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14th December 2018

What is a ‘normal’ period?

There’s no such thing as a ‘normal’ period, but there are rough parameters we can use as a reference point. In the article below, Consultant Gynaecologist Narendra Pisal explains these key features of the menstrual cycle.

When it comes to menstrual cycles, women can have quite a lot of variation. The normal gap between the first day of two consecutive cycles (also known as cycle length) can range between 21 and 42 days. Having said that, many women have regular cycles like clockwork and can often predict their next period accurately to the day.

Knowing your own cycle pattern is important. A lot of women will use a diary or a smartphone app to document their periods. A variation of up to a week can occur because of various factors such as stress, long distance travel, minor hormonal imbalance or no reason at all. Anything beyond a week and you could consider your period as ‘late’.

A late period is very common and often nothing to be worried about.

Periods can vary considerably in different women. However, many women with extremely heavy periods still believe their periods to be normal as they have nothing else to compare with. Bleeding during an average period is supposed to be around 80ml (less than half a cup), but a lot of women do have more bleeding than this. You can call your periods heavy, if you are passing lots of clots or having to constantly use double protection, changing protection more frequently than every four hours or if your periods are making you anaemic. It is a subjective thing.

If you are concerned about changes to your menstrual cycle please contact your GP or gynaecologist or contact London Gynaecology on 0207 10 11 700.

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