You Recently Got Your First Period
Reaching your menarche may be the start of a decades-long menstrual cycle but rarely are the first few years of bleeding consistent. In addition to irregular periods making it hard to know when youre safe to rock your white shorts, spotting is a common occurrence for girls who are just getting acquainted with tampons, cramps, and an undeniable craving for chocolate.
Three Phases Of The Menstrual Cycle
The phases of your menstrual cycle are triggered by hormonal changes.
On Day 1 of your cycle, the thickened lining of the uterus begins to shed. You know this as menstrual bleeding from the vagina. A normal menstrual period can last 4 to 6 days.
Most of your menstrual blood loss happens during the first 3 days. This is also when you might have cramping pain in your pelvis, legs, and back. Cramps can range from mild to severe. The cramping is your uterus contracting, helping the endometrium shed. In general, any premenstrual symptoms that you’ve felt before your period will go away during these first days of your cycle.
During the follicular phase, an egg follicle on an ovary gets ready to release an egg. Usually, one egg is released each cycle. This process can be short or long and plays the biggest role in how long your cycle is. At the same time, the uterus starts growing a new endometrium to prepare for pregnancy.
The last 5 days of the follicular phase, plus ovulation day, are your fertile window. This is when you are most likely to become pregnant if you have sex without using birth control.
This phase starts on ovulation day, the day the egg is released from the egg follicle on the ovary. It can happen any time from Day 7 to Day 22 of a normal menstrual cycle. During ovulation, some women have less than a day of red spotting or lower pelvic pain or discomfort . These signs of ovulation are normal.
It Could Be Due To Pcos
PCOS or Polycystic ovarian syndrome is one of the main culprits behind almost every menstrual irregularity including prolonged periods. This is a condition where several cysts are developed inside the ovary of women that leads to hormonal imbalance. Due to this hormonal imbalance, your body doesnt get a proper signal to produce the right amount of eggs and relies at the right time.
It can be from the beginning. Even, some women with PCOS will have periods after a gap of three months as well. If you have high body weight, excessive hair growth and thyroid issues with your prolonged periods then chances are high that PCOS is the culprit. You need to take proper medical help for proper diagnosis and remedy.
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Uterine Polyps Or Fibroids
Uterine polyps, also called endometrial polyps, are soft growths in the endometrium. They can range from sesame-seed sized to larger than a golf ball and are not usually cancerous. Uterine polyps become more common with age and are rare in anyone under 20. You may develop one or many.
Uterine fibroids are another type of non-cancerous growth on the uterus, but they develop from the muscle tissue rather than the endometrium. They may be inside or outside of the uterus and, as with polyps, you can have one or several.
Both polyps and fibroids can cause menstrual irregularities, including more frequent periods, longer and heavier periods, and bleeding between periods. They can also interfere with your fertility and cause miscarriage. Other symptoms of uterine polyps include:
- Post-menopausal bleeding or spotting
The Likeliest Cause: Ovulation
You ovulate about day 14 of your cycle. For many women, the day around ovulation goes completely unnoticed. But for some, ovulation is an event they may feel and notice other symptoms around. Those symptoms can include light spotting.
During reproductive ages, the ovary releases an egg every month. This event occurs when the ovary follicles rupture and release the oocyte which travels to the fallopian tube and becomes an ovum or egg. The rupture of the ovary follicles can cause some light spotting and some women can even feel it happen.
That feeling usually manifests as a slight twinge or pain on one side of your abdomen. This pain is called Mittelschmerz. It translates literally as middle pain. Its the name for the slight twinge or cramp that some women experience when the follicle releases the egg.
Learn more about what happens when you ovulate.
The best way to understand whether your bleeding corresponds with ovulation is to track your cycle using an app or diary. If youre experiencing bleeding that does not coincide with ovulation, there are many other possible causes.
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You’re Bleeding In Between Periods
This is one period problem you shouldnât ignore. “If you’re bleeding between periods, it should be investigated,” Loffer says.
Causes can range from something benign — such as having an irritated sore in the vaginal area or forgetting to take your birth control pill — to something as serious as an ectopic pregnancy or cancer. Visit your doctor for an exam.
You Used An Emergency Pill After Sexual Intercourse
Its possible you could spot after taking an emergency contraceptive pill. Emergency pills after sexual intercourse work by stopping ovulation or delaying it from coming. These pills could have serious effects on your hormones.
Depending on when pills are taken, either before or after ovulation, it may result in an early period, late period or spotting.
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Two Periods In One Month For The First Time
People with short menstrual cycles frequently have periods at the beginning and the end of a month. For someone with a typical menstrual cycle usually about 28 days or so having a period twice a month may be a bit surprising and seem unusual. Its important to remember that irregular bleeding can indicate a medical concern, and its easy to mistake for a period. In some cases, bleeding could indicate one of the following:
The treatment for two periods in one month depends on the cause of the bleeding. People who have a short menstrual cycle naturally or who are in the early stages of puberty typically dont require treatment.
Health care providers may suggest hormonal birth control as a possible treatment for multiple periods in a month, as it can help regulate periods and resolve anemia that occurs due to heavy and frequent bleeding. If youre already taking hormonal birth control and you think it might be causing you to have a period twice in one month, then be sure to talk to a health care provider.
For hypothyroidism, a health care provider may prescribe thyroid hormone replacement therapy. For hyperthyroidism, several treatment options are available, and health care providers will suggest the one that is best for each condition.
During perimenopause, health care providers may suggest menopausal hormone therapy to regulate periods until they cease with menopause.
