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Is My Period Normal?

What is a ‘normal’ period? When it comes to your period, what is standard for one woman may not be for another. Some women have short, light periods and others have longer, heavy periods. However, a normal, healthy period is defined by a few common criteria.

Normal bleeding typically occurs about every 25-31 days, lasts 4-5 days, and a woman loses approximately 2-4 tablespoons of menstrual fluid during each period. The fluid lost can be thin or clumpy and varies in color from dark red to brown or pink. Your period may last from 3-8 days.

What If My Period Changes?

Often when a woman first starts her period it may last only a few days or be very light. Once your body adjusts to your regular cycle, it’s important to track so you will be aware of significant changes. There are apps to make it easy or you can use a good old-fashioned calendar. Changes in your period could be a sign of a problem and may require a visit to your doctor.

A few examples of these changes are:

  • Bleeding for longer than you normally do
  • Unusual or greater pain during your period than before
  • Unpredictable timing of periods from month to month
  • Bleeding between periods, particularly if you are not on any birth control
  • Missing a period altogether, and you are not pregnant. You are having much heavier bleeding than normal.

Note: Some health conditions or birth control methods may also affect your period. This should also be discussed with your doctor.

What is Considered Heavy Bleeding?

Heavy menstrual bleeding or HMB, is defined by certain characteristics, such as:

  • Bleeding that soaks through one or more tampons or pads every hour for several hours in a row
  • Needing to wear more than one pad at a time
  • Bleeding that lasts more than 7 days
  • Needing to change pads or tampons during the night
  • Menstrual flow with blood clots that are as big as a quarter or larger.

If you feel your periods are irregular, unpredictable or abnormal, it’s time to talk with your doctor. Your menstrual health is an important part of your overall health and our physicians at Cherokee Women’s Health Specialists are here to help make sure all is well. 

Call us today at 770.720.7733 or request an appointment online.