Abnormally Long Periods

 

 

I have had a period lasting almost three weeks now. It came about one week earlier than my usual 26-day cycle and is still going on after almost three weeks. Up until this month I have been like clockwork and my periods usually last about 5-days. Should I be concerned and call my doctor? 

 

Answer:

 

A period lasting 3 weeks might be strange in your mid-twenties. If you are at the age where you may be approaching perimenopause, an unpredictable menstrual cycle is the norm.

 

In fact, more than half of perimenopausal women complain about their off-beat menses - which can include skipped periods, periods that happen more than once throughout a month, or drastically lengthy periods. They can even include menses with thick blood clots and a very heavy flow. The menstrual cycle is usually the first indication that you might be approaching your menopausal years.

 

If you're experiencing a very long period, I'm assuming that your menses flow is lighter than normal? Don't be frightened, this is your body's natural reaction to your change in hormones.

 

You see, as a woman approaches menopause her body's estrogen and progesterone (both female hormones) levels decline and as a result her ovaries release fewer eggs. As the body's female hormone levels slow down, she will begin to produce more of the follicle stimulating hormone which is released by the pituitary gland in the brain. As these hormones adjust and try to balance each other out, the female reproductive system - your period - can react a little chaotically. Once your hormone levels rebalance and you've entered full-menopause, your periods should cease.

 

If you're period is lasting 3 weeks and your menses flow is extremely heavy - so heavy that it's causing you to feel dizzy or nauseated -it might be wise to see your doctor immediately to get to the root cause and to calm your concerns.


36 comments
Posted by tebsy on December 5,2008 at 6:07 PM

lol yea i agree with annie why are our shadow pictures of men

Posted by annie on March 19,2008 at 2:05 PM

and why do our shadow pictures look like men. Just kidding lol!!!

Posted by annie on March 19,2008 at 2:04 PM

PLEASE ANSWER MY QUESTION...I already went through the irregular periods. Then I went one year without a period. On my year anniversary i started a period now lasting 26 days and heavy. what should i do?

Posted by Jacqueline on April 16,2007 at 2:53 PM

I am 48 and for a year i had no period but now for the last 2 months i have been putting up with a light one, just enough to have to where a mini pad. will this ever pass, how long dose it take. should i be concern. My sex life is been effexed by it, only because i wont do anything as long as i am on it.

Posted by jane on March 25,2007 at 8:45 AM
I am 23yrs old,ever since i got my period when i was 12yrs old it was irregular because i have my period every 2-3 months and lasts up to 1 week.But now im still have my period ,it was almost three months now i dont have any symptoms or feel anything.Im not taking any pill or contraceptive and im not pregnant.and i have no chance to see the doctors and im afraid of the result...please help me.any advise pls.thanks.
Posted by Kiesha on March 22,2007 at 3:28 PM
I'm 21 years old, and for as long as I can remember, I've gotten my period every 28 to 30 days and It last about 5 to 7 days long. This past month my period scared me,  I thought I was pregnant cause I didn't come until the 36 day. After that I thought I was back on track but 2 weeks later I started spotting lightly and then light to medium flow. I'm starting to get scared cause I've been on my period for 10 days now, and I just want to know whats going on this body of mine.
P.S. I feel completely fine, no pain, no clots, I'm confused. Should I go see my doctor.
Posted by Angel on March 21,2007 at 11:31 AM
I have had erratic periods (cycle ranged from 32 - 51 days) which started last year coupled with some mid cycle light bleeding which nornally lasts for 2 -3 days. My period was like clockwork every 28 days up to 2005 and lasts for 4-5 days max. Come last Dec 2006, started with a heavy period with big clots which lasted for 3 weeks. Three weeks later, another heavy period which lasted another 3 weeks. And for crying out loud, two weeks later, another one started but only (!) for 5-6 days which was just like a normal period but with no flooding and only occasional small clots. And hell, a week later, bleeding has started again with big clots. However, there are no pains or cramps whatsoever. I am 38 this year. Have done the transvaginal scan -found a small intramural fibroid, 2 cm and was told by the sonographer, it's too small really to cause heavy bleeding. Am going to the GP again soon to discuss the test results and maybe  get referred to a gynae this time. I suspect I maybe perimenopausal but have had the FSH to test for ovarian failure before the scan which was negative anyhow. I think you should ask your doc to refer you to a transvaginal scan, it sounds like you may have a fibroid that maybe pressing on your bladder. With the scan, at least you will know if there is anything sinister going on inside. As for me, I suspect I am very hormonally imbalanced which is causing all these bleeds as fibroids are ruled out and not forgetting that the lining of my womb also appears to be normal and not too thick. Will leave feedback once I have spoken to the GP tomo.
Posted by Vanetta on February 27,2007 at 10:30 AM
I am 41 years of age, and just found out that I am in perimenopause.  My cycle was 3 months late.  3 days before my period finally came I got these bad cramps as if I was in labor.  I have not had cramps for 20 years.  These cramps were so intense that I felt like crying.  I don't know if this is in relation to perimenopause or not.  Also every month before my cycle start, my breast use to get very tender.  Now there is no tendernsess at all.  I keep getting this pain in my left pelvic area, and it always feels as though something is pressing on my bladder.  My doctor examined me and said he did not feel anything.  But I am so tired of this pain, and I don't know what else to do.
Posted by Editor on February 23,2007 at 1:09 PM

