Every female has a different period cycle. Of some it lasts for 3-4 days and for others it may be quite longer than that. Normally, a healthy period cycle is supposed to last for 5-7 days. But it can sometimes be a few days longer or shorter. Some females have irregular menstrual cycles.
Spotting vs Bleeding
|Protection||may need a pantyliner|
|Color||light red, pink, or brown|
|Timing||any time of the month|
|Bleeding||heavy, medium, or light|
|Protection||need a tampon, pad, or menstrual cup|
|Color||dark red, bright red, brown, or pink|
|Duration||generally 3 to 7 days|
|Timing||monthly flow every 24 to 38 days|
|Other symptoms||breast tenderness|
constipation or diarrhea
reduced sex drive
A period that goes as long as 10 days, is not normal. It may be a cause of other possible conditions mentioned below:
Implantation bleeding in Pregnancy
Unexpected, long or abnormal periods are among the first signs of pregnancy. It may be experienced along with other symptoms such as nausea, morning sickness, mild bloating, etc. If a female has had unprotected sex recently and is having a long period with light bleeding, she should consult a gynecologist as it may be a sign of pregnancy.
Abnormal Uterine Bleeding
AUB is dysfunctional uterine bleeding. In this condition, the female has an unpredictable period cycle. It can be different according to different females. Females may experience different types of abnormalities linked to menstrual cycles such as heavy bleeding during periods, long periods, periods not coming, etc. Sometimes, there may be unexpected bleeding between the period cycles. The most common cause of AUB is a hormonal imbalance or changes in hormones. Other health conditions such as thyroid diseases, polycystic ovary syndrome, etc. can also cause irregular or long periods. Personal habits such as excessive exercise, eating unhealthy food, taking too much stress, eating disorders, etc can also be a cause of AUB.
In case of heavy bleeding during AUB, the gynecologist generally prescribes pills for iron as because of excessive bleeding, the girl may have a deficiency of iron. The doctor may also suggest the patient for an amnesia test. If the AUB is under control, the condition gets normal as the hormones stabilize. But if it does not, it should be treated immediately.
Many women are diagnosed with hypothyroidism each year. Our Thyroid glands have an effect on our menstrual cycles. A female with low thyroid hormone secretion can have a longer period with light or heavy bleeding. Other symptoms of this disease include hair loss, weight loss, fatigue, etc.
Due to hormonal imbalance, a female may have light bleeding at the time of ovulation, while releasing the eggs. If this happens normally, there is nothing to worry about. But if there is a pain, feeling of nausea, weakness, or cramps along with it, it should not be ignored.
Sexually transmitted infections (or STIs)
Chlamydia and gonorrhea are the STIs that may cause spotting at any time throughout your period cycle. These sexually transmitted infections can be acquired by sexual activities including vaginal, oral, or anal sex.
As the STI progresses, light spotting can happen with other symptoms, including:
- pain during sex
- changes in vaginal discharge
- burning or pain during peeing
- green or yellow foul-smelling vaginal discharge
- anal itching or discharge, soreness, or bleeding
STIs can be treated with antibiotics. It is important to consult a gynecologist in case you notice any such symptoms.
Fibroid in the uterus can cause abnormally long periods. The female can have light or heavy bleeding in this disease.
Birth Control pills like patches, rings, shots, or implants affect the hormones. Because of that, a female’s period cycles grow longer than usual. If any such thing happens to you, consult a gynecologist for alternate birth control options.
Undiagnosed Cervical Cancer
Long periods, abnormal vaginal bleeding, bleeding after intercourse, etc can be a sign of cervical cancer. The doctor suggests the patient go for tests like PAP and HPV DNA to detect cancer, if present.
How to help myself in this situation?
The answer is simple! Visit a gynecologist to the soonest. Long-period cycles can be very inconvenient for the female. It can hinder her daily routine and cause weakness or anemia. Visit a gynecologist to get a solution to this condition to the soonest.
Also Read: Vaginal Discharge & Its Types