Cleveland Clinic explains that the average period lasts from four to seven days. Chronically long periods lasting longer than seven days may be an underlying symptom of another condition. Stress and birth control methods are linked to abnormal menstruation. WebMD states that copper intrauterine devices, or IUDs, are linked to painful, prolonged periods that may persist throughout the use of the birth control method.
Moreover, Cleveland Clinic explains that longer periods could be a sign of uterine fibroids, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, polycystic ovary syndrome or premature ovary failure. Uterine fibroids are tumors that cause heavy, prolonged periods related to the increased blood supply within the uterus. Endometriosis causes intensely painful cramping during periods in addition to prolonged bleeding. Pelvic inflammatory disease causes long periods, a foul smell, heavy discharge, fever, nausea and chills. Other conditions linked to abnormal periods are uterine cancer, cervical cancer, steroids, anticoagulants, anemia, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, pituitary disorders, hormonal imbalances and pregnancy complications.
To determine if the prolonged period is something serious, keep a menstruation diary, recommends Cleveland Clinic. Write down all symptoms and take the diary to the doctor. A Pap smear, blood tests, physical examination, family history and hysterosalpingography can be used to determine the underlying cause of a prolonged period.Learn More
A period that is always late may indicate a longer than usual menstrual cycle, according to Everyday Health. While most women's menstrual cycle is 28 days, up to seven days plus or minus this is considered to be normal. If the cycle is longer than this, reasons for a late period can include emotional or physical stress, dieting, birth control pill use or a variety of underlying health problems.Full Answer >
Many women may immediately assume that they are pregnant after missing a period for 17 days, but a late period can be caused by a number of circumstances and is not altogether uncommon, according to WebMD. These factors depend on the woman's age and medical history. Causes range from simple hormonal fluctuations to more serious conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS.Full Answer >
A period can be about a week late before home pregnancy tests can accurately detect pregnancy, according to Central Carolina OB-GYN. If a woman is not pregnant, she may skip periods or have late periods for other reasons, notes pediatrician Jennifer Shu.Full Answer >
Hormonal changes that occur as a result of changing birth control pills, perimenopause or problem pregnancies can often cause excessive menstrual bleeding, according to the New York Times. Bleeding for longer than one week is considered abnormal menstrual bleeding and is reason to be seen by a gynecologist, states the New York Times.Full Answer >