Go With The Flow

Long Periods: Should You Be Concerned?

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People, let’s be real here: Bleeding every single month is already a pain. So, when your periods decide to stick around for a few extra days, it can be downright frustrating – and concerning.

A normal period

Correction: There’s no such thing as a ‘normal’ period. What a period looks like, feels like, and how long it lasts is different for every woman. What you might consider normal is going to be different from your mom’s, sister’s, or your girl gang’s idea of a normal period.

So, what can be considered a prolonged period, or prolonged menstrual bleeding when there isn’t even a normie period!? Well, you just need to measure everything according to your normal.

If you regularly bleed for eight-nine days, there’s nothing to worry about. But if you had a flow of four-five days, and now you’re bleeding for eight or nine days, you should be concerned. Anything more than your normal period cycle for more than one period cycle should ring alarm bells.

Hope that cleared some confusion for you. And here we have everything you need to know about prolonged periods! Keep reading.

What causes prolonged bleeding?

A wide range of natural and medical conditions can be the cause of prolonged menstrual bleeding. Some of these are as follows:

Your hormones might be out of whack

To be fair, you can blame hormones with your eyes closed for every irregular period problem and you’ll mostly be right to do so!

During every menstrual cycle, a balance between the hormones – estrogen and progesterone work together to thicken the lining of the uterus with tissues and blood cells to make it a nice little home for a fertilized egg. If the egg is not fertilized by sperm in the limited period you have, it flows out of the body and takes its little home along with it. This is your period.

But when a hormonal imbalance occurs, the uterine lining develops in excess, which results in prolonged periods.

You might have Uterine Fibroids or Polyps

Uterine fibroids or polyps are non-cancerous growths inside or on the uterine wall that can bring you periods from hell. They distort your endometrial (uterine) cavity and increase the surface area of the uterine lining. Which means more blood tissues to shed during periods leading to a heavier flow.

Ever heard of Endometriosis?

Endometriosis happens when tissues similar to the uterine lining grow outside the uterus. This ‘similar’ tissue, and the uterine lining are two different tissues. But, the imposter tissue thinks, “I am the real deal✨.” So, it grows and bleeds just like your uterine lining, in the process causing a lot of pain and prolonged bleeding.

PCOS is a possibility too

A hormonal condition that prevents your eggs from maturing, releasing, and doing their thing. It can also send your hormones on an uncharted course.

You may have Thyroid Disorders

A butterfly shaped gland located in your throat affects a lot of functions in your body, periods included. When the thyroid gland produces too many or too few hormones, it can cause menstruation problems, and long periods is a common issue you can expect.

Did you get an IUD recently?

Whether you went the hormonal or non-hormonal way, both can take your periods off-track.

Could be Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

A bacterial infection of your genitalia that is often transmitted through sex. And irregular periods or prolonged periods are a classic symptom of PID.

You might have undiagnosed Endometria Cancer

Periods that have strayed from their unique ‘normal’ ways could be an early sign of endometrial cancer.

Bleeding disorders?

Super rare, but bleeding disorders occur when your blood does not clot properly resulting in super-long periods.

Now, don’t panic. There’s a good chance the cause behind your prolonged periods isn’t half as serious as some of the causes mentioned here. But it’s wise to get yourself checked sooner rather than later and prevent any underlying cause – if any – from getting worse. Sounds like a plan?

Possible Complications of prolonged bleeding

Since long periods literally translate to prolonged blood loss, it can lead to anemia! It is a condition in which your body doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to your tissues. With reduced oxygen to your tissues and organs, anemia can make you feel tired and weak. Some other symptoms of anemia include:

  • Pale skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Dizziness

Prolonged periods may also be painful enough to interfere with your well-being and daily life. It’s time to call your doctor if you notice these symptoms.

Treatments for prolonged bleeding

Treatments of prolonged menstrual bleeding vary based on the diagnosed cause, and various other factors such as your health, age, and medical history. Treatment also depends on if you only want to reduce your bleeding, or get rid of your periods for good, and whether you plan to get pregnant in the future.

Birth control

Can alter the balance of hormones in your body and put an end to your long and heavy periods.

Medications

Your doctor may prescribe certain medications you can take during your periods to reduce your flow.

Surgery

In cases of fibroids and polyps, your doctor can shrink or remove them with minimally invasive surgeries. Which means you don’t have to stay in the hospital for long and can recover quickly.

Dilation and curettage

A simple procedure that removes the outermost layer of the inner lining of your uterus. It often achieves its goal, but some women may need to get this procedure done more than once.

Endometrial Ablation and Endometrial Resection

These surgical procedures permanently destroy or remove the lining of your uterus. You will have lighter periods, or no periods at all. Doctors advise against pregnancy after these procedures, but you will still need to use birth control, because these procedures aren’t a form of birth control.

Hysterectomy

In severe cases where you’re no longer considering having children, your doctor may recommend this surgery, which will permanently remove your uterus and eliminate any chances of pregnancy.

Ways to prevent prolonged bleeding

You can’t prevent all the possible causes of long periods! But talking with your doctor and getting a proper diagnosis can help you manage the cause of the prolonged bleeding condition you are diagnosed with so that it doesn’t interfere with the quality of your life.

But for now, avoid stress, get adequate sleep, eat healthy, stay hydrated, and stay healthy.

To wrap everything up, if your periods ‘suddenly’ got longer, talk to your doctor! Take care!

Is it normal to have a period for 2 weeks?

While the length of a period can vary from person to person, having a period of two weeks is not normal and may indicate an underlying medical condition. Talk to your doctor as soon as possible if your periods last for two weeks or longer.

How long does a period last for a normal menstrual cycle?

The length of a period varies from person to person, but the typical range is 3 to 7 days.

How long can stress delay your periods?

The exact amount of time stress can delay periods varies from person to person and depends on factors such as the intensity and duration of stress. In general, stress can delay your periods for a few days to a week. But if the delay is longer than a week, it’s important that you consult your doctor.

What to do if the period lasts more than 10 days?

If you experience periods longer than 10 days, it's important to talk to your doctor. Prolonged periods can have many possible causes, including hormonal imbalances, uterine fibroids, polyps, endometriosis, thyroid disorders, blood clotting disorders, endometrial cancer, and many other medical conditions.

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