According to the Cleveland Clinic, a two-week long period can result from lifestyle factors, such as excessive stress or the changing of birth control pills. However, abnormal menstruation is also a sign of more serious problems, such as uterine polyps or fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, uterine or cervical cancer or bleeding disorders. The clinic recommends a consultation with a doctor for any period lasting longer than seven days.
Both physical and emotional stress have a large impact on the menstruation cycle, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Gaining or losing weight, excessive exercise, travel, illness or any other disruption in the typical routine is enough to throw a woman's menstrual cycle off. In some cases, medications, such as steroids and anticoagulants, can have an effect on excessive bleeding during menstruation. However, when abnormal menstrual bleeding is accompanied by excessive pain, cramping, nausea or vomiting, this can be an indication of a more serious problem. During an office visit for abnormal bleeding, the doctor takes a history, performs a pelvic examination and conducts additional testing as needed. It is helpful to keep a record of the menstrual cycle along with associated symptoms to report to the doctor to help determine the cause of the bleeding.