stethoscopeI get a lot of emails from Hormonology readers. What surprises me is that many of these emails are from women asking me about how to “fix” a menstruation-related problem they’re having (like heavy bleeding, irregular bleeding or severe cramp pain), how they can confirm their suspicions that their hormones are out-of-balance and how a certain health issue impacts their cycle or how their cycle affects a certain health issue.

While I’m happy to provide information on studies about simple problems, in almost all cases, I refer the writer to their healthcare provider. After all, I’m just a health journalist–not an M.D.

My expertise is sharing how your hormones affect your behavior, moods, energy and simple health issues from day to day in your cycle based on scientific research and showing you how to apply it in practical ways in your own life.

But, all these emails about deeper cycle-related health issues got me to wondering why so many women were asking a virtual stranger for such important medical advice.

So, I was fascinated by a 2014 study published in the journal Canadian Family Physician that revealed it may actually be a common phenomenon for women to put off talking to a health care provider about cycle-related issues–sometimes for years–until the issue gets so bad, it interrupts their daily life.

Why? As the study author found, some women are afraid they’ll come off as whiners who are complaining about something that isn’t a real problem because they don’t know what constitutes a “normal” experience in a menstrual cycle or they’re simply uncomfortable bringing up the subject.

However, after the women in the study did finally approach their doctor about their cycle-related issue, most were not only happy they did, they wished they’d done it far sooner so they could have spared themselves fear and discomfort and nipped the problem in the bud at the first signs.

So, today I’d like to recommend that if you have a menstrual-related problem that you’re concerned about–no matter how small–or you have a question about your cycle, your hormones or a how a health issue may be tied to it–no matter how silly you may think it may sound–please call your health care provider and make an appointment to talk about it. You’ll likely be happy you did.

Never miss a single Hormonology tip:
Click here to subscribe to the free Hormonology newsletter today!