Is it abnormal to have a 4-week long period?
I'm a 25 year old female. I have been having my period since 4 weeks ago. Right now my period is just brown and light, and doesn't fill a pad. Is that still considered to be a menstrual cycle, or just discharge?
Menstruation can be assessed according to frequency (24 -38 days), regularity (+/- 7days), duration (<8 days) and volume (whether heavy, normal or light).
If you have been bleeding for about 4 weeks, it is considered as a form of abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB) and you should probably seek a medical consult.
AUB can be both pregnancy or non-pregnancy related causes. Examples of pregnancy related causes can be threatened miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or early miscarriage.
Non-pregnancy related causes can be due to endometrial polyps, inflammation or infection of the genital tract, hormonal imbalance (e.g. thyroid disorders), non ovulation or fibroids.
A clinical assessment with a pelvic ultrasound scan should be able to evaluate for most of these causes.
Hope this helps.
Dr Fong Yoke Fai
It is generally accepted that a menstrual period of longer than 8 days is abnormal, even if it is merely staining that you are now experiencing.
A properly taken history, detailing the background menstrual pattern and the characteristics of this index abnormal period will shed light on the underlying cause.
If it is not pregnancy related, a potential reason would be a polypoidal growth inside the womb or on the cervix itself. A vaginal speculum examination and a pelvic scan will be most helpful.
When no structural abnormality is detected on the ultrasound scan, the need to rule out hormonal disturbance from medication, herbal remedy and excessive phyto-chemicals in food becomes necessary.
No matter what, vaginal bleeding or having a period lasting four weeks is not usual and deserve a thorough check up.