How Long Does A Girls Period Last

How Long Should A Normal Period Be

How long does a period usually last?

When it comes to the frequency, length and flow of your monthly visitor, a general rule of thumb is that normal periods are defined as whats normal for you. But being knowledgeable about your menstrual cycle can help you identify when things go awry.

You get your period when your uterus sheds its lining also known as its endometrium. Part of your menstrual flow is blood and part of it is endometrium. Most women get their period about 12 to 16 days after ovulation.

The average menstrual cycle is 28 days. A normal period can last anywhere from two to seven days but is usually only three to five days.

These 6 Facts May Affect How Long A Period Lasts

Burgess Powell|03 October, 2019

How long does a period last and what is considered normal? Keeping track of your menstrual flow and cycle can help you better understand your symptoms, ovulation, and if and when youre experiencing an irregular cycle. Answering, how long does a period last, varies between women based on genetics, birth control, age, personal menstrual cycle, and much more. Before we get started, here are a few takeaways:

Disclaimer: You know your body best. The following is not medical advice. If you believe youre experiencing irregularities, please contact your physician.

How Does My Menstrual Cycle Change As I Get Older

Your cycles may change in different ways as you get older. Often, periods are heavier when you are younger and usually get lighter in your 20s and 30s. This is normal.

  • For a few years after your first period, menstrual cycles longer than 38 days are common. Girls usually get more regular cycles within three years of starting their periods. If longer or irregular cycles last beyond that, see your doctor or nurse to rule out a health problem, such as polycystic ovary syndrome .5
  • In your 20s and 30s, your cycles are usually regular and can last anywhere from 24 to 38 days.
  • In your 40s, as your body starts the transition to menopause, your cycles might become irregular. Your menstrual periods might stop for a month or a few months and then start again. They also might be shorter or last longer than usual, or be lighter or heavier than normal.

Talk to your doctor or nurse if you have menstrual cycles that are longer than 38 days or shorter than 24 days, or if you are worried about your menstrual cycle.

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Factors That Can Affect Menstruation Length And Heaviness

  • How long does a period last? It can change month-to-month and as you age, modify your diet and change birth control. There are healthy guidelines for menstruation, but everybody is different. Your cycle and your friends will most likely differ.
  • Birth control is one of the leading factors that may affect menstrual cycle changes. For instance, hormonal birth control may shorten it, while a copper IUD may do the opposite.
  • A certain level of irregularity is normal. One study published in Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology found that between 14% and 25% of women have irregular cycles. This can mean a shorter period or heavier/lighter flow between months.

When Are You Most Fertile

How Long Does Period Last in Girls? Menstruation facts

“Theoretically, there’s only a short time when women can get pregnant, and that is the time around ovulation,” says Belfield.

It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when ovulation happens but in most women, it happens around 10 to 16 days before the next period.

“It’s not accurate to say that all women are fertile on day 14 of the menstrual cycle,” says Belfield. This might be true for women who have a regular, 28-day cycle, but it won’t apply to women whose cycles are shorter or longer.

For more information on fertility awareness, see the FPA guide to natural family planning.

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How Does Ovulation Relate To Periods

Ovulation is the release of an egg from the ovaries. The same hormones that cause the uterus lining to build up also cause an egg to leave one of the ovaries. The egg travels through a thin tube called a fallopian tube to the uterus.

If the egg is fertilized by a sperm cell, it attaches to the wall of the uterus, where over time it develops into a baby. If the egg is not fertilized, the uterus lining breaks down and bleeds, causing a period.

What Is The Menstrual Cycle

The menstrual cycle is the monthly hormonal cycle a females body goes through to prepare for pregnancy. Your menstrual cycle is counted from the first day of your period up to the first day of your next period. Your hormone levels usually change throughout the menstrual cycle and can cause menstrual symptoms.

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How To Tell If Your Period Is Irregular

Many women will experience irregular periods at some point in their lives. Its particularly common for young women to experience highly irregular periods including very long periods during their first few years of menstruation. Their periods will often shorten and stabilize between one and three years after menstruation begins.

Irregular periods include periods that are lighter, heavier, arrive unpredictably, or last longer or shorter than the average. According to the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, its estimated that between 14 to 25 percent of women have what are classified to be irregular cycles.

That being said, if your periods are less than 21 days apart or more than 35 days apart, there could be an underlying cause thats making you more irregular. If this is the case, make an appointment with your doctor.

What To Do In Private

How long should my period last..?

Touch yourself. It’s OK to touch your private parts when you are alone in the bathroom or your bedroom with the door closed. Do not touch your private parts when in public. Public places are where other people are around, like a classroom, restaurant, or playground.

Your mom or dad or doctor may need to check your private area to keep it clean and healthy. No one else should touch your private area, and you should never touch another person’s private area. If anyone ever touches your private area in a way that makes you feel bad, say “No!” and tell your mom, dad, or other trusted adult.

When you are older and ready to have a boyfriend or girlfriend, talk to a parent, doctor, or other trusted adult to learn about sex and healthy relationships.

Changing your pad. When you get your period, you will need to wear a pad or tampon to catch the blood. You have to change your pad when it smells or is full of blood. Changing your pad is also something you do in private. Your mom, dad, or another trusted adult can teach you how to use pads or tampons.

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Know Whats Normal For You

Keep track of your periods with an app or a simple paper calendar. Take note of the rate of flow and when it shows up, so youll spot any changes right away.

Finally, see your gynecologist regularly and discuss your periods during your appointments. If anything seems weird to you, bring it up.

Your period is a clue to whats going on with your reproductive health, Dr. Higgins says. Your doctor wants to know the details so we can help you stay healthy.

