Question:

What is it called when your period is longer than normal? What are the treatments?

PEER ANSWER

It’s called annoying! Just kidding. Periods are considered “longer than normal” when they consistently last for more than seven days, or if you have one that lasts nine or more. As for treatments, the only way to manage the length and frequency of your periods is with hormonal birth control, which may or may not be for you. It’s something you should discuss with a trusted adult or your healthcare provider.

MOM ANSWER

It is called menorrhagia, and when it happened to me my healthcare provider put me on birth control to help control the flow. My period was lasting more than 7 days and was extremely heavy. I was getting so tired, and a bit scared at the amount and frequency of my flow. It was not cool feeling like just lying on the couch all the time. Each of our situations is unique, so I am a firm believer in going to see your healthcare provider and getting his or her take on what might be going with you if your period seems to last for too long.

EXPERT ANSWER

Prolonged periods or really heavy periods is called menorrhagia in medical speak. If you are flowing for more than 8 days month after month, you do indeed have menorrhagia. The options for treatment include doing nothing and living with it, or going on the mini-pill or pill to regulate things and shorten their duration. You should see your health care provider even if you decide you don’t want to do anything about it because prolonged bleeding can sometimes cause anemia (low iron).

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