Periods are an integral part of a woman’s life. Having a profound impact of the physical and mental health of women, periods have many factors that influence them. Diet, weight, stress, ailments, medication and even weather can affect the cycle.
Not only can periods be delayed then, but also the duration of the cycle can be altered on account these various factors. Moreover, everyone has different cycles. In some very lucky cases, periods are nothing but a minor inconvenience. In others, periods and especially PMS, are a nightmare.
The pain, discomfort, flow have a rather serious impact on the quality of life. And in midst of trying to cope with periods, comes the added problem of altered period days.
What’s the normal length and cycle?
The normal period days fall from anywhere between 3 to 7 days. If periods last for greater than 7 days, it may be classified as menorrhagia by the doctor. Moreover, it is also important to consider your personal experience with regards to the length of periods, as the days can be subjective. For example, if you previously had periods for 3 days, but now are bleeding for 7 days, you need to talk to Gynecologist in Lahore in this situation as well.
However, there can also be variation in your menstrual cycle as well. The cycle is the number of days between each period. Generally, this length can be anywhere between 21 to 35 days. If these days are also not conforming to the normal time span, you should have a word with your doctor.
Changes in period length and the menstrual cycle may be indicative of an underlying health condition. Therefore, it is important to visit the doctor in such case.
Possible causes of long period
Similar to endometriosis, Adenomyosis also causes extra tissue to grow in the endometrial layer. Consequently, walls of the uterus become thicker, and thus sloughing off causes prolonged periods.
Other symptoms of adenomyosis include spotting between periods, tenderness in the pelvic region, heavy flow and also pain during sex.
In certain cases, clotting disorders can also lead to the periods becoming prolonged. Since the clotting is impaired, thus it is hard for bleeding to stop.
Another grave health issue that can cause you to have long periods is cancer of the uterus or cervix.
Other early signs of cervical or uterine cancer are heavy flow, vaginal discharge, painful sex, pain in the pelvic region or the back, bleeding even after menopause. There can also be bleeding after sex, pelvic exam or even douching.
As periods are regulated by hormones, any changes therein can lead to their periods running longer than usual. Most often, women undergoing menopause and puberty have greater problem of hormonal regulation.
Some medicines can also cause lingering periods. Contraceptives are common culprits, as they alter the hormone levels in the body. Similarly, blood thinners like aspirin perpetuate bleeding, and thus can lead to prolonged periods.
Moreover, anti-inflammatory medications can also have a similar impact on the cycle.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
PID is a condition in which bacteria infects the reproductive organs of the body. It is often caused due to STIs (sexually transmitted infections), especially gonorrhea and chlamydia. When left untreated, PID can be extremely dangerous, and even fatal in some instances.
Other symptoms of PID include pain in the pelvic region, fever, pain during sex, issues with flow, fatigue, vaginal discharge with bad odor and pain during urination.
Polyps or uterine fibroids
Polyps are irregular tissue growths on the walls of the uterus. The symptoms are rather subtle. Some discernible ones include pain during sex, heavier and longer periods and also, vaginal discharge.
Similarly, uterine fibroids occur when tissues start growing in the walls of the uterus. Other symptoms associated with uterine fibroids include pain in the pelvic region, swelling in the region alongside frequent urination, painful sex, and even the periods become more painful.
Both these conditions can also cause the number of period days to increase.
Hypothyroidism occurs when the body’s production of thyroid falls short. This chronic condition also includes symptoms like lethargy, weight gain, digestion issues like constipation, depression, other fertility issues, muscular weakness.
Moreover, thyroid also causes skin and hair problems. Joints also become stiff. Memory issues also persist.
Being obese and overweight causes a lot of health issues, including prolonged periods. People who are obese or overweight have greater fatty tissue in the body, which leads to hormonal changes. Thus, more estrogen is produced, causing the length of periods to increase.
While generally, lack of periods signals pregnancy, however, vaginal bleeding is common in some instances. This is the case with ectopic pregnancy, placenta previa and miscarriage.
Women who are pregnant as per their test but are still bleeding need urgently to visit the Best Gynecologist in Karachi, as this is alarming condition.