Hi Ladies,

With any period cycle that lasts longer than 6 days I would recommend contacting a medical professional immediately - especially if this is not the norm for you. Without knowledge of your specific medical and family history it is difficult to pin-point the causes over the Internet.

I would recommend seeking medical attention immediately for all of your concerns. If you're doctor cannot see you - go to a walk-in or medical clinic.

Posted by Gisele on February 22,2007 at 8:09 AM
I am 48, my period usually last the full 7 days, sometimes on the second day, I get pain in my lower abdomen (too painfull for a name) that last 3 hours. This time, I got my period a little early, spotting for a few days then nothing for 3 days then a period that's been lasting for more than 17 days now. I have mild cramping all the time and feel bloated. I went for a transvaginal ultrasound last week and still have to go to the doctor to hear the verdict. I did noticed the ultrasound technician was measuring something on the screen. I asked her what that was and she told me that I had some cysts on both of my ovaries. I can't wait for my appointment on Monday to know if they found something else and what they plan to do about those cysts.
Posted by Alice on February 12,2007 at 3:11 PM
for some months now i have been having very long periods, once lasting up to 5 weeks, usually 3 weeks (the one i am having now is approaching 4) and they stop only for 2-4 days. A small saving grace is that they are fairly light and not much fuss
i am 18 years old. do you think i should seek medical advice or just wait and hope they return to normal?
Posted by Ms.Willis on February 10,2007 at 12:23 AM
I am a 18 year old female, and know that I am not coming into menopause. I had an abortion when I was 14 ( pls dont judge ), and I am not sure if it is now affecting me. Roughly 1.5 years ago, I had a complication with my period and the gyno told me my uterine lining was "coming out", but it was normal. I had clots and irregular flow at that time, but it went away in 4-days. Now I am scared cause I have had a constant flow for over a month. I have contacted a doctor, and they didnt tell me anything. Are there any suggestions as to what could assist in stopping, controlling, or preventing this in future? Also, I have been on the pill for 4 years now, and have been loyal with taking it every day at the same time. ( I have an alarm on my cell phone to remind me ) Any words of wisdom will help, please and thank you.
Posted by Sara on February 9,2007 at 10:30 AM
Iam 15 and recently my period is getting longer and longer from 1 week to 2 to 3 and now 4... i really dont know whats happening or what to do... can you please help? Is this normal?!
Posted by lori on January 29,2007 at 9:26 PM
I have been over my pierod for a couple weeks, But the last few days i have a small blood discharge. Is this normal. I am 46 years old??
Posted by Becky on January 21,2007 at 1:13 PM
Hi, I'm 42 and normally my periods last about 4 days. This time though I'm on day 6. It is very light. What is the normal pre-menopause age anyway? Just that I've always been pretty regular and never last more then 5 days, so day 6 going on day 7 is a little strange for me. Not sure how long would be normal changes at my age I guess.
Posted by Rana on January 17,2007 at 5:31 PM
my question is i get huge clotting sometimes while having my period and i am 18 never had intercourses !

