Should I Be Worried About My Period Lasting Longer Than Normal
If your period is different from normal, you may be concerned that something is wrong with your cycle or your body. But Welsh stresses that your period lasting a couple of days less or more than normal is probably nothing to worry about.
A slight fluctuation from one month to the next is considered normal, she says, recommending that you keep a diary to track your cycle so you know how long your period usually lasts and can spot any differences. You can also track lifestyle factors in a cycle diary, such as how often you are drinking, sleep quality and diet, which could help you pinpoint exactly why your period is different from normal.
However, if your period keeps changing month to month or youre concerned about the sudden change in length, you should speak to your GP. Underlying medical issues such as hormone imbalances and fibroids or polyps in your uterus can often cause irregular periods, Welsh explains.
What Is The Prognosis For Living With Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
Left untreated, heavy periods can interfere with your life. In addition, heavy menstrual bleeding can cause anemia and leave you feeling tired and weak. Other health problems can also arise if you don’t get help. With proper treatment and assistance from your provider, you can manage heavy periods without compromising your well-being.
Somethings Growing In Or Around Your Uterus
Now were getting into the tougher stuff. Dr. Ghodsi recommends contacting a doctor right away if your period is sticking around longer than it usually does because it might be a symptom of structural problems with your uterus. These include uterine polyps , uterine fibroids , adenomyosis , and more.
Polyps, fibroids, and other types of abnormal growth around or within the uterus can trigger a longer periodthink of it like the body trying extra hard to expunge what it thinks are foreign objects or extra baggage in the uterus. It might also be that a uterine fibroid is growing in a particular position thats impacting on the uterine cavity, Dr. Gersh explains, which might change the type of bleeding, the quantity of bleeding, the length of bleeding, or otherwise mess with your period.
Many structural issues with the uterus will necessitate treatment: They can not only cause heavy, prolonged menses , but they can additionally impair fertility, pending their location, Dr. Gaither says.
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Contact Usa Fibroid Centers
If your heavy and extended period is caused by fibroids, USA Fibroid Centers can help. Our team of fibroid specialists provide uterine fibroid embolization , a minimally invasive procedure that can help alleviate symptoms as fibroids shrink and die.This FDA-approved treatment is an effective solution for treating fibroid symptoms with an 85 to 95 percent success rate. With this targeted treatment, only the fibroids are affected, meaning the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other surrounding structures are not damaged or removed. With UFE, you can enjoy a normal life again with a healthy period and normal period cycle length. To learn more about UFE, you canschedule a consultation online or give us a call at 855.615.2555 to visit one of our facilities.
You Had An Early Miscarriage
Early miscarriages are much more common than you may realize. Up to half of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, often before the woman even realizes she was pregnant, according to the .
Sometimes the only sign is an extra-heavy or long period. Your menstrual cycle length should return to normal within one to two cycles if it stays abnormally long after three cycles, call your doctor, Dr. Toth says.
About one in 100 women suffer from repeat miscarriages, so it’s important to rule out a condition that affects fertility, like endometriosis.
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You Missed Your Period
Though it’s tempting to celebrate a week off from cramps, your ugliest underwear, and the overwhelming desire to eat cake frosting with your hands, a missing period could be a warning sign. “Lack of a period can happen because of stress, hormonal changes, menopause, low body fat , or, of course, pregnancy,” says Dr. Abrams. “It can also happen with an over-functioning thyroid gland . And, rarely, it can be a sign of tumors in the ovaries, pituitary gland, or hypothalamus.”
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Uterine fibroids are small, non-cancerous growths inside the uterus. And while they may sound scary, theyre actually much more common than youd think. One study from the Birmingham Womens Hospital found that 70 percent of women will have at least one before the time they reach 50and one of the main symptoms of uterine fibroids is heavy bleeding, sometimes with blood clots or bleeding in between periods. It can be an issue that in some cases can incapacitate a woman for a couple of times a year, says Wysocki. And anything that incapacitates a woman from carrying out her regular functioning should be looked into. Sometimes the solution can be simple as going on birth control, getting an IUD, or taking another form of non-contraceptive medication.
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According to the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Foundation, up to 10 percent of women have PCOS and approximately 50 percent of those women dont even realize they have it. Women with PCOS can get a cluster of cysts on their ovaries that could lead to heavier periods. According to Wysocki, ovulation, which is irregular for women with PCOS, triggers the conditions for the lining of the uterus to shed. If that trigger is absent, the uterine lining continues to thicken and later causes much bloodier periods.
