ZocdocAnswersMy wife has been on her period for about nine days now, should we worry?

Question

My wife has been on her period for about nine days now, should we worry?

My wife is 22 years old, and she's stated to me that her period generally only lasts about 4 days with the first day being the "heaviest". Well over the past couple of days she's noticed that the bleeding hasn't really stopped. The bleeding will vary from light to heavy on different days. Today is day 9, and she's filled up a tampon about half way with blood. I would normally take her to the doctor for a check up. However, we have recently lost our Health insurance because of cut backs at work. Could you please loan us any advice? I'm a very concerned husband. Side Info: December of 2012 she got a Depo shot. Only Once. Do you think this could be effecting her body still after only one shot several months back? We are also now trying to have a baby.

Answer

I am sorry to hear about your wife's symptoms. Unfortunately, even given your insurance issues, I think it is important for her to see a gynecologist. It is not possible to provide an accurate diagnosis without performing a full physical exam and reviewing the full details of her medical history. This could represent a life threatening illness, so it is important to see a physician. Many different factors can affect the length of one's period. There is naturally some variation in length. Various birth control agents can affect the length. An abnormality of your blood's ability to clot can cause increased bleeding. For instance, an autoimmune disorder, such as idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, can cause a decrease in the number of platelets in your blood and increase the amount of bleeding. Various medications, such as aspirin, can increase the amount of bleeding. Abnormalities of the uterus itself, such as uterine fibroids, can lead to increased bleeding. Abnormalities of the thyroid gland can also cause increased bleeding. I encourage you to discuss these possibilities with a gynecologist. Your wife will require a full exam, including a pelvic exam, and medical history. She may also require blood work or an ultrasound.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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