How Long Does Your Period Last

What Do I Need To Do To Prepare For My First Period

How Long Does your Period Last? Dr. Burns and Jonna Piira

There is nothing in particular you need to do to prepare for your first period, besides having feminine hygiene products and over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen on hand. If you happen to get your period with no access to menstrual products, toilet paper will work in an emergency. If you get your first period at school, your teacher or school nurse will have a pantiliner or pad on hand.

There are a variety of menstrual products available to you:

Disposable pads

These absorbent pads have an adhesive backing that sticks to the inside of your underwear. They are available in different lengths and absorbencies, and some have adhesive wings that wrap around the sides of your underwear. Disposable pads should be changed every 4-6 hours and are thrown out after a single use.


These are small, thin, disposable absorbent pads that can be used on their own on days of light flow. They can also be used in combination with a tampon, in case of leaks or discharge.

Reusable pads

These are usually made of cotton, bamboo, or other natural absorbent fibres, and are often available at health food stores. They can be washed with detergent and reused. Some have velcro tabs to secure them around your underwear.


Menstrual cup

Menstruation Can Change With Age

Girls begin their period around the age of 8-12 years. When their periods first start they are likely to last around 5 days. During the first 2-3 years, it’s common for the period to be irregular. After this, they will begin to arrive every 4-5 weeks and still only last for around 5 days . During the teenage years, it’s common for periods to be heavier and can become lighter in your 20’s and 30’s, and the menstrual cycle will typically last between 24-38 days.

Entering perimenopause also has an effect on how regular the menstrual cycle is. Women usually enter this stage in their lives around the age of 40.

How Long Is Too Long For A Period During Perimenopause

The road to menopause comes with many changes. Night sweats, hormonal imbalances, and vaginal dryness are a few of the well-known symptoms of perimenopause. Heavy, painful periods are also a symptom thats quite common roughly 25 percent of women report experiencing them. Read on to learn the basics of perimenopause bleeding and how to manage extended perimenopause periods.

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Should I Use A Pad Tampon Or Menstrual Cup

There are a few ways to deal with period blood. You may need to experiment a bit to find which works best for you. Some girls use only one method and others switch between different methods.

  • Most girls use a pad when they first get their period. Pads are made of cotton and come in lots of different sizes and shapes. They have sticky strips that attach to the underwear.
  • Many girls prefer to use tampons instead of pads, especially when playing sports or swimming. A tampon is a cotton plug that a girl puts into her vagina. Most tampons come with an applicator that guides the tampon into place. The tampon absorbs the blood. Don’t leave a tampon in for more than 8 hours because this can increase your risk of a serious infection called toxic shock syndrome.
  • Some girls prefer a menstrual cup. To use a menstrual cup, a girl inserts it into her vagina. The cup holds the blood until she empties it.

Number : What’s An Abnormal Period On Birth Control

How Long Does Period Last? (According To How Old You Are)

When the National Institutes of Health talks about vaginal bleeding, they say that women who take birth control pills may experience abnormal vaginal bleeding or breakthrough bleeding. So are they saying that “abnormal” bleeding is “normal” when you’re on the pill? Well, to a degree. They follow by saying that breakthrough bleeding should go away on its own, but you should talk to your doctor if you have concerns.

Here are some symptoms of abnormal vaginal bleeding to watch for:

  • Bleeding or spotting between periods

  • Bleeding after sex

  • Heavy periods, which could mean passing large clots, needing to change your pad/tampon in the night, soaking through your pad/tampon every hour for 2 to 3 hours in a row

  • Bleeding for more days than usual or more than 7 days

It’s a good idea to keep a record of these symptoms if you have them. You should note the dates when these symptoms start and end and how many pads/tampons you’re soaking through if the bleeding is heavy. Jotting down these notes will be a godsend when you seek medical advice.

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You Have Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Pelvic inflammatory disease is a condition caused by sexually transmitted bacteria, like that from gonorrhea and chlamydia, traveling from the cervix into the fallopian tube. PID can cause bleeding that is heavier than normal, spotting between menstrual cycles or spotting after sex.

If you have abnormal bleeding and pain, get a pelvic exam and get tested for sexually transmitted infections, says Dr. Horton. They can be treated with medication, which will stop the progression of PID too. Left untreated though, and PID can cause lasting issues with fertility.

How To Track Your Menstrual Cycle

  • Note the age of your first period
  • Document the time from day 1 of one period until day 1 of the next period. This is the “cycle” of your period
  • Track the duration of your period
  • Note associated symptoms such as pain, mood changes, and how frequently you need to change tampons or pads.
  • Track the presence of clots – minor clots are sometimes normal in the first day or so.

Note: There are also apps specifically designed to help you track your menstrual cycle. Check out the best period tracking apps of 2021 here. Or you can use a paper calendar

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Changes In Your Periods

Your periods can change for example, they may last longer or get lighter. This does not necessarily mean there’s a problem, but it does need to be investigated.

You can see your GP, or visit your nearest women’s clinic or contraceptive clinic.

Bleeding between periods, bleeding after having sex, or bleeding after the menopause needs to be checked by a doctor.

It might be caused by an infection, abnormalities in the neck of the womb or, in rare cases, it could be cancer.

You could be pregnant if you miss a period and you’ve had sex. See your GP if you’ve taken a pregnancy test and the result is negative and you’ve missed 3 consecutive periods.

They will investigate the cause and recommend any necessary treatment.

Read more about stopped or missed periods.