How Do I Know When I Will Get My Next Period

Its impossible to predict when your next period will start. Most girls and women go about 28 days from the first day of one period to the first day of the next, but anywhere from 21-35 days is normal. Especially in the first few years of menstruating, your period may be very irregular. If you track your period on a calendar , you will begin to notice a pattern over time. You can use this menstrual diary to keep track of your periods.

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What Could Cause Heavy Bleeding

There are several reasons why you may be experiencing heavy bleeding, some of which are healthy and natural. Do not attempt to self-diagnose seek the advice of a healthcare professional. Here are a few of the more serious medical conditions associated with heavy bleeding according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. They advise seeking an ob-gyn in many of these cases:

  • Birth control, specifically the copper IUD during the first year of use
  • Irregular ovulation

What Is The Normal Period Length For People On Progestin

How Long Does A Woman

There are many different types of hormonal birth control, all containing differing types and levels of hormones. Some types of birth control do not contain any estrogens and only contain progestinsâa synthetic form of progesterone . These methods include progestin-only pills , progestin injections , or progestin implants .

Bleeding can vary a lot on progestin-only contraceptives. Changes in period length and heaviness happen in response to the changes in hormones. These hormones affect the growing and shedding of your uterine lining.

Methods like the contraceptive injection and the implant usually suppress ovulation . Some progestin-only pills also suppress ovulation, but it depends on the type . Most people who donât ovulate due to progestin-only contraceptives experience shorter, lighter, or occasionally absent bleedings days, though this doesnât always happen .

Unpredictable bleeding, spotting, and prolonged bleeding are common when using these methods, especially during the first few months . These symptoms usually improve with time, but they can continue for some people.

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Whats A Normal Period

Menstrual periods are not the same for every woman. And a womans period can change throughout her lifetime. The timing, duration, and flow of periods can vary greatly, and it can be difficult to determine whats normal and abnormal.

Here are some facts about periods:

  • A young girls first menstrual period, called menarche, is a milestone in puberty and usually occurs between the ages of 11 and 14 years
  • Girls who are just beginning to menstruate often have irregular periods and periods that fluctuate with light, moderate, or heavy flows
  • A young girls period tends to occur 21 to 45 days apart and last 4 to 7 days
  • As girls get older, on average, menstrual periods occur every 28 days, range from 21 to 35 days, and last 3 to 5 days
  • Typically, women lose about 30 mL to 45 mL of blood during a period.
  • Typically, as women age, their periods occur less and less frequently until they stop altogether, called menopause

How Might Your Doctor Diagnose A Long Period

Your doctor will ask how often you get your period, how many days it lasts, and do you have bleeding in between your period or after sex, says Jodie Horton, MD, an ob-gyn in Oakton, Virginia, and chief wellness advisor for Love Wellness. Other important clues to determine what is causing your abnormal uterine bleeding is how heavy your periods are, what medications youre taking, if youve been tested for sexually transmitted infections and are up to date on your Pap smears. So you’ll want to know that info before your visit.

Your doctor may perform a pelvic exam to evaluate the cervix and the size and regularity of the uterus, as well as a pelvic ultrasound or hysteroscopy to see inside your cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries for any abnormalities.

It sounds scary, but most causes of prolonged menstrual bleeding aren’t a big deal and can be fixed or improved with the help of your doctor, Dr. Toth notes. And you deserve to have a normal period that doesn’t totally suck.

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You’re On Hormonal Birth Control

Anything that manipulates your hormones has the potential to make your periods longer, says Dr. Toth. This includes all types of hormonal birth control like the pill, patches, rings, shots, and implants. The good news is that there are lots of options with varying levels and types of hormones, so if your body doesn’t respond well to one type or dosage, there’s a good chance you can find a different one that will work.

The length of your period is just one factor your doctor will use to help you determine which type of birth control works best for you.

How Do I Know If Im Ovulating

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A few days before you ovulate, your vaginal mucus or discharge changes and becomes more slippery and clear. This type of mucus helps sperm move up into your uterus and into the fallopian tubes where it can fertilize an egg. Some women feel minor cramping on one side of their pelvic area when they ovulate. Some women have other signs of ovulation.

Luteinizing hormone is a hormone released by your brain that tells the ovary to release an egg . LH levels begin to surge upward about 36 hours before ovulation, so some women and their doctors test for LH levels. LH levels peak about 12 hours before ovulation.1 Women who are tracking ovulation to become pregnant will notice a slight rise in their basal temperature around ovulation. Learn more about tracking ovulation to become pregnant.

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When Periods Are Too Heavy

There are heavy periods, and then there are heavy periods.

Your period is heavier than normal if you soak through a pad every hour for a few hours in a row, Dr. Higgins says. Large clots like the size of a golf ball or larger are also a sign that your bleeding is too heavy.

This type of bleeding can get in the way of your life, but dont assume you have to suffer through it. Your doctor can help you figure out the cause of heavy bleeding and provide treatment if needed, Dr. Higgins says.

Am I Old Enough For Tampons

If you are having your menstrual period, your body is mature enough for using tampons. While many girls get their first periods between age 12 and 14, you may have your first period at a younger or older age. Whether to use tampons or not is a personal decision, there is no age restriction. You will need to learn how to insert a tampon, which can be tricky when you are new to using one.

You must be sure to change it every four to six hours to lessen the risk of toxic shock syndrome. Use the lowest absorbency available and start with those that have a smooth plastic applicator with a rounded tip . You may want to also use a pantyliner in case there is a leak. If you’re active or want to be able to swim during your period, then tampons may be a good choice. You can also consider different kinds of underwear for that time of the month.

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