Vaginal bleeding normally occurs during a woman's menstrual cycle, when she gets her period. Every woman's period is different. On average, a woman's period occurs every 28 days. Most women have cycles between 24 and 34 days apart. It usually lasts 4 - 7 days.
Young girls may get their periods anywhere from 21 to 45 days or more apart. Women in their 40s will often notice their period occurring less often.
Some conditions can cause abnormal vaginal bleeding. This article discusses heavy, prolonged, or irregular periods.
You have soaked through a pad or tampon every hour for 2 - 3 hours.
Your bleeding has lasted longer than 1 week.
You have vaginal bleeding and you are pregnant or could be pregnant.
You have severe pain, especially if you also have pain when not menstruating.
Your periods have been heavy or prolonged for three or more cycles, compared to what is normal for you.
You have bleeding or spotting after reaching menopause.
You have bleeding or spotting between periods or caused by having sex.
Aspirin may prolong bleeding and should be avoided if you have bleeding problems. Ibuprofen is usually works better than aspirin for relieving menstrual cramps. It also may reduce the amount of blood you lose during a period.
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David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc., Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Bellevue, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine.