ZocdocAnswersWhat is a normal length for periods?

Question

What is a normal length for periods?

What is the normal length for a woman's periods to last. Mine usually last several days, but I've heard that woman who are really healthy and exercising a lot only bleed for a little while. Is there a length of time that it's optimal to be on your period for?

Answer

The length of periods is a common question amongst women. About once a month the uterus forms a new lining in preparation for a potential pregnancy. If there is no fertilized egg to signify pregnancy, the uterus sheds this lining which causes menstrual bleeding, also known as your period. The length of bleeding varies from women to women and will vary in most women throughout their fertile years. It can even vary from month to month. The average length of bleeding is 3-5 days but a length of 2-7 days is considered normal. The flow also can vary from very heavy to very light. Periods also can range from very regular (meaning exactly every 28 days) to very irregular. Various circumstances can change the length of your period such as being on birth control, losing or gaining weight and stress. It is true that professional athletes and ballerinas with very low body weight sometimes have very short periods or stop getting their period all together. However, your health does not directly correlated with the length of your period. It is important to see your primary care doctor or gynecologist for annual well woman appointments and discuss the length of your periods as well as your general health.

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

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