's an inconvenient truth that doing nothing won't make you feel any better but a workout might.
Keeping fit and healthy throughout your cycle too can really make a difference in the long term. Try not to let stress get to you if you can. Try out a few relaxation techniques if you're feeling wound up, aromatherapy, meditation, yoga or whatever takes your fancy.
If you suffer from painful periods, ask a pharmacist's advice on taking anti-inflammatories at the first sign of period cramps. Feminax Express* and Feminax Ultra** are products that can relieve period pain and are available at the pharmacy and in your supermarket. You could also try resting a hot water bottle or a heat pad on your tummy, it's soothing and not just an old wives tale - the old teenage remedy does work.
There are a range of period-pain specific drugs available
over the counter or from your GP, so don't suffer in silence if your monthlies are causing you discomfort.
If your periods are very heavy, have a chat with your doctor. In some cases they might prescribe anti-inflammatories or in some cases suggest you give the contraceptive pill a try.
* Feminax Express 342mg tablets contain ibuprofen lysine.
** Feminax Ultra 250mg gastro-resistant tablets contain naproxen.