Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Should I be worried if my period lasts longer than it usually does?"

ZocdocAnswersShould I be worried if my period lasts longer than it usually does?


I'm a 23 year old female and my last two periods have been a few days longer than they have normally been. Is there a reason for this? For the last year menstrual pain has also been getting a lot worse.


Generally, at the beginning of menstruation, it is quite normal for young women to have irregular cycles with differing times between periods. Every woman is different. Periods usually last anywhere from eight to ten days and this is generally normal for most women. Some women have periods for as short as 3 days and sometimes longer than 7 days. A period that last longer than that is abnormal and is concerning. While long periods are not normal, it is also important to consider the amount of flow. Is it typically heavy bleeding or just light flow? It is important to note the quantity of bleeding especially with longer cycles mainly because a woman can get anemic from excess bleeding. You should make an appointment to discuss your concerns with your women's health physician or your gynecologist. A change from your normal is also concerning, and maybe due to an imbalance in your hormones. Women normally will experience menstrual cramps that can be controlled with over the counter medications like Motrin, but worsening pain requires that you address your concerns with a doctor. Your doctor will be able to take a detailed past medical and gynecologic history, and perform a physical exam, order some lab tests and provide treatment based on your clinical situation.

Need more info?

See an obgyn today

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.