another question is there anyway i can check myslef to know if i am a virgin or no?
Posted by Natasha on December 4,2006 at 4:32 AM
I would get my period for a month and have big blood cloth. I went to see my doctor and they don't know what it is? They don't know what cause me to have long period.
Posted by Bob on December 2,2006 at 1:43 AM
I just don't have much to say right now. Pretty much nothing seems worth doing. My mind is like an empty room. I haven't gotten anything done these days. What can I say?
Posted by Vanessa on November 30,2006 at 11:35 PM
My life's been dull. I just don't have much to say right now, but it's not important. More or less nothing seems worth thinking about.
Posted by Suzette on November 30,2006 at 4:32 PM
I began my period at the age of 9, my mother had a hysterectomy at the age of of 32. My question is I am now 34 years old I want kids but my husband wants to wait. Is it possible for me to experience menopause earlier than the average woman who began at 12 years of age. I am on the pill , when i was younger my cycle was irregular and heavy ususally lasting 7 days. i guess I'm afriad that if I wait to long I may not be able to have a child, your eggs deteriorate as you get older anyway.

Please advise
Sue
Posted by Editor on October 31,2006 at 2:23 PM
Thank you, ladies, for sharing your concerns. Prolonged menstruation is uncomfortable and inconvenient at best, but it can also be extremely upsetting. A period that lasts for more than seven days is generally considered irregular or abnormal, and there is a fairly long list of potential causes. If you're experiencing irregular or excessive bleeding you should consult with your doctor or gynecologist – I'm not a doctor, and the information I can provide you with is no replacement for professional medical care.

The most common cause of irregular vaginal bleeding in premenopausal women is fluctuating hormone levels, most often young women just beginning menstruation. Some of the other conditions that may contribute to excessive or prolonged menstruation are listed above in one of my earlier posts – fibroids, polyps, endometriosis and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

The list of potential causes for menorrhagia also includes vaginal infections, cervical disorders and some medications. There are other health conditions associated with irregular or excessive menstruation as well, such as stress, chronic health problems and cancer of the reproductive organs. In most cases the cause of menorrhagia is benign, but it's crucial that you consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Posted by Jo on October 29,2006 at 12:41 PM
Im nearly 21 years of age, and, a few months ago I started taking the mini pill, my periods for the first few months have been fine, this month i started my period, and it has lasted almost 3 weeks. Usually my period lasts 7-8 days, this is the first time it has lasted so long, i never miss taking my mini pill, same time every day too. The colour varies, was kind of brownish red, now it's more reddish. I hear stress can cause prolonged periods, but im under no stress at all! So what could be my problem?
Posted by LORI on October 28,2006 at 11:36 PM

I'm 32 and my periods have been 2 weeks long.  They've normally been between 7 or 8 days and now all of a sudden things have changed in the last 6 months or so.  They start out light and kind of brownish and take a really long time to get to the heavy day.  This last time it was like my 11th day when it finally got heavy.  I'm so tired and drained and I don't know what to do.  My doctor did a pap and found nothing but isn't there something that I can do?


My husband has been talking about separating from me for about a year and a half.  He finally left in July and now he's moved back in.  Do you think stress has anything to do with my problem?  I really need to be able to have sex with my husband now that he's back and he doesn't at all like it when I have my period when we have sex.  Help me please.

Posted by jay on October 16,2006 at 12:30 AM
I am 20yrs old and have had my priod for 3 months now.
Some days Im pretty heavy other days I'm really light.
Also I have blood clots.
Do you know what could be wrong with me?
Posted by Editor on October 5,2006 at 12:11 PM
Thanks for your question Mona!

I've just written an answer to your response on a new post. I think that the decision to continue taking birth control pills during menopause is on the minds of many women, so I wanted to dedicate a new post to this topic.

Please click here to visit my post on continuing birth control use during menopause.
Posted by mona on October 3,2006 at 5:13 PM
i was told by my doctor a healthy women can stay on a low dose of birth control and go right through her menopause. is this true ? also can you give me some facts on it.
Posted by Editor on September 14,2006 at 11:06 AM
Thanks for your questions ladies.

