Even though it’s sometimes quite annoying, the monthly period is an integral part of life for most women. It is common for young girls to feel curious and concerned about their periods – they even become worried when it seems they are going to bleed to death. So many questions will make them worried. Why do I feel tired during my period? How much bleeding is normal during a period? What should I do for period lasting longer than usual? And the list goes on. If you’ve been looking for an answer to why some of your periods last longer than usual, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn more.
My Period Lasts Longer Than Normal: Is It a Problem?
One most important thing young girls need to understand is that the menstrual cycle isn’t same for every girl. You will normally menstruate every 21 to 35 days, and it will last up to 4-6 days. You are more likely to experience a blood loss of up to 30-40ml. Your period may be heavy or light, irregular or regular, short or long, painful or pain-free, but it still be considered normal. You may have to worry a bit though for a period lasting longer than usual. Below are some of the most common reasons behind the annoying problem.
A woman’s menstrual period may be excessively prolonged, heavy, or irregular due to a condition called menorrhagia. The most common symptoms of it include the following:
- You will bleed enough to soak through more than one sanitary pad every hour for several hours.
- You may need double sanitary protection to keep your menstrual flow in check.
- You may have to change your sanitary protection during the night.
- Your period may last longer than a week.
- You may notice large blood clots in your menstrual flow.
- Your menstrual flow may get so heavy to affect your regular lifestyle.
- You may experience constant pain in your lower abdomen.
Other symptoms of menorrhagia include fatigue, tiredness, and shortness of breath.
2. Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding
You notice dysfunctional uterine bleeding because of ovaries being unable to release an egg. The condition can affect you any time during your productive years, but you’re more like to suffer from dysfunctional uterine bleeding if you’re over 40. You may notice some of the following symptoms along with heavy bleeding and period lasting longer than usual.
- You notice your period starting before 21days or taking more than 35 days at times. It is important to note that a normal teen cycle is usually between 21 and 45 days, whereas a normal adult cycle is 21-35 days long.
- Your period continues more than a week or so – it should normally stay between 4-6 days range.
- You experience heavy bleeding that makes you soak through more pads than usual each hour for a couple of hours.
The tissue that lines the uterus is called endometrial tissue, but sometimes, it grows into the muscular wall of your uterus, causing a condition called adenomyosis. Even the displaced endometrial tissue thickens, breaks down, and bleeds normally during your menstrual cycle, things can change without a notice and you can experience some other symptoms like:
- You may experience prolonged bleeding.
- You may notice heavy bleeding with severe cramping and sharp pain during menstruation.
- Your menstrual cramps will get worse with age.
- You experience pain during intercourse.
- You may notice blood clots with menstrual bleeding.
4. Endometrial Hyperplasia
The lining of the uterus, known as endometrium, is usually thin in texture, but it becomes too thick because of different reasons, including excess production of estrogen without enough progesterone. The thickening of the lining is known as endometrial hyperplasia. You may notice the following symptoms for this problem:
- Heavy bleeding during your period that lasts longer than normal
- Shorter menstrual cycles, usually shorter than 21 days
- Bleeding after menopause
5. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
The hormonal imbalance in women may lead to a condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome in which it becomes difficult to get pregnant. The most common symptoms are:
- Irregular, heavy bleeding that last longer than usual
- Absence of menstrual periods
- Excessive hair growth on your face, back, chest, thumbs and stomach with hair loss from the scalp
- Oily skin with acne
- Fertility problems, including repeat miscarriages and inability to ovulate
Uterine fibroids are a type of benign tumors that grow in your womb. The real cause of these tumors is not clear yet. Some women experience no symptoms, while others experience some. For instance:
- Heavy bleeding
- Menstrual periods that span over seven days or some times more
- Pain and severe pelvic pressure
- Frequent urination and constipation
- Leg pains with backache
7. Birth Control Pills
If you’re using hormone-based birth control pills, this may well be the reason behind period lasting longer than usual. These pills can change duration, frequency, and flow levels of menstrual periods. Sometimes, switching between brands and types of birth control will also have a direct impact on your menstrual cycle and bleeding. It is important that you consult with your doctor and don’t change your birth control strategy on your own. You need to understand that your menstrual cycle is not what your female friend experiences on her period, so what works for them won’t always work for you. Be sure to discuss it with your healthcare provider before making a move.
If your period last longer than normal, it could be a sign that you’re pregnant. In most cases, it is an ectopic pregnancy that won’t last. It is still a good idea to have a pregnancy test done to confirm if that’s the issue.
9. Hormonal Imbalance
If you’re in the premenopausal stage, you may experience period that last longer than usual. This usually happens due to an imbalance in your hormones. It is, however, important not to assume anything on your own and discuss it with a healthcare provider to identify the exact cause of your excessive bleeding and prolonged period.
10. Thyroid Disease
Any issue with your thyroid will lead to certain issues from depression to weight loss. Your abnormal bleeding and prolonged period may also be the outcome of a thyroid disease.
A Word about Treatments for Period Lasting Longer Than Usual
If you notice any abnormality in your period, you shouldn’t assume anything and go to see your doctor for proper diagnosis. Depending on the cause, the common treatment options include hysterectomy (the surgical removal of your uterus), medication, and endometrial ablation (the surgical removal of the uterine lining).