CHANGES TO YOUR PERIOD
Your periods can change in both length and in the amount you bleed, these changes can occur for a variety of reasons, some natural variation by a few days or teaspoons of blood can be expected.
If your period is late and you've had sex it may be worthwhile taking a pregnancy test. Some contraceptive methods have a higher failure rate than others.
Missed or late periods happen for many reasons other than pregnancy. Causes can range from hormonal imbalances to medical conditions. If you are concerned it could be worthwhile booking an appointment with your doctor.
Irregular periods are when the length of your menstrual cycle keeps changing, this isn't always a sign that something is wrong but it may be worthwhile booking an appointment to see you doctor just in case.
It normally takes the first couple of years when you start having periods for them to become regular.
A lot of exercise or stress and changes in weight can cause periods to become irregular.
PERIMENOPAUSE, MENOPAUSE AND HEAVY MENSTRUAL BLEEDING
If your periods…
...start to reduce in frequency over the course of months or years it could be a sign you are perimenopausal.
...have stopped unexpectedly you could be pregnant or experiencing the menopause.
...last longer than 7 days this could also be a sign of heavy menstrual bleeding.
If you are bleeding between periods, after sex or after the menopause it may be worthwhile booking an appointment with your doctor.
HOW HEAVY IS TOO HEAVY?
It is not uncommon to experience heavier bleeding than usual on occasions but when does this become something you should speak to your doctor about? If your periods regularly last longer than 7 days and/or you regularly lose more than 13 teaspoons of blood this could be a sign of heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB), a legitimate medical condition.
PP-UN-WHC-GB-0045 September 2023