September 22, 2023

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Reasons Behind Heavy and Prolonged Menstrual Period

3 min read

Most women are now used to relatively heavy flows and cramps during their monthly periods. However, menorrhagia is so heavy that they are forced to change the pad nearly every hour. The cramps will be so severe that it becomes impossible to carry out daily routines. If you live around San Antonio, well-woman exams are accessible to assess overall health and check for any female complications or abnormalities.

Below are potential reasons your periods might be taking longer than usual.

Hormonal birth control

Taking birth control treatments alters the natural body hormone levels. Some medications will shorten periods, while others will prolong them. If abnormal periods persist after the first few months of medication, it is good to see a doctor for a change of the birth control method. 


Some people might experience some brief bleeding during ovulation (release of an egg from the ovaries). If this occurs at the end of the period, one might confuse the bleeding to a more extended menstrual period.

Thyroid gland

The thyroid gland has a key function in regulating body hormones. It regulates hormones that affect the menstrual cycle in women. If the thyroid is overactive or underactive, the periods might last longer than usual. One may also experience light periods or, at times, no periods at all. The doctor will perform the necessary tests and prescribe medications to regulate the hormones artificially.


It is a condition where tissues that resemble the uterus lining grow outside the uterus. They will swell and bleed like in menstruation but cannot leave the body. The patient will also experience pain during sex, painful bowel movements, and painful menstruation.

Pregnancy complications

Having a miscarriage, in most times, causes bleeding. Sometimes bleeding will occur even before the woman is aware of the pregnancy. It may be light or heavy, lasting up to even a few weeks. The doctor should examine you after a miscarriage to make sure there are no severe complications.

Early signs of pregnancy may be bleeding. It may be the only sign, and women will mistake it for menstruation. However, abnormal bleeding could be a sign of ectopic pregnancy. A medical exam should detect this for treatment to begin.

Cervical cancer

Studies have shown cervical cancer to cause abnormal bleeding after sexual intercourse or in between periods. It is essential to attend regular appointments for the doctor to detect the virus that causes cancer early enough.

Polycystic ovary syndrome

This occurs when there is a frequent growth of cysts on the ovaries. The syndrome affects hormones in the body and might result in abnormal periods that last longer. The patient will also start to notice excess hair, acne, weight gain, and skin tags.


Uterine fibroids are red growths that form on the uterus walls. They, too, can cause prolonged and heavy menstruation. 

If you start to experience unexplained bleeding, unusual discharge, unexplained weight loss, and periods longer than a week, visit a doctor for further screening. These might be signs of a severe condition such as endometriosis. Book an appointment online with Bluebonnet OB/GYN to improve your reproductive and sexual wellness.

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