Menstrual cycles vary from woman to woman. There are women who have a shorter cycle of around twenty three days, and there are also women who have longer cycles of about thirty five days. This range of the menstruation cycle, i.e., twenty three to thirty five days is considered normal medically. Sometimes, due to various reasons, a woman might face an irregularity in her periods, i.e., they may not occur for more than two months or even if they occur, there is a very heavy bleeding involved. Both of these are the signs of long cycles.
Stress and Anxiety: If the woman is under some kind of mental stress, due to any event in her personal or professional life, it can cause irregularity in the cycle, i.e. delay the cycle or cause excessive bleeding.
Poor diet: If the woman does not eat properly, skips meals or eats mostly junk food which lacks in the required nutrients essential for a healthy body, it can cause an alteration in her menstrual cycles.
Medication: A woman who is taking some drugs or medicines, can have her cycles altered as a side effect of the medication.
Physical Activity: An excess of physical activities, such as exercising more than the body can take, can also create menstrual problems.
New Cycle: When a girl has just started with her menses, for a period of up to a year, her cycle might be irregular, resulting in her experiencing long cycles.
Menopause: A woman above the age of forty, who is nearing menopause, experiences lots of irregularities and changes in her menstrual cycles, till the time they finally end. These changes take place due to an unbalance that is created in the hormones estrogen and progesterone, when a woman nears the end of her reproductive years.
Sex: A woman who has had sex for the first time, might find her menstrual cycle getting changed during that specific month. This is because lots of hormonal changes take place inside a woman's body when she becomes sexually active.
Disease: Women who have diabetes, thyroid problems, pituitary disorders, liver problems, pelvic inflammatory disease, polycystic ovary syndrome, or other health conditions are more prone to having long cycles.
If a woman is experiencing long menstrual cycles, twice or thrice in a year, there is nothing much to worry about it as such changes are pretty common in many women. A woman should eat a balanced and healthy diet with adequate amounts of vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and especially iron, so that she can make up for the loss of nutrients due to excessive bleeding, and also to avoid such irregularities in the future.
Changing the tampons, a few times in one day is also recommended so that an infection does not occur. Also, many women take aspirin to minimize abdominal pain and cramping that occurs during periods. This should be avoided as aspirin can cause excessive bleeding. Switching to ibuprofen is a good idea, as it is not only used to relieve cramps, but also to reduce the blood loss during menstruation.
Meditation, yoga, and regular exercising to bring down stress, should be incorporated into the daily routine. A relaxed and stress-free woman is very unlikely to experience menstrual irregularities.
Long menstrual cycles, if they occur on a regular basis, in a woman who is of childbearing age, should not be overlooked, as they could be an indication of serious medical conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome. In such a case, the concerned doctor should be contacted immediately for proper diagnoses and treatment.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.