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How Long Is Too Long
Generally, a period lasts between three to seven days. A menstrual period that lasts longer than seven days is considered a long period.
Your doctor may refer to a period that lasts longer than a week as menorrhagia. You may also be diagnosed with menorrhagia if you experience unusually heavy bleeding that lasts less than a week. Five percent of women have menorrhagia.
A long period may be a sign of a serious underlying health condition, such as:
- hormone irregularities
- uterine abnormalities
Its important to see your doctor if you experience a long or heavy period so they can identify the underlying cause or rule out more serious possible causes.
Menorrhagia can cause discomfort during your period as well as disrupt your regular routine. You may find that the bleeding affects your activities or your sleep. You may also experience iron deficiency anemia if you regularly experience long menstrual periods, especially if theyre heavy.
Read on to learn more about long periods, including possible causes and what you can do to manage this symptom.
Long periods can be caused by a wide range of underlying conditions.
Youre Experiencing Early Signs Of Menopause
When a patient mentions a diminishing return on her tampon investment, the first thing Dr. Choi looks at is age. Menopause might be around the corner, but not always. Sometimes with aging the cycles change, she says, noting that its not necessarily a sign of infertility. Someone who needed to use a super pad in their 20s and early 30s may find they need less protection in their later 30s.
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The Effects Of Birth Control And Menopause
Variousforms of birth control can affect the frequency and duration of your period.The birth control pill tends to produce a regular period that occurs everymonth and lasts for three to five days. A hormonal IUD usually results in alighter period or noperiod at all. Most women experience spotting for the first fewmonths after getting the IUD.
A copper IUD may have no effect on bleeding patterns or may cause heavier and longer periods for some women. Progestin-only methods like the injection, medroxyprogesterone acetate , and the implant, etonogestrel are associated with irregular spotting as well, but most women report lighter and shorter periods.
Periods can become longer and more irregular as women approach menopause. Its important to discuss cycle characteristics with your doctor, especially women over the age of 45, as the risk of endometrial hyperplasia and endometrial cancer increases with age.
What Do You Mean By Prolonged Periods
The normal range of a menstrual cycle is three to seven days. If your periods last for 3-7 days then its normal. However, for some women life is not so easy.
Due to some reasons, they experience a period that lasts for more than seven days. If you are building beyond a week that means you are dealing with prolonged periods. For some women, it is from the beginning while some face this issue later in life.
If you belong to the first category i.e. your periods are prolonged since beginning than you must know the cause of it by now.
However, if your periods have suddenly changed the patterns then there is something new that your body has experienced which led to this catastrophe all of a sudden.
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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.
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.
Use Of Intrauterine Devices
If you experience prolonged periods after inserting an IUD, which is a contraceptive to prevent pregnancy, then it may be the cause. Should I worry about it? Not yet. Prolonged periods after IUDs are common in the first few months of inserting it. If it gets persistent with really heavy bleeding, then you should let your doctor know.
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What If I Havent Had My Period In 3 Months
Your doctor will also order a pregnancy test if you havent had a period in three months. If that condition is ruled out, you may need more tests to determine the underlying cause of your missed periods. These diagnostic tests may include: Blood tests, which will allow your doctor to check hormone levels in your body.
When To See A Doctor
If your period lasts longer than a week, consider calling a doctor for advice. Depending on your symptoms, they may suggest setting up an in-person appointment for a physical exam.
On the other hand, if you think youre showing symptoms of a rare cause or if youre pregnant, see a doctor immediately.
If you experience severe heavy bleeding and youre soaking through four or more pads and tampons in a 2-hour period, go to an emergency room right away.
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Pain Medications Dont Work
For those 20% who experience monthly discomfort, most can get relief with over-the-counter pain medications, like Advil or Tylenol . If over-the-counter medication is not enough to help you get on with your day, however, then your period cramps arent normal.
Very important side note: Some people will take more than the recommended dosage of over-the-counter pain relievers thinking that since they are over-the-counter, they are therefore harmless. Over-the-counter is not a code word for dosage-doesnt-really-matter. Dont do this. It can be extremely dangerous and even deadly.
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Do You Have Irregular Periods
Its pretty common to experience irregular periods, meaning your cycle varies by more than 7 to 9 days in length.
If this is the first time your period is hanging around too long, you can try to track the days youre bleeding for a few months to see if theres any rhyme to your cycles reason.
If youve had your period for over a week, youre bleeding heavily, or if youre experiencing sharp pain, its a good idea to talk with your doc. Theres a bunch of causes that could be behind your endless flow.
