A prolonged menstrual period is a medical condition in which a woman undergoes long menstrual bleeding. A normal menstrual cycle is between 21 to 35 days in length which lasts for three to five days of bleeding in a month. Every woman has her own menstrual pattern, but, it is considered to be regular only if it occurs almost on the same date each month, throughout the reproductive years. An extended menstrual period causes various psychological and physical discomforts.
There could be a number of reasons that leads to an extended menstrual period in women. Six major causes of prolonged menstrual periods are listed here.
Causes of Prolonged Menstrual Periods
A hormonal imbalance is a common problem in women, which disrupts the harmony between progesterone and estrogen, responsible for regulating the formation of the uterine lining. Lack of ovulation may also cause hormonal imbalance leading to heavy bleeding for several days.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, commonly known as PCOS is one of the most common medical complications. It is a medical condition, mainly caused due to an over production of the luteinizing hormone.
Each month, during a normal period cycle, the pituitary gland produces this hormone to signal the ovaries to produce estrogen, androgens and progesterone. This gland, in women affected with PCOS, releases a lot of luteinizing hormone causing abnormal release of estrogen, thereby making the male hormones dominant in the body. Women with PCOS may suffer from prolonged menstrual periods, hair loss and infertility.
Cancer of the Uterus
Cancer of the Uterus, often confused with the Cervical Cancer is one of the major causes of prolonged menstrual period.
It can lead to abnormal vaginal discharge, acute back pain, fatigue, sudden weight loss and irregular and heavy menstrual periods.
Prolonged Menstrual Periods – Causes and Treatment
Abnormal Periods: Are You Suffering From Polycystic Ovaries?
Reasons For Irregular Menstrual Cycles
Banish Your Period Problems
Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding
Perimenopause is a stage in which the female reproductive life begins to transition towards menopause. The transition begins several years before a woman attains menopause, and the ovaries start producing less estrogen. It is normally observed in women around 40 years of age. However, it may occur in a woman in her 30’s or late twenties. This condition may last until a woman gets menopause and the ovaries completely stop producing eggs. During the last one or two years of Perimenopause, before a woman reaches the menopause stage, she may experience acute hormonal imbalance leading to heavy bleeding and extended menstrual period.
Endometriosis is one of the most important causes of extended menstrual periods in women. It is a medical condition in which the lining of the uterus, medically defined as the endometrium grows outside the uterus. It is mostly observed in women during their reproductive years and estimated to occur in almost 6-10% of women.
Many women with Endometriosis complain of acute pelvic pain, which is considered to be one of the most important symptoms of this gynecological condition. It is also observed to be one of the leading reasons for infertility in women.
Copper Intrauterine Device
Often used as a birth control method, many women prefer to place the copper intrauterine contraceptive device inside the uterus to have safe intercourse with their partners. However, this easy method can cause long term problems such as heavy and irregular bleeding for several days leading to prolonged menstrual periods.