What is a long period? Why do some menstruating women have heavier periods that last for almost ten days? Are there any solutions to avoid having periods that last too long? The Elia team sheds light on these questions!
What is a long period?
Long periods are defined by an abnormally long duration of the periods. From a medical point of view, too much blood loss is a consecutive loss of more than 8 days. On average, a woman has her periods for 5 to 8 days and loses about 60ml of blood each cycle. The duration of the losses as well as the abundance of the flows vary from one woman to another. However, menorrhagia should be a concern and may even be a symptom of a menstrual disorder.
What causes long periods?
Women who suffer from menorrhagia often have hormonal imbalances and suffer from pain and a heavy flow or even bleeding. If the period lasts more than 8 days, it is called menorrhagia. If the phenomenon is recurrent with each cycle, we advise you to consult your doctor or your gynecologist. Let the Elia team guide you through the main causes of this period disorder.
Puberty or pre-menopause
Puberty and menopause or pre-menopause are times when changes in hormone levels in the body cause imbalances and symptoms that will impact the length of cycles, the volume of blood loss and also the continuity of menstruation. Some women feel during these periods that their periods do not stop. During pre-menopause, it is not uncommon to have menstrual cycles with an absence of ovulation, which will allow theendometrium, the lining of the uterus, to develop more than it should. When the endometrium is evacuated by the uterus, blood loss will be more abundant and persistent than usual. It is perfectly normal to have long menstrual cycles from time to time, especially during adolescence and before menopause.
The use of the copper IUD
The copper IUD is an intrauterine device that can cause symptoms such as menorrhagia. Indeed, the introduction into the uterus of a foreign body surrounded by copper will cause an inflammation of the endometrium and therefore the amount of blood that will flow. The more inflamed, thicker and more numerous the endometrium is, the longer the menstrual period will last. You may even experience spotting outside of your menstrual period. Some women feel that their periods never end.
Some medications will affect the length of your menstrual period, or even the premenstrual syndrome. For example, they will be accentuated when takingaspirin,antidepressants oranticoagulants. Indeed, these drugs will cause long-lasting bleeding because they will make blood loss more fluid and encourage bleeding.
Are long periods linked to certain pathologies?
Apart from the hormonal factor, first menstruations, menopause, return from childbirth, having a long menstrual flow can be the sign of a side effect of a pathology that requires treatment by a health professional:
- disorders of the uterus
- benign lesions
- a fibroid, polyp or cyst in the ovaries
- non-cancerous tumors
- adenomyosis, the cousin of endometriosis
- sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia
- an extra uterine pregnancy
In cases where these conditions have not been identified, the cause may be related to uterine cancer. For these reasons, it is important to consult a doctor and to carry out a complete gynecological examination to check for other disorders.
What are the consequences of long periods on the menstrual cycle?
The consequences of long periods are numerous. There is a greater chance of developing anemia due to iron deficiency. This is especially true when the blood flow is abundant or hemorrhagic. The lack of red blood cells in the blood can cause chronic fatigue, dizziness and headaches.
They do not a priori have an impact on the course of the phases of the menstrual cycle. It is rare, but not impossible, for some women to become pregnant during their period. In fact, menstrual periods that last or spotting right afterwards can be a sign of ovulation. Some menstruating women who have irregular cycles are also more likely to get pregnant during their bleeding.
What can I do to get my period back to normal?
Having blood loss that doesn't stop is morally difficult and trying. But having a heavy menstrual period that lasts forever on the pill is normal, especially when you have anovulatory cycles. As soon as a menstruating woman passes her forties, her rhythm will be less regular and the lack of progesterone in the second part of the cycle can disturb the continuity of the bleeding. Drug treatments can help regulate a menstrual period that is too long.
Taking birth control pills or other methods of contraception can be a solution to avoid prolonged bleeding periods. Natural methods such as sports, sexual intercourse, free instinctive flow, herbal teas or the use of plants can help to shorten the duration of menstruation.
In most cases, regulating hormones naturally or by stopping medications that affect the duration of the period will be enough to prevent the period from seeming to last forever!
Controlling the flow of long periods with a menstrual panty
It is not possible to control non-stop bleeding with a menstrual panty. However, menstrual panties help women feel better in their daily lives by making them forget that they have a continuous flow. However, the use of menstrual panties (as long as they are made of organic cotton) limits the absorption of pesticides and endocrine disruptors that impact hormonal variations!
The FAQ of long periods
Can periods last longer than 7 days?
Menstruation can last more than 7 consecutive days. This is a long period that can be caused by the presence of a thick endometrium that takes longer to shed. Medication or contraception such as the IUD can also affect the continuity of bleeding.
Can periods last more than 15 days?
The duration of menstruation varies from one person to another. However, it is important to note that on average, blood loss lasts between 5 and 7 days. If it is longer, you may be suffering from a hormonal imbalance. Do not hesitate to talk to your doctor or health professional to validate a treatment.