What Can I Do about Prolonged Menstrual Bleeding?

Article Details
  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 12 September 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
U.S. companies first sold energy drinks in the early 1900s; they contained radium, which causes radiation sickness.  more...

October 19 ,  1987 :  The Dow Jones experienced its second-largest percentage drop in history.  more...

Normal days of menstrual flow vary, and anything between two to seven days is considered regular. If a woman has prolonged menstrual bleeding, the “period” part of the cycle lasts for longer than seven days, and flow may be heavy or light. Every now and again, any woman can experience an eighth or even ninth day of menstrual bleeding, and one or two incidences of this in a lifetime are not indicative of problems. On the other hand, if prolonged menstrual flow occurs often, women should seek the advice of a physician.

There are certain benign things that result in prolonged menstrual bleeding. These include using a great deal of aspirin during periods. Women who have the non-hormonal type of IUD can also experience this symptom regularly. Miscarriage early in a pregnancy may also lead to a prolonged period. Additionally, as women approach menopause, some may experience longer than normal periods.


A steady history of prolonged menstrual bleeding usually means a doctor will run several tests to rule out certain things that are more serious. In addition to taking a medical history to determine exactly how long periods are lasting, doctors are likely to perform a gynecological exam and pap smear. They may order an ultrasound to look for anomalies in the uterus like endometriosis or fibroids, and they want to screen for uterine cancer. It’s not uncommon for doctors to also perform blood tests to look at blood count, hormone levels, and thyroid function, as low thyroid levels may cause this condition.

Not much can be done about prolonged menstrual bleeding until an accurate diagnosis is made. For a woman with an IUD, the simple solution might be to remove the device and possibly switch to a progestin-releasing type that tends to reduce period length. If no tests indicate medical problems, one of the common methods of treating this condition is with hormone treatment, which can regulate the cycle. This may not be advised for a perfectly healthy woman who is clearly pre-menopausal. In fact, provided there is no underlying cause that needs treatment, and flow is not creating problems like anemia or general inconvenience, no treatment could be advised.

In some cases, prolonged menstrual bleeding is symptomatic of greater problems, like presence of fibroids, endometriosis, or cancerous or pre-cancerous states in the cervix or uterus. In these cases, these conditions might be treated by a variety of methods. The most aggressive treatment removes the uterus surgically, and least aggressive could be to adopt a wait and see attitude, which is especially used with small fibroids. Any pre-cancerous state could not be treated with hormones as this may cause cancer growth.

Since this condition has so many causes, the best thing to do about prolonged menstrual bleeding occurring regularly is to get medical attention. It’s impossible to say what, from an individual perspective, is right for each person. The matter is best handled with the attention and diagnosis of a medical expert.


You might also Like


Discuss this Article

Post 3

I'm 13 and am on the ninth day of my period. How do I make it stop?

Post 2

@Lostnfound -- I know. People come online looking for medical advice, when they really need to see their doctors. If a woman's periods are messed up, she really, really needs to get with her doctor, and not fool around with it. While it probably isn't anything serious, there are a lot of reasons for prolonged bleeding, and some of them are really nasty.

Go to the doctor.

Post 1

Stress will do it, too. The summer before my senior year in college, I had a babysitting job that kept me stressed out all the time. I was bleeding three weeks out of the month. It was awful. I went to the OB/GYN and he gave me a progesterone shot and some pills to help get me back on cycle. He said it was probably the extreme stress.

If a woman's cycle gets really messed up, she just needs to see her doctor. That's just all there is to it.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?