Menstrual Periods Lasting Longer Than Before! Why?
Having menstrual periods is an integral part of a female’s life. However, it’s sometimes quite annoying. A woman will on average menstruate after every four weeks with periods lasting up to seven days. It is common for women to worry a bit about a period lasting longer than normal. You probably have had periods lasting for seven days or less but this time you get prolonged periods.
If you have been looking for possible answers to clear your doubts, here are the most common causes of prolonged menstrual periods.
Uterine fibroids - this is one of the most common causes of prolonged menstrual periods. Fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) tumors that grow from the walls of the uterus. What causes uterine fibroids are not yet known and while most women may be symptomatic, others may experience no symptoms. The most common symptoms associated with uterine fibroids include; heavy bleeding and menstrual periods lasting for more than seven days.
Other symptoms include; pain and severe pelvic pressure, increased frequency of urination, constipation and lower backache.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome - this is a hormonal disorder that is common in women of reproductive age. The ovaries develop cysts which are small fluid-filled follicles. These impair the release of eggs from ovaries. Women with the polycystic ovarian syndrome also have increased levels of androgens which are male hormones. These women will present with irregular, heavy menstrual bleeding that lasts longer than normal.
However, they may sometimes miss their periods. Other symptoms include; excessive hair growth on the chest, face and the back, acne, recurrent miscarriages and problems with fertility.
Adenomyosis - this is a condition in which an endometrial tissue, the lining which normally covers the uterus grows deep into the uterine muscular layer and continues behaving as it normally would – thickening, breaking down and bleeding during every menstrual period. Women with adenomyosis will experience prolonged, heavy menstrual periods (sometimes with blood clots) and severe menstrual cramps.
The other common symptom is pain during sexual intercourse.
Dysfunctional uterine bleeding - this condition may affect a woman of any reproductive age. However, it is common for women older than 40 years old. It occurs in absence of any organic disease. These women have lower levels of the female hormone, called progesterone. You may experience heavy menstrual flow that wets your pads more than usual, with periods lasting for more than a week or so if you have this condition.
Contraceptive pills - for women using hormone-based contraceptive pills, a prolonged menstrual period is common. Birth control pills not only change the duration of the menstrual period by prolonging it but also, they change the frequency and the amount of bleeding. Changing brands or types of pills may also affect menstrual periods. It’s important to contact your doctor, instead of changing the pills on your own.
Endometrial hyperplasia - this is the thickening of the endometrium, a thin tissue lining the uterus. When there is excessive production of the estrogen, that exceeds the progesterone production, this thin layer becomes thickened or undergoes hyperplasia. Women with endometrial hyperplasia suffer from heavy menstrual bleeding also lasting longer than usual. Other associated symptoms include shorter menstrual cycles, typically shorter than 21 days.
Postmenopausal women may still have menstrual bleeding.
Bleeding disorders - women with bleeding disorders will suffer from heavy and prolonged menstrual periods. This will be detected early, usually at the beginning of puberty. Such women have either deficiency or a lack of a specific clotting factor. This leads to difficulties in coagulation. The common symptoms you may experience are; gum bleeding when brushing teeth, delayed blood clotting, and easy bruising.
It also includes frequent bleeding from the nose and prolonged bleeding with routine cuts.
But the most crucial thing for every woman to understand is that menstrual periods don’t behave the same for everyone. Menstrual periods can be heavy or light, with or without pain, regular or irregular, short or prolonged. What is normal to one woman might be abnormal to others. Spend some time and study your cycles. Once you know the normal, it’s easy to detect the abnormal. Always contact your doctor or visit a nearby hospital to see how you can get helped.