Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why would a period last too long?"
I'm a 20-year-old woman, and my periods normally last for 3 or 4 days. But the one I'm having right now has lasted for a full week. What could cause this to happen? Is something wrong with me?
The average length of time of the menstrual portion of a woman's cycle is between 4 and 5 days. Anything up to a week is probably considered within the normal limits. Thus, I am not that alarmed about the total length of this period. This may be a one time thing, and there is no way to tell for sure what caused it to last a few days longer than normal. Periods that last longer than 7 days usually indicate some type of problem. Occasionally, a very early pregnancy that is miscarried can be mistaken for a period that comes a few days late and is exceptionally long and heavy. If this cycle you recently had was longer than usual, then you may have excessive build up of the inner lining of the uterus increasing the amount of tissue that is expelled during your period. This can lengthen the time of bleeding. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your OBGYN. Bring with you a calendar (if you have one) that documents your last few periods, when they occurred, and how long they lasted. If your doctor is concerned that something is going on, then he or she may want to run some routine blood tests and perform a pelvic exam, and possibly a pelvic ultrasound. Good luck.