Period Problems: What's Normal, Whats Not

A young woman explores her choices for menstrual medication.
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Menstrual disorders are one of the most common reasons women seek help from a gynecologist. Excessively long, heavy or frequent periods can disrupt a woman's life, interfering with her normal activities, her favorite pastimes and her sexuality. But, that doesn't need to be the case. By understanding what normal menstrual pain and bleeding is, a woman can begin treatment earlier.

What's Normal

  • A flow that is light, then gets heavier, then tapers off again
  • Having your period every 25 to 35 days
  • Mild cramping lasting a few days

What's Not

  • Requiring two menstrual products at a time or using more than 10 tampons or pads per day
  • Bleeding more than seven days
  • Pain affecting your day-to-day life
  • Anemia requiring iron or blood transfusions

Smart Solutions

Most doctors like to categorize menstrual disorders into two groups: abnormal hormones and uterine problems. Generally, most women with irregular periods have a hormonal imbalance or similar problem. This may be treated with medication or intrauterine-device therapy a small, flexible, hormone-releasing device inserted into the uterus.

Women with regular but heavy periods may have a problem with the uterus, such as a fibroid tumor or uterine polyp. Its important that they speak with their gynecologist soon if they have heavy bleeding. It can cause anemia and fatigue resulting in absence from work or school or difficulty conceiving, and could even lead to blood transfusions.

Our physicians at AdventHealth work closely with hematologists, gynecologic oncologists and infertility specialists as needed to create an individualized treatment plan for each woman that may include minimally invasive surgery such as polyp removal and endometrial ablation.

For more information on our women's specialty care, see our website.

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