Are you struggling with periods that seem to last forever? Periods can be an annoying thing for some women. And if they last longer than the usual 3 to 5 days, you might be thinking what’s going on. A usual cycle runs for an average of 28 days, and the bleeding period lasts between 3 and 5 days. But some women have cycles as short as 21 days or as long as 35 days, and their periods may last anywhere from 2 to 7 days. All of these are considered within the “normal” range. But if you normally have a long cycle and it suddenly shortens, or vice versa, don’t ignore it.
You May Have Taken Aspirins Or Birth Control Pills
If you don’t usually have heavy bleeding but are suddenly experiencing it, check the medicines you have had recently. Some anti-inflammatory medications and anticoagulants can make bleeding heavier. An example is a popular aspirin. Some birth control pills can also cause heavy bleeding.
You May Have Given Birth Or Had A Miscarriage
Miscarriages can also result in bleeding. This is marked by blood that is brown or bright red, along with pinkish white mucus and tissue with clots. There’s also back pain that is much worse than a normal period cramp. Many women have shared that it’s possible to have to bleed a couple of weeks after a miscarriage, much like a prolonged or second period.
You May Have PCOS
Up to 10 percent of women worldwide suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS. PCOS can lead to heavy or prolonged periods and can also trigger endometrial hyperplasia, which is an abnormal thickening of the endometrial tissue lining the inside of the uterus beyond a normal period cycle. For some women, losing weight, exercising, eating healthy, or taking the pill can help regularize periods.
You May Have Polyps
Polyps, or noncancerous growths on the uterus lining or cervix, can cause bleeding between your periods. They can also cause heavy menstrual bleeding. While these polyps are quite common, the exact incidence is not known since they do not always present symptoms. But since polyps have a 5 percent chance of being cancerous or precancerous, you’ll probably need to have them removed.
Your Endometrium May Be Thick (Endometrial Hyperplasia)
If you have prolonged menstrual bleeding without big blood clots, it’s most likely from endometrial hyperplasia. Women with the condition have a thickened endometrium. This is thicker than the usual buildup of tissue before and after a normal period. Basically, when your estrogen levels are higher than your progesterone levels, you don’t ovulate. As a result, the body doesn’t get the signal to stop growing the uterine lining, leading to the thickening seen in hyperplasia.
You May Have Cancer
In some cases, cancer could be the cause of abnormal bleeding. For example, endometrial cancer tends to strike women after menopause, but it can also develop in younger women. So, it doesn’t hurt to have a check-up just in case. Ovarian, cervical, or uterine cancer can also cause excessive bleeding.
You May Have Diabetes, Cirrhosis, Or Thyroid Disorders
If you have diabetes, pelvic inflammatory disorder, thyroid disorders, or cirrhosis, you might have menstrual problems and heavy bleeding. To understand if one of these issues is the culprit, you will need to check for symptoms and get tested.
When To Visit A Gynecologist
If you have nonstop bleeding for more than 7 days or if your period is suddenly prolonged, you may need to check with your doctor.
After childbirth, it’s important to see a doctor if the bleeding smells bad or comes with fever or chills. You should also be concerned if the blood is bright red after a week or you have lower abdominal pain.
If you have a high risk of cancer from menopause, family history, or your own medical history, getting screened is super important.