Menstruation is a rather annoying phenomenon in itself but when it lasts longer than usual, it causes particular concern. The menstrual cycle is easily susceptible to changes from stress, diet, and medication but in some cases, the reasons can be much more complicated.
The average length of menstruation is from three to five days, although many girls report that their periods can last up to a whole week. If this is your case, there is nothing to worry about, but if the length of your cycle suddenly changes, it makes sense to check your health as it can be a sign of serious disease such as the ones listed below:
1. Hormonal Imbalance
The main reason for your menstruation is that your body receives a signal that you are not pregnant, so estrogen and progestin levels drop and prostaglandin levels rise. This gives a sign to the uterus that it should get rid of the mucous membrane created for a possible pregnancy. If hormonal imbalance causes estrogen and progestin levels to not change, this can lengthen your period.
2. Thyroid Disruption
The thyroid gland is a small organ in the front of the neck that secretes hormones that affect most processes in the body. Dysfunctions are usually caused by a lack of iodine in the diet or various autoimmune disorders. At least a third of women between the ages of 30 and 40 are faced with this, but it is not difficult to rectify the situation.
If you think that the changes in your menstruation may be associated with an enlargement of the gland, then you need to undergo an examination with an endocrinologist and receive appropriate treatment.
3. Change of Contraception Method
According to scientists, some birth control pills can affect the frequency and duration of your menstrual cycle. If you recently changed the method of contraception, long bleeding can be part of the adaptation. You should wait for at least three cycles using this new method so that your menstruation is corrected. If it causes serious concern, make an appointment with your gynecologist.
4. Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Unusually long and painful menstruation is a symptom of STDs. If you have heavy bleeding for seven days, this can be a sign of chlamydia, especially if it causes painful urination and sex hurts. Most diseases are easily treatable in the early stages, so if you notice other unpleasant symptoms, it makes sense to get tested as soon as possible.
Polyps are abnormal tissue growths that can occur in any organ, including the uterus. In some cases, this is the reason that menstruation lasts longer than five days and sometimes there are gaps between bleeding. Polyps are benign formations but some of them can be harmful to health, so you should undergo a full examination to exclude the likelihood of developing cancer.
6. Cysts in the Ovaries
Cysts in the ovaries are a common phenomenon that causes irregular and long periods, but do not panic from their presence. Most cysts are benign, although the largest of them can disturb normal blood flow. They usually disappear on their own but it is still worthwhile to undergo a regular medical examination.
If you have more than one cyst, this may indicate polycystic ovary syndrome and according to some reports, this can lead not only to complex menstruation but also to further infertility. That is why the disease should be diagnosed at an early stage in order to begin treatment as soon as possible.