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How Long Are Normal Perimenopause Periods
Ordinarily, your menstrual cycle occurs every 21 to 35 days and lasts from 2 to 7 days. However, perimenopause periods can last much longer. Some months, the ovaries might not produce sufficient levels of estrogen and progesterone, preventing menstruation altogether. Other months, the imbalance might cause the uterine lining to become overly thick, which means it will take longer to be shed by your body to shed.
Excessive bleeding and long periods are fairly common during perimenopause. Many women experience an increased flow and extended perimenopause periods before entering menopause.
If youve had periods that are several days longer or more frequent or heavier than usual, its a good idea to see your doctor.
Your Menstrual Blood Contains Lots Of Clumps
“The contents of your period commonly include a mix of blood, vaginal fluid, and uterine lining cells,” explains Jardim. Seeing a few small clots on your heavier days is normal, but if you’re seeing them every day of your period or they’re large anything the size of a quarter or bigger could indicate an issue, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention see your doctor. Blood clots could be an indicator of endometriosis, polyps obstructing blood flow, fibroids, and more, according to Jardim.
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The Different Types Of Period Pain
Doctors divide period pain into two different types. The more common type is called primary dysmenorrhoea. This type of period pain typically starts from your first period, or in the years shortly after.
With this type there is no underlying condition causing the period pain, says Dr Manwaring.
âThe levels of pain can vary in primary dysmenorrhoea,â she says. âTypically, the pain has a regular pattern, beginning just before or as the period begins. It usually lasts for 1-3 days, but is most severe during the first or second day of the period.â
The pain is usually located in the lower abdomen , but can also affect the lower back and thighs. Itâs often described as a constant ache or a cramping, gripping pain.
Dr Manwaring says the period pain from primary dysmenorrhoea can usually be well controlled with over-the-counter painkillers , the oral contraceptive pill, or through other means for example, a hot water bottle or heat pack, physical activity or relaxation techniques.
âHowever, if these techniques are not managing the pain, seek advice from a health practitioner,â says Dr Manwaring.
Why Do I Have Period For 2 Weeks
A normal period is between 2 days and a week. If your period lasts more than a week, then its abnormal. Also, if you continue to see your periods for two weeks, then it is prolonged. Inform your doctor. Common causes of prolonged bleeding depend on your age. A uterine fibroid is common in young women while endometrial hyperplasia and cancer are common in older women.
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Is It Normal To Have Longer And Heavier Periods During Perimenopause
Excessive bleeding and long periods are fairly common during perimenopause. Many women experience an increased flow and extended perimenopause periods before entering menopause.
In fact, one in four women say that their periods are heavy enough to interfere with day-to-day activities, such as going to work or attending social events. According to University of Michigan researchers, 91 percent of women aged 4252 surveyed reported heavy menstruation for 10 or more days during their transition to menopause. This phenomenon occurred one to three times within a three-year period.
There are various other health factors which come into play, including body mass index , use of hormones, and the presence of uterine fibroids.
When Do Periods Stop
Your periods will continue until you reach the menopause, which usually happens when you are in your late 40s to mid-50s. In the UK the average age of menopause is 51.
Your periods may start to become less frequent over a few months or years before stopping altogether. In some cases they can stop suddenly.
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What Are Possible Complications From A Long Period
Delaying a diagnosis could result in a more invasive procedure or intensive treatment for the underlying cause.
Additionally, if your long period causes heavier blood loss, you could be at risk of developing anemia. This may contribute to feelings of tiredness and weakness.
Your doctor can use results from a blood test to diagnose anemia. If your iron levels are low, your doctor may recommend boosting your diet with iron-rich foods and a possible iron supplement to get your levels back to normal.
Long periods may also be painful and interfere with your well-being and quality of life. You may miss days of school or work, or withdraw from activities you enjoy because of your long period.
Period Blood Color And Meaning
Blood can change color throughout your period, which can be more noticeable with an extended period length. Some changes are normal, while others may be cause for concern.
Pink period blood is often seen when you are spotting. It may also be the color at the beginning of a period. Because it is a sign of an infection or miscarriage you should report it to your doctor. Red blood is normal for your period, but you may see brown blood toward the end of your cycle. If your period is longer than usual, you may notice a darker color of blood, because it has been exposed to oxygen in your body.
Rust-colored or brown blood may indicate a problem, especially if accompanied by largeperiod clots the size of a quarter or bigger. In this case, you may want to visit your doctor to discuss your concerns.
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