What length should your Period Last?

Sometimes periods can seem confusing. Some suffer from bleeding for two to three days, others have a full week. Is it common to experience light or heavy bleeding every month?

Ob/GynErin Higgins MD explains that every woman's menstrual cycle is different. It runs from the beginning of one period until the start of the next. The menstrual cycle (bleeding and spotting), can last between two to seven days per month. Although short periods and longer periods may be common, it is possible for others to experience the same symptoms .

Dr. Higgins says that although your period may not be the same every month, you can still expect to see patterns. The length of the bleeding and flow should not vary.

Changes in length between periods are acceptable. But, you should get your big changes evaluated. Dr. Higgins said that minor variations, in the range of three days to four, are normal. Your doctor should be consulted if your three-day periods are now six days.

Bleeding in between periods

After your last period, there should be no spotting again. Your gynecologist should be contacted if bleeding occurs or you notice spotting in between periods. You could have spotting in between your periods.

What is the ideal weight for a period?

Many factors influence the rate of your menstrual cycle, such as your hormone level and thickness of your uterine liner. People have different periods. Some have light periods and others have heavy flows. One can have both.

Dr. Higgins states that period length should not be a factor in determining your period flow. If you had heavy periods previously and now they are lightening or vice-versa, speak to your doctor.

When periods are too heavy

There are periods of heavy rain, then again there are periods of heavy rain.

Dr. Higgins explains that heavy periods can be caused by prolonged period soaks. Large clots, which are the same size as a golfball or more, can also indicate excessive bleeding.

Although this kind of bleeding may cause problems in your daily life, it doesn't mean you should have to. Dr. Higgins said that a doctor could help diagnose the reason for heavy bleeding and offer treatment, if necessary.

Hormonal Birth Control And Periods

Your period may be shorter and lighter if you use birth control that contains hormones. The hormones in these methods are progestin alone or a combination of progestin and estrogen . Hormonal birth control includes:

Oral contraceptive ("the pill"): These pills, which you take every day, may contain estrogen and progestin, or progestin only (also referred to as "the minipill").

Birth control patch : This is a sticker that you place on your skin and replace each week. It contains both estrogen and progestin.

Vaginal ring: You place this ring-shaped device in your vagina and change it once a month. It contains both estrogen and progestin.

The injectable contraceptive is an injection that your doctor will give you once every three to six months.

Hormonal implant: This implant is a tiny rod-shaped device that a doctor places under the skin in your upper arm. This implant is good for three years.

Hormonal intrauterine device (IUD): This is a T-shaped device that your doctor places inside your uterus. It's made of progestin. The effectiveness can last up to three years, depending on what type it is.

Why Hormonal Contraceptives Make Periods Lighter

You can use the ring, pill, or patch for three weeks. Each week is a rest day. The week off is when you will experience withdrawal bleeding, which can be similar to your period. The sudden decrease in hormones causes withdrawal bleeding. It's different from a true period, which comes 10-14 days after ovulation.

People take the pill or patch every day without a hormone-free week. This will likely result in no bleeding. If you're interested in skipping the withdrawal bleeding, ask your doctor whether continuous hormonal birth control is safe for you.

If you're on injectable contraceptives or using a hormonal implant or IUD, your periods may be lighter, too - the result of the thinning of mucous membrane that lines the uterus.

The length of the period in adolescence

For teens and young adults who just began menstruating, it is possible to experience unpredictable periods. That's because younger females have an immature hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian (HPO) axis, which controls periods and menstrual cycles

"Once women reach their late teens or 20s, periods usually become more predictable," Dr. Higgins says.

Period Length & Perimenopause

In the years leading up to menopause, many women experience changes in their period flow and cycle length. Perimenopause is the time when women experience a transition. You may experience it for several years, or even a couple of years.

Perimenopause could be the cause of your irregular periods in your 50s, 40s or 50s. You should always consult your doctor before you make any drastic changes.

Learn What is Normal for You

Use an app to keep track of your times or use a calendar on paper. You'll be able to spot changes immediately by taking note of your flow rate and the times it appears.

Make sure to see your gynecologist every other week and talk about your period during appointments. Talk to your doctor if you find anything unusual.

Dr. Higgins explains that "your period is an indicator of what's happening with your reproductive health ." Your doctor will want to get all the information so that we can assist you in staying healthy.