I'm sorry to hear that many of you are all having discomfort with your menstrual cycles. All of you - Melanie, Mrs. T, Jeraldine, Rachel, and Carla - have very medical-specific questions that I am unqualified to answer. There are no doctors at menopause insight to answer such specific questions about surgery, painful periods and blood clotting. So I recommend you go and see your doctors immediately with these concerns, and to discuss your options. Without knowledge of your medical histories, it is virtually impossible to make suggestions. Especially when unaware of any current medications or other conditions you may be experiencing. If you're doctor is unresponsive - go to another.

Rachel, you mention that your family doctor was in the army, and is rather "harsh". If many of you have had the same experience with doctors then it is time to find a more receptive medical professional to treat you. It's the best thing for your health after all.

Rachel, it is time to find a gynecologist, who will be more receptive to discussing "women's problems". Gynecologists are specifically trained to understand women's bodies, and women make up the vast majority of their clients. I would not trust an unreceptive doctor with my health and wellbeing. You should expect a certain amount of compassion and "bedside manner" from your doctor - if you aren't getting it - then it's time to find a new doctor.

I personally drive an hour out of town to visit my doctor, because my neighborhood physician was not "very receptive". Believe me ladies; your health is worth the extra mileage!

Good luck, and please check back in after you've visited a medical professional.
Posted by Editor on September 14,2006 at 10:07 AM
Hi Jackie, and thanks for your question.

I can tell you from personal experience that I got my first period at 9-years-old. It was scary - especially since no one explained what it was to me beforehand, because they thought I was too young. When I got my first menstrual cycle I was on my way to Girl Guide camp, and I hid in the bathroom afraid of what the blood in my underwear meant.

My grandmother also got her period at an early age - the age of 10 - so it was a good indication that heredity has a lot to do with when a girl gets her first period. If you're daughter might be prone to getting an early period because of heredity - her mother, grandmother got it early - then it's wise to sit her down and explain things to her so that she's not frightened when it occurs for the first time.

Also, consult her doctor and explain that heredity suggests that she may get her period soon. If she has already gotten her first period at 10 or 11 years old, this is an early age but it's not uncommon. As I mentioned, I got mine at the age of 9, and today I am a healthy middle-aged woman.

Regardless, if you are worried please schedule an appointment with her to see her doctor to discuss your concerns.
Posted by JACKIE on September 11,2006 at 3:46 AM
WHAT I NEED TO KNOW IS IF A 10 YEAR OLD CAN GET A PERIOD AT THE AGE OF 10 OR 11?
Posted by Carla on September 7,2006 at 11:18 AM
I am 22... My periods have always been kind of off track. When I was 18 I didn't have my period for 7 months and then I had it for 3 months regularly.. Got pregnant... Had my baby.. And had 1 period... then I didn't have it again for about 6 months.. Now I am having it but its pretty light and has been happening for about a 2 months or so.. But just in the last 2 weeks I started noticing blood clots while I was using the bathroom.. I've notice 5 in the last 2 weeks..

