Hi...mini flares I still consider a flare and I treat them all the same..back to square one nightly rectal meds.
There are varying degrees of inflammation...each will give you different symptoms. If you've set it up in your mind to deal with the most obvious, then you'll have waited too long in dealing early. But, some events in our lives prevent some symptoms from being obvious. It seems high adrenaline/cortisol in our bodies can mask the symptoms...haven't many of us had it hit after the storm when all is quiet?
Remember the pattern of UC....it spreads upward from the rectum, it won't inflame all the colon or fullest extent of YOUR UC area all at the same time unless it's always at a slow simmering inflammation state. .
Low in the rectum will cause constipation. If your UC is limited there, eventually you'll see bleeding if it's gotten to that point. This is the area we tend to not recognise early.
If it's extended to higher in the rectum, you'll have more symptoms, maybe some constipation, maybe more urgencies, maybe more bms..but maybe still formed. It can progress to looser stools, but you'll have more as the inflammation increases.
If it's extended past the rectum..you'll KNOW because of the diarrhea, and since the rectum will also be inflamed, the urgency will be part of it for sure as well as increased bms...all will probably include those wonderful white-knucklers..
Eventually, the bleeding can happen if the inflammation gets to the point of mucosal membrane fragility.
So, the earliest you deal, consider any consistency in symptoms a flare. Be them pending, early or whatever...if flare isn't the best word, then consider it mild inflammation.
Rectal meds can be your best bet in dealing....that's why I have learned it's best to find a maintenance dosage which has been tapered.
It's all a learning process....learn now or learn later. I did both.
And if a doctor tells you to not worry unless you're bleeding???????? That's total bs. It's YOUR butt....you're the only one who will recognise symptoms at the earliest.
And....in saying all that, most of us have IBS. So, those symptoms will tend to come and go. It's a wait and see, and eventually the clincher symptom will confirm it.
Women with periods with UC or not will have the normal hormonal diarrhea, cramping..etc. That should only last for a few days. If it's continual, then it's probably triggered a flare. My suggestion would be to use an enema a few days before and one once the flow has started....that could help prevent the "trigger" the autoimmune response.
There are many tricks and options available...the whole goal is to help prevent one from getting worse...hence the term maintenance.
My $$ based on experience. Not that all will follow my pattern, but it's one that could help others to find their own.
It all takes effort...wishing it not to be isn't a reality (I've found).