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Women's Health

Started menstruating about a year ago.

07/06/2011

Question:

The time in between my periods is around 31 to 35 days but occasionally a little longer. My periods tend to last over seven days never more then nine or ten. Around the fourth day it is rather light and I don`t really need to change my pad. I was wondering if this is normal?

Answer:

Although the menstrual cycle is often referred to as "monthly", the normal interval can vary quite a bit.  For some women, there may be only 3 weeks between periods, and for others 5 is normal.  The menstrual flow itself may last for only a day, or it could be as long as 8 days. 

When bleeding patterns get to be consistently beyond these limits (that is, occurring more than 5-6 weeks apart or lasting more than 8 days), it could be a sign of a medical problem and further testing is warranted.  However, in the first year that a girl begins menstruating, periods are often erratic and are not necessarily typical of what they will be like beyond that.

For women who desire regular, shorter periods that occur at 28 day intervals, oral contraceptive pills are commonly prescribed to regulate flow.

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Response by:

Jonathan  A Schaffir, MD Jonathan A Schaffir, MD
Clnical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University