I'm really worried! I need to go to the dr! But scared of what it could be

Gime some info !
Posted by rachel palmer on September 7,2006 at 6:35 AM
I'm 19 years old and have never been particularly regular, usually lasting about seven days every two weeks since i was 11. I now last three weeks heavy one week spotting before im back heavy again, i also have incredably painful stomach cramps for the three weeks i have tried the pill, which did regulate my periods but also seemed to compact the pains into a shorter time. i spent the four days doubled over in pain, barely able to move. my doctor is a family doctor and used to be in the army so he is hard about things that seem medial to him. im sure he thinks that i am a hypocondriac, because i used to be up there all the time with other problems (severe hayfever, asthma, eczema, numerous allergies) so i have stopped going to see him, as i feel uncomfortable. any ideas?
Posted by Jeraldine Adams on July 31,2006 at 1:00 PM
I'm 57 and still having a period!  I started spotting the first of July and it turned into a full blown cycle with heavy bleeding and clotting.  I'm so tried, little energy and just not myself.  I did go two months without a period.  I think it's past time for surgery.  What is the least invasive I can have to stop this madness.
Posted by MRS. T. on July 27,2006 at 12:43 PM
I AM A WOMAN WHO JUST TURNED 50, 8 MONTHS AGO.
I HAVE BEEN REGULAR SINCE I FIRST GOT MY PERIOD AT AGE 11.
I HAVE ALWAY BEEN LIKE CLOCK WORK AND HIT EVERY 28 DAYS ON THE MONEY.
THIS MONTH, JULY, I WAS 5 DAYS LATE OR 34 DAYS BEFORE MY CYCLE BEGAN, LASTING ONLY 3 DAYS AS IT HAS BEEN NOW FOR THE LAST 2 YEARS.
YESTERDAY, OUT OF NOWHERE, I GET MY PERIOD AGAIN, AS IF IT WAS NOT HER JUST SOME 20 DAYS AGO.
I AM A LITTLE CONCERN, AS 2 WOMEN IN MY FAMILY HAVE PASSED OF CANCER OF ONE TYPE OR ANOTHER IN THE PAST 8 MONTHS, SO I AM NOT SURE IF THIS IS HAPPENING TO ME DUE TO STRESS AND DEPRESSION OF THEIR PASSING OR JUST THE EARLY STAGES OF  MENOPAUSE.
Posted by Melanie LeBel on July 15,2006 at 10:50 AM
I am a 22 young lady. I have been having problems with my menstrual cycle for a while now. I remeber when i first started i only had it once a year. and i had every symptom. Few years later it fanilly got to once a month and not too bad cramps. But recently i got scared. i'm on my (over) 2 week of my cycle.  I know i'm not at the age to get menopause ( i hope - haha). actully im not to sure what to ask or what i should do.
Posted by Editor on June 7,2006 at 9:59 AM
Thanks for your question Mary.

I'd like to assure you that you're not alone. The presence of an excessive or heavy periods with blood clotting is a common occurance with perimenopausal women, as a result of imbalenced hormones.

Excessive or heavy periods are referred to as menorrhagia or hyper menorrhea by medical professionals. By medical definition a doctor will say a menstrual period is "hyper menorrheic" if the woman excretes 80-millileters of blood or more in one menstrual cycle.

A doctor will also deem a period excessive if a woman bleeds heavily for more than 10-days consecutively; if her bleeding is so drastic that she is unable to leave the house; if the bleeding is continuously so heavy that the woman becomes anemic (due to a shortage of red blood cells the body becomes iron deficient and will fatigue as a result); or when she experiences abnormally large blood clots for more than a day. If you suffer any one of these symptoms please see your doctor or gynecologist immediately – especially if you are feeling weak or dizzy.

In menopausal women, excessively heavy periods with large blood clots are common, and due to imbalanced hormones - namely a sudden drop in estrogen and progesterone (the female hormones). A woman can begin to experience hormone imbalances in her mid- to late 40s, but unpredictability in her menstrual cycle and large blood clots are commonly the first sign that she's entering perimenopause (the stage leading up to menopause). Low hormones are also the cause of other menopausal symptoms – like hot flashes, headaches, moodiness, depression and forgetfulness.

Like I've said, heavy periods and blood clotting are extremely common for perimenopausal women. However, if you have a history of any of the following conditions you should follow up with a visit to your doctor.

• Fibroids – benign tissue growths on the walls of the uterus.

• Polyps – small growths that disrupt the uterus, colon or lining of the womb and can cause pain and bleeding.

• Endometriosis - abnormal tissue development in the uterus, on the ovaries and fallopian tubes or in any area of the vagina.  

• Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (or PID) – an infection of the female reproductive system – including the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries - which can cause infertility.


Posted by MARY on June 6,2006 at 2:16 PM

I am 52-years old and have been having irregular periods for years. I go from no period, to extremely heavy, to spotting for months. Right now I'm having a very long and heavy flow for the last 2-months, with large blood clots.  I am taking good vitamins – iron, B12, B6, etc.

 

Is this common for menopausal women?

 

Is it just a matter of waiting it out?

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