Waiting for your period to end can be the worst. I remember being in my teens aggressively sucking on lemons and trying every other bizarre “home remedy” in the book (aka questionable old wives’ tales found on the internet) that promised to abruptly end my period in time for a highly anticipated date.
But impatiently checking for a cease to the bloodshed every time you hit the bathroom can be even more unnerving when your period has already been lingering longer than usual. Women usually menstruate for about the same number of days each month, so when a longer period pops up, it can feel like you’ll never stop bleeding.
What does it mean when you have an abnormally long period? We asked a bunch of gynecologists to clue us in.
How long is too long?
“Your menses should last between three and seven days, and the average is five,” board-certified ob-gyn Dr. Pari Ghodsi tells HelloGiggles. “Most people menstruate around the same amount of days each month, but even if there is variation, as long as it isn’t more than seven days, it is not abnormal.”
Dr. Jennifer Conti, another board-certified ob-gyn and co-host of The V Word podcast, says it’s not a big deal if your period varies by a few days every once in a while, but if it’s becoming a frequent occurrence, it’s worth a pause. “A ‘long’ period is one that lasts beyond eight days,” she explains. “If you’re routinely having periods that last eight days or longer, definitely see a provider to make sure you’re not losing too much blood.” That can potentially lead to anemia—a condition where you don’t have enough healthy blood cells bringing oxygen around.
Read more at Hello Giggles by clicking here.