My Period Won’t Stop: 10 Causes Of Long Prolonged Periods
Last updated on July 28th, 2018 at 04:52 am
Question: My period won’t stop, why?
Are you worried that your periods are getting longer than normal? Do you feel you have increased bleeding during your period? Are you getting weak from your very heavy period? Have your period continued for weeks without stopping?
If you now have period running for days or weeks, it’s normal to get very concerned. This guide explains the reasons why your period won’t stop, and what steps to take.
What is Prolonged period?
Women period is due to endometrial shredding that occurs during your menstrual cycle. It occurs due to the interplay of many hormones like estrogen and progesterone.
If your period lasts between two and seven days, then it’s normal. Women can have periods that last for three days or longer periods that last up to six to seven days. This is normal.
However, any menstrual blood flow more than seven days is considered abnormal.
Period blood flow more than seven days is prolonged and requires urgent treatment. Long periods, in women of reproductive age, can prevent pregnancy or cause infertility.
My period won’t stop, Here’s why?
If your period is yet to stop after seven days, here are common reasons
1. Uterine fibroid
These are abnormal growths or mass that can be found in the uterus. They cause bleeding in young women. Fibroids are benign and rarely transform to cancer. Women after 30 years may have a fibroid and about 50 percent of women during their lifetime will have a fibroid.
So what causes it? The cause of fibroid is still unknown, though if your mother had a uterine fibroid, then there is a chance you can get it too. Also, estrogen seems to play a role in fibroid growth in young women.
There are different types of fibroid
Submucous fibrous are located in the beneath the inner wall of the uterus just beneath the endometrium. They can cause severe bleeding in women. These fibroids can grow bigger with a stalk forming the fibroid polyps.
Other types of fibroid are the subserous fibroid, intramural fibroid, and the cervical fibroid.
What symptoms will I experience if I have a fibroid?
- Your period won’t stop after seven days
- Period blood clots that last for days
- Sanitary pads gets soaked with blood too frequently
- Mass in your abdomen which can cause your abdomen to swell.
- Your period is irregular.
- If your fibroid is very huge, it may cause difficulty in passing urine and stool
What should I do if a fibroid is the cause of my prolonged period?
Inform your doctor if you notice any of the fibroid symptoms. An abdominal ultrasound, MRI or hysteroscope can be used to visualize the fibroid.
How are fibroids treated?
If you have prolonged extremely heavy bleeding, you may become weak or fatigued. If your blood level is low due to anemia, you may be transfused with blood. Medications that can reduce your bleeding are tranexamic acid, mefenamic acid and combine COC pills. However, the definitive treatment is myomectomy or hysterectomy.
Read more: Uterine fibroid causes and treatment
2. Endometrial hyperplasia
This is thickening of the lining covering the uterus in women. This lining is the endometrium. It is usually due to effects of high body estrogen.
Estrogen is critical for proliferation of your endometrium during your menstrual cycle.
However, if there is reduced progesterone level, it can cause endometrial hyperplasia. Common causes are PCOS (Polycystic ovaries) and obesity.
How is endometrial hyperplasia diagnosed?
If your doctor suspects that your prolonged periods are due to endometrial thickening, an endometrial biopsy will be done. This is a simple technique to get tissues from your endometrium for analysis. Hormonal therapy like cyclic progesterone pills will help normalize your period. In women who do not wish to bear children again, removal of the uterus is an option.
3. Uterine polyps or cervical polyps
Uterine polyps can be the cause of your prolonged menstrual flow. These are masses attached to the wall of the uterus and can sometimes extend down into the cervix. They cause irregular spotting between periods and can be visualized with a hysteroscope or ultrasound.
Uterine polyps are a common cause of bleeding after menopause. If you are below 4o years, then you may have pain and prolonged periods.
If your doctor finds uterine polyps as the cause of your prolonged periods, a D&C will be advised.
4. Cancer of the endometrium
Cancer that affects the endometrium of the uterus can cause bleeding in women especially after 40 years. However, younger women may have prolonged heavy period, abdominal pain and vaginal pain during intercourse.
If your doctor suspects cancer as the cause of your long heavy periods, removal of the uterus or hysterectomy will be performed. Removal of the uterus with radio or chemotherapy can achieve cure if done early.
5. Vaginal infections
Vaginal infections can cause prolonged periods in women.
What are the symptoms of a vaginal infection?
- Your vagina smells and become itchy
- You notice fishy smell down there
- You have pain or severe discomfort while having intercourse
- Your discharge is smelly
- You have green mucus discharge or yellow discharge
- Lower abdomen pain
What causes infection in women?
