ZocdocAnswersHow long is an ovulation cycle?

Question

How long is an ovulation cycle?

My friend seems to have really long periods. Maybe 10 days. Should it be this long?

Answer

I think your question is how long a menstrual cycle should be. This is the time in the cycle in which bleeding occurs. The ovulation portion of the cycle only lasts one day and occurs about 14 days after the first day of the menstrual portion of the cycle. 10 days is a long time to have continued bleeding. Prolonged bleeding can be caused by several different problems. Problems with blood clotting (called coagulation disorders) are one of the common causes of prolonged bleeding. Another cause is a type of common benign tumor that grows in the uterus called a fibroid. These tumors do not turn into cancer, but they can cause pelvic pain and very heavy periods. Other causes such as adenomyosis uterine cancer, and endometriosis are also associated with this problem. I would suggest to your friend that she schedule an appointment with her OBGYN sooner than later. He or she can perform a variety of needed tests. This will include a blood test to look for blood clotting problems and a complete blood count to look for anemia caused by the bleeding. She will likely also need a pelvic ultrasound to rule out fibroids as a cause of this bleeding. I hope she gets this figured out soon.

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