While heart health and blood pressure are good indicators of your overall health, your period is another way to discern what’s going on in your body. A woman’s menstrual cycle could reveal an issue that is benign or very serious. Women’s health coach and fertility awareness educator Berrion Berry revealed that one menstrual health concern is an irregular period.

“An irregular period is the first sign that something is off,” Berry told 21Ninety. “If you are a woman who deals with irregular periods, your body may be trying to tell you that you need to pay more attention to your metabolic well-being and thyroid function.” 

There are several ways women can know when an occurrence is normal or a warning sign for a more significant issue. Here are three indicators that your period might be signaling a menstrual health concern.

The Duration

An average menstrual cycle should be 21 to ]34 days If it’s any longer or shorter, it’s definitely something to speak with your doctor about. The average period should be three to seven days in length. A period cycle outside of that may be sign of a menstrual health concern.

The Blood Color 

A healthy menstrual bleed should be a shade of red. If it’s any other shade, you may want to speak with your doctor. Berry notes that if your period is brown for a day, you shouldn’t worry. It is often oxidized blood from a previous cycle. However, if you notice your bleed is orange, light pink, gray or black, she encourages to promptly speak with your doctor. 

The Volume of Blood Loss

The volume or flow of your cycle is on a spectrum and falls within a range. However, if you’re losing more than 60 ml of blood throughout your cycle, then that’s a heavy flow. If your flow is heavy, coupled with another indicator above, it’s a sign to go to your doctor.