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Blog: MenoPause ~ take time to think about it

Long or heavy periods not uncommon in your 40s, but…

by Margery Gass | Apr 16, 2014

If you’re heading toward menopause and you have more bleeding than usual, you are not alone. Women often worry when that happens because they have heard that menstrual periods become less frequent and lighter during perimenopause. Some periods do, some don’t. The Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN), that included 1,200 women ages 42 to 52, found that over the course of three years, 91% of the women had as many as three periods that lasted 10 days or more, and 78% had three or more days of heavy flow. This news can be reassuring, but it doesn’t mean you should keep quiet about noticeable bleeding changes, especially if you are overweight.  Overweight women have a higher risk of uterine cancer (called endometrial cancer), and frequent or heavy bleeding can be a sign of cancer for any woman. Note also that the study said 3 long periods occurring over 3 years. If a woman is experiencing heavier and/or longer periods every month or bleeding frequently throughout the month, that should also be reported to your healthcare provider sooner rather than later.



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2 Comments

  1. 1 lynn 21 Oct
    My periods started to be less frequent and lighter when I was 48.  As every year passed, I got it between longer breaks.  In my 52nd year, I did not get my period for about a year, say 11 months.  Then just as I thought it was done, it returned with a vengeance.  I'm in my third month since it started and the flow is extremely heavy and my period is lasting up to 14 days.  Is this normal?  I just got my APP and it was normal.
  2. 2 Julia 11 Jul
    Can you been without you period for around 3 month and have a long period light to heavy flow for more than week?

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MenoPause: the blog!

Posts to our Blog are written by NAMS staff members and Dr. Margery Gass. All posts are reviewed and edited by Dr. Gass. We strive to bring you the most recent and interesting information about various aspect of menopause and midlife health. We accept no advertising for our website. We want you to have accurate, unbiased, evidence-based information. 

Margery L.S. Gass, MD, NCMP
NAMS Executive Director

An internationally recognized leader in the field of menopause, Dr. Gass became Executive Director of The North American Menopause Society in 2010. Dr. Gass has been an investigator on numerous research projects, including serving as a principal investigator for the Women’s Health Initiative, and has published and presented on a wide range of topics related to menopause, including osteoporosis, sexual dysfunction, and hormone therapy.

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