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Ask An Expert: My Periods Now Last 6 – 9 Days Instead Of The Usual 3 – 5 Days. What Could Be Responsible?

Ask An Expert: My Periods Now Last 6 – 9 Days Instead Of The Usual 3 – 5 Days. What Could Be Responsible?

Our team of seasoned experts answer all your questions on pregnancy, delivery, children and women’s health, sexuality education and more.

Q: I’m a 27-year-old mum. Since the past 3 months, my periods last for 6 – 9 days instead of the usual 3 – 5 days. The last one lasted for 8 days. What could be responsible? Should I be worried?

Dr. Alex Kaoranu Molukwu (OB/GYN) says:

Thanks for your interesting question.

The average duration of menstrual bleeding is 3 – 6 days, but this may vary. The amount of blood loss during menstruation averages about 70 – 80ml. However, women under 35 years tend to lose more blood than those over 35 years.

Several factors are known to influence menstrual bleeding; these factors include fluctuations in ovarian and pituitary hormone levels, pelvic inflammatory disease or infection, the presence of uterine fibroids, endometriosis, thyroid hormone crisis, poor nutrition, psychologic state, drugs, contraceptive devices and sickle cell disease.

Please do not worry about your present state. However, if it persists after 6 months, you may consult your specialist for appraisal and appropriate treatment.

Q: I’m a new mum and considering going on the birth control pill soon. Would this have any adverse effect on breastfeeding? Also, I heard it could interfere with one’s blood pressure. How true is this as my blood pressure readings is usually between 130/80 – 135/90.

Dr. Alex Kaoranu Molukwu (OB/GYN) says:

There is no doubt that hormonal contraception is the most effective method of fertility control but can have major and minor side effects.

Oral progestogen preparations offer suitable contraception for lactating mothers but they have higher failure rate than combined preparations which usually have adverse effect on blood pressure.

My advice is that you should avoid the combined pill because your present blood pressure will most likely deteriorate if you take it.

I wonder why you have not considered other methods of contraception like implant, various coil insertion, condom with or without spermicide, cervical cap, just to mention a few.

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