How Do I Count The Days Of My Menstrual Cycle Do I Start Counting The Day I Start Bleeding Or When I Finish

How often should I have my period, and how long should it last?

Your cycle begins on the first day you have regular bleeding. Spotting doesnt count. For example, Cycle Day 1 is the first day of your period Cycle Day 2 is the second day of your period, Cycle Day 3 is the third day of your menstrual flow, and so forth.

As an example, create sample menstrual calendar for the month of January. Lets say you had spotting on January 3rd, but you didnt have regular bleeding until the next day. The first day of your menstrual period would be January 4th. The first day of your period is also called Cycle Day 1.

Now, create sample menstrual calendar for the month of February. Lets pretend your period started on the 2nd. In January, your period started on Jan. 4th and in February it started on the 2nd.

When your health care provider asks you: When was your last period? The answer is the date of the first day of your last period . Ex.= February 2nd.

To figure out how long your cycle is, start at cycle day 1 of your last menstrual cycle and begin counting . The length= the last cycle day before you started bleeding again. For example According to the January and February calendars, the cycle length would be 30 days, meaning your period comes on average, every 30 days. However, keep in mind that your cycle may vary in length.

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Prolonged Or Irregular Bleeding On Birth Control

Starting a new method of birth control can cause changes the amount of days you bleed. Irregular bleeding is common when starting a new birth control method and usually goes away within three months.

Be mindful of how your bleeding days change and how you feel on an new form of birth control. Different brands and types of hormonal birth control contain different levels of reproductive hormones, so some brands or types may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your healthcare provider about trying another brand if you have continued spotting three months after starting a new method, or if your bleeding has gotten heavier .

Prolonged bleeding on hormonal birth control can also be caused by underlying health conditions such as uterine fibroids or an untreated infection .

If you suspect that your period is prolonged or irregular, speak to your healthcare professional. When talking to your healthcare provider, show them your tracking history. Also tell them if youâve recently noticed unexpected changes in your body, such as unexplained abdominal pain, difficulty controlling your weight, or unusual hair growth on your face or body. This can help them identify what might be causing your long periods .

When To Get Checked Out

Normal cycles last between 24 to 35 days. Some teens might have shorter cycles of only 21 days, and others might go as long as 45 days between periods. Adults can have a range of between 21 to 35 days. See a doctor if your cycle falls outside of these ranges. Also, if youve been menstruating for more than two years and your period hasnt become regular, visit a healthcare provider.

Being sick or under stress can cause a delayed period or for you to skip it altogether. However, if you miss a period and are sexually active, definitely get checked out for a possible pregnancy. Also, visit a healthcare professional about your period if:

  • You havent gotten your first period by age 15
  • You dont menstruate for more than 90 days
  • Your periods start to be very irregular after having previously been regular
  • Your period lasts for more than seven days

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What’s A Menstrual Period Anyway

Your period during a natural menstrual cycle happens because your uterus is shedding its inner lining.

The body’s natural process is to have your uterine lining become thicker in anticipation of fertilizing the egg . When it finds out no fertilization is happening, it sheds that lining.

No baby is coming to protect and nurture in there, after all! The unfertilized egg, along with blood and tissue, passes through the vagina and inevitably shows up on your tampons and pads. This whole process is controlled by the rise and fall of your body’s hormone levels, specifically estrogen and progesterone

How Do I Know If Im Ovulating


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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Factors That Can Affect Your Periods Length

Factors like biology, stress, and travel can affect when your period comes and the number of days it lasts. They can also have an impact on the amount of bleeding and severity of cramps that you experience.

Your age can affect the amount of hormones in your body for example, as we get older, we produce less estrogen. This can lead to a lighter and shorter period. However, if a woman has a polyp or fibroid in her uterus, she may experience heavier bleeding for a longer number of days.

Youre Experiencing An Ectopic Pregnancy

An unusually heavy period can be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy , says Dr. Horton. Taking a pregnancy test can help you figure out if that’s what’s going on.

If you have a positive pregnancy test and have pain and vaginal bleeding, you should be evaluated, she says. Your doctor will get blood work and a pelvic ultrasound to see where the pregnancy is located and, if it is ectopic, treat it with medicine or surgery. Unfortunately, it’s not safe for a mother to carry an ectopic pregnancy.

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How Long Do Periods Usually Last

Menstrual cycles happen once a month to prepare for a possible pregnancy. If a pregnancy doesn’t occur then the lining of the uterus sheds and the period will start. A typical menstrual cycle is 28 days long and will occur around every 24-38 days. However, each woman is different, and cycles can vary each month . Periods usually last somewhere between 4-8 days.

Key terms:

  • Menstruation – is also known as a period and is when blood and tissue leave the vagina. It usually happens once a month.

  • Menstrual cycle – is the hormonal process a woman’s body goes through each month to prepare for a possible pregnancy.

  • Ovaries – are the reproductive gland in a female which sit in the pelvis on each side of the uterus. The ovaries produce eggs and female hormones.

  • Ovulation – is the release of an egg from one of a woman’s ovaries. Ovulation typically lasts one day and occurs in the middle of a woman’s menstrual cycle, about two weeks before she expects to get her period.

Uterine Fibroids Or Polyps

How long does a period usually last?

Uterine fibroids and polyps can lead to extended, and sometimes heavy, bleeding.

Fibroids occur when muscle tissue begins to grown in the wall of the uterus.

Polyps are also the result of irregular tissue growth in the uterus and cause small tumors to grow.

Generally, neither fibroids or polyps are cancerous.

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