When Should You Call Your Doc About Long Periods
If your period lasts longer than seven days, or if it suddenly changes significantly in length for three or more cycles in a row, that warrants a call to your ob-gyn, says Tom Toth, MD, a reproductive endocrinologist at Boston IVF. It’s also worth seeing your doc if you’re soaking a pad or tampon every hour for several hours or passing clots.
That doesn’t necessarily mean you’re dealing with something serious, but you want to get to the root of your period problem sooner rather than later. That’s because once you’re north of seven days and still bleeding, you’re at an increased risk for menorrhagia.
Simply put, menorrhagia is when bleeding is too heavy and interferes with your quality of life or requires interventions like blood transfusions, iron transfusions, medications or surgical procedures, Dr. Shepherd explains. Menorrhagia can also lead to other issues, like anemia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Anemia can cause you to experience fatigue, weakness, and, in severe cases, nausea, vomiting and dizziness. Taking iron supplements can help improve symptoms, but you need to see your doc to get an the cause of the heavy bleeding.
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How Can Women Take Care Of Bleeding And Symptoms
You can use pads, tampons, or menstrual cups to manage bleeding. Be sure to change tampons at least every 4 to 8 hours. Pads or menstrual cups may be best at night.
Many women can improve their symptoms by getting regular exercise and eating a healthy diet. It also may help to limit alcohol and caffeine. Try to reduce stress.
A heating pad, hot water bottle, or warm bath also can help with cramps. You can take an over-the-counter medicine such as ibuprofen or naproxen before and during your period to reduce pain and bleeding.
How Is Hemophilia Diagnosed
Hemophilia is diagnosed through a blood test. Your doctor will remove a small sample of blood from your vein and measure the amount of clotting factor present. The sample is then graded to determine the severity of the factor deficiency:
- Mild hemophilia is indicated by a clotting factor in the plasma thats between 5 and 40 percent.
- Moderate hemophilia is indicated by a clotting factor in the plasma thats between 1 and 5 percent.
- Severe hemophilia is indicated by a clotting factor in the plasma of less than 1 percent.
The complications of hemophilia include:
- joint damage from repetitive bleeding
- deep internal bleeding
- neurological symptoms from bleeding within the brain
Youre also at an increased risk of developing infections, such as hepatitis, when you receive donor blood.
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Been On Period For 4 Weeks
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You Have Uterine Polyps Or Fibroids
“Uterine abnormalities, such as polyps or fibroids, can cause prolonged periods because they distort the endometrial cavity which can lead to increased blood flow,” Dr. Toth explains. Basically, your body senses something in your uterus that isn’t supposed to be there, and tries extra hard to get rid of it.
Polyps and fibroids sound scary, but they’re pretty commonup to 80 percent of women will have at least one before they’re 50, per the OWH. On their own, they don’t indicate a serious disease, like cancer. Important to note: Black women are two to three times more likely to have fibroids than white women, and the reasons for their increased risk are not well understood or well studied due to lack of representation of Black women in research, notes Dr. Horton. Black women are also more likely to be hospitalized due to fibroids due to heavy, prolonged vaginal bleeding, pain, and symptoms from anemia.
But for many people, these benign growths don’t have any symptoms, and if they do, it’s usually prolonged periods, says Dr. Toth. Most likely your doc will just recommend keeping an eye on them, but if they cause pain or grow very large they can be surgically removed.
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When To Seek Help
Dont ignore a long period. Its important to see your doctor to discuss why you might be experiencing this symptom. Delaying your diagnosis and treatment could lead to a worsening of the underlying condition responsible for the extended bleeding.
You may want to seek immediate care with a long period if you spike a fever or are losing an abnormally heavy amount of blood or large blood clots. A sign that youre losing a lot of blood is if you need to change a pad or tampon one to two times per hour for several hours. You may also begin to feel lightheaded if youre losing a lot of blood.
There are many causes for a long period, so your doctor will likely begin your appointment by asking you some questions. These may include:
- when your period started
- how many pads and tampons youve used in the last day
- your sexual activity
Three Weeks Of Heavy Vaginal Bleeding Very Worried
I am 46 years old. Last year I went for a bladder scan and they found that the lining of the womb was abnormally thick . I had a biopsy which was normal but nothing else was done. My periods returned with no problems until May of this year when I had another two month gap. I came on again on the 29th July which was light for a few days but turned into 2-3 inch clots and very heavy. The clots seem to have gone but the bleeding is still heavy three weeks later. It was so bad last weekend that I went to A and E but typically it slowed down while I was there so no scan was done. I have been referred for a scan on the 3rd September but I am so worried I have booked a private one next week. The bleeding is heavy and bright red and I have pain in my right leg. I have previously suffered from ovarian cysts but it never affected my cycle. I only have one ovary now as one was removed due to a cyst. My doctor has fond blood work which was normal and included thyroid and menopause tests which came back normal and not menopausal. He prescribed Tranexamic acid to stop the bleeding but I havent taken it yet as I want the bleeding to stop on its own.
sorry about all the information. I sm meant to be starting my first teaching job in three weeks and a PhD. I am very worried that my symptoms point to something sinister. I hope it is ok to post on here. I would appreciate any advice or if anyone has had similar and it had been ok.
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What Causes Periods Every Two Weeks
Frequent menstruation can have a number of underlying roots, including hormonal and other causes. They include the following:
Getting a period every two weeks is commonly caused by imbalanced levels of estrogen and progesterone. This frequently occurs during menopause as the ovaries transition into their non-fertile stage, causing drastic fluctuations of key reproductive hormones.
Polymenorrhea can also be caused by various medical conditions as well as certain lifestyle habits, such as the following:
Drastic weight loss
Going off or starting a new type of hormonal contraception
Obesity, especially if related to polycystic ovary syndrome
Benign uterine abnormalities, such as endometriosis and uterine fibroids
Certain types of cancer