In general, women have a regular menstrual cycle that could last anytime from 28 to 35 days. This is not a fixed range, however, as there are women who have cycles of less than 28 days and more than 35 months. Also, the menstruation length is at an average of 3 to 5 days.
- A woman will have her specific cycle length and menstruation length. Thus, one woman may experience a 28-day cycle with 3 days of menstruation while another woman could have a 35-day cycle with 7 days of menstruation. Thus, the basis for diagnosing prolonged menstruation is when it is much longer than what is normal for that woman.
- Prolonged menstruation may also be a sign that menopause is about to be experienced. This is the period called peri-menopause. Often, the woman will experience longer cycle lengths than what she is used to.
Prolonged Menstruation Causes
There are a number of reasons why prolonged menstruation occurs. The following are possible:
- Pregnancy complications
- Use of an intrauterine device (IUD) for birth control
- Fibroids and cysts
- Endometrial cancer
- Uterine fibroids
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Physiological causes.
- Psychological causes. These include grief, fear, overexertion, stress, or fatigue/malaise that affects the equilibrium of the body.
- Low levels of calcium can lead to profuse bleeding
- Low levels of thyroid or pituitary function can cause heavy or prolonged period.
- Drugs like steroids, anticoagulants, can cause prolonged bleeding
- Polyps in the endometrium
- Bleeding disorders such as Von Willebrand disease
- Recent trauma, surgery or other uterine procedure
- Pelvic inflammatory disease or other infection
- Thickening of the uterine wall or endometrial hyperplasia
- Changes in birth control pills or hormonal treatments/therapy
Prolonged Menstruation Treatment
Finding the best treatment for the condition will depend on the underlying cause. The patient may have to do the following:
- Eat a healthy, well balanced diet. This can help promote wellness which, in turn, could help in regaining proper hormonal balance.
- Exercise is also very important.
- If the condition is caused by stress and anxiety, avoid stress and anxiety factors. If these are unavoidable, try meditation and yoga.
- Also, inform the doctor of medications being taken by the patient. Some medications actually promote bleeding, including some very common over-the-counter medications