- Yeast infection is caused by candida and women will have clumpy white discharge or cottage cheese looking discharge with pain and itching
- Bacterial vaginosis is vaginal infection with fishy smell, but there is usually no pain
- Sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause abnormal discharge or prolonged periods
What should I do if I have a vaginal infection?
If you have these vaginal infection symptoms, then your prolonged bleeding probably due to an infection. Inform your doctor about these symptoms. There is no reason to be shy because it can be cured with antibiotics.
6. Bleeding disorders
Women with bleeding disorders like hemophilia and von Willebrand disease may experience prolonged period. This is due to lack of platelets or clotting factors that help in wound healing.
If you bleed heavily from a small cut, then it’s likely you may have a bleeding problem. Other ways to know if you have a bleeding problem are
- Easy bruising
- Heavy bleeding after previous operations
- Severe bleeding after a tooth extraction
If you’ve had these problems in the past, then your long periods may be due to abnormal clotting.
7. Use of intrauterine devices (IUDs)
If you experience prolonged periods after inserting an IUD, which is a contraceptive to prevent pregnancy, then it may be the cause. Should I worry about it? Not yet. Prolonged periods after IUDs are common in the first few months of inserting it. If it gets persistent with really heavy bleeding, then you should let your doctor know.
My period won’t stop (Common questions)
These are some commonly asked questions about prolonged periods that may concern you. Your question still not answered? Lets us know below.
What does it mean when your period last more than 7 days?
If your period lasts more than seven days, then it’s simply abnormal and prolonged. In most women, period usually ends in 5 days.
How long can a period last in women? Period can last up to 7 days. If your period lasts more than a week, then you should inform your doctor.
Why do I have period for 2 weeks?
A normal period is between 2 days and a week. If your period lasts more than a week, then it’s abnormal. Also, if you continue to see your periods for two weeks, then it is prolonged. Inform your doctor. Common causes of prolonged bleeding depend on your age. A uterine fibroid is common in young women while endometrial hyperplasia and cancer are common in older women.
Can you have your period for more than 7 days and still be normal?
No. Any period longer than seven days is due to a problem in your womb. Though stress and excessive can affect your period, a persistent prolonged period is abnormal. You should inform your doctor.
What causes light prolonged periods?
If you experience prolonged light period, then it may be due to:
- Birth control pills
- Excessive weight loss
- After a miscarriage
- After an abortion
- You are pregnant
- Vaginal infections
- Cervical polyps or cancer
What should I do if I have light prolonged periods?
It’s vital to inform your doctor. Basic and specific test will be carried out to know the cause of your spotting.
Period lasting 2, 3, 4 weeks with brown discharge?
If you continue to see your period for 2 or 3 weeks, then it’s abnormal. Common causes are a miscarriage, uterine fibroid, vaginal infections or cancer. If you are above 40 or already stop seeing your period, then this type of bleeding may be due to cancer. However, in your
If you are above 40 or already stop seeing your period, then this type of bleeding may be attributable to cancer.
However, in young women, a miscarriage or fibroid is a common cause.
Why do I see brown discharge instead of period?
If your blood mixes with clear white discharge in your vagina, you will notice a dark or brown discharge.
Why causes prolonged period with clotting or blood clots?
If your period is more than a week with blood clots, it’s abnormal. Blood clots that are huge is a sign there is a problem. The common cause of heavy period with blood clots is a uterine fibroid.
Learn more: Heavy menstrual bleeding
My Period lasting longer than usual, is it normal?
If your period usually lasts for four days and increased to 6 days, then it’s not prolonged. Also, some women may experience prolonged bleeding once in a while and normalize the next periods.
If your period is persistently long and lasting more than seven days then it abnormal.
Causes of period lasting longer than usual include
- Vaginal infections
- Dysfunctional uterine bleeding
- Polys-cystic ovaries
- Endometrial thickening
- Uterine polyps
Longer than normal period? What to do
If your period lasts longer than normal, then you should monitor it.
Is your bleeding heavy with blood clots? Is it the first time you notice it? Has it been persistent? Do you experience excessive menstruation?
If this is the first time, then you should monitor your next period. If it’s persistent, then you should let your doctor know.
Can excessive menstruation be treated?
If your doctor finds stress or birth control pills as the cause of your excessive menstruation, you will be advised or other contraceptive methods used. Also, vaginal infections and other causes will require further testing. Vaginal infections — gonorrhea and chlamydia, can be treated with antibiotics. If your bleeding is due to a polyp, a curettage or polyp forceps is used with good success rate.
Also, vaginal infections and other causes will require further testing. Vaginal infections — gonorrhea and chlamydia, can be treated with antibiotics. If your bleeding is due to a polyp, a curettage or polyp forceps is used with good success rate.
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