Your child has officially entered puberty– they’ve gotten their first period, you’ve gotten them their first pair of Kt leakproof period panties to prepare for school, and you are watching them join the collective of menstruating people worldwide.
You’ve talked to them about the important things, such as what to expect from their period, how often it happens, how to use a tampon for the first time, and other worries, such as how to get rid of period cramps fast and leaks at school. However, things can always come up, and, thankfully, there’s a wealth of resources at your disposal as a parent, from doctors to other parents to blogs like these.
If you’re currently reading this post, perhaps your child or daughter’s first period has been lasting a bit longer than you expected it. Has your child’s first period lasted two weeks or more? Are you concerned that this is a potential health issue, and want to know what might be causing it and what to do? If your daughter or child’s first period lasts for two weeks, keep reading to find out what the issue might be, and what you can do next.
The first period is called the “menarche,” and is a telltale sign of puberty in girls and female-assigned-at-birth (AFAB)-bodied people. Your daughter or child will probably get their first period two to three years after they start growing and developing breasts– usually between the ages of nine and 13. For most young people, their first period usually lasts about two to seven days, and sometimes even less than that.
Most period cycles (the time between periods) are around 28 days, but, for most people, the first two years of menstruating tend to be very irregular as the body gets used to the influx of hormones happening every month. It’s fairly normal for some people to get their first period once, and then not get another one for several months afterwards.
The average length of time for first periods is anywhere between two to seven days. If your child’s first period lasts more than seven days, this is somewhat unusual, and you might want to bring this up to a medical professional.
A period that lasts longer than one week is called “menorrhagia,” and is not normal at any stage of life. If your child has come to you with the concern that their period is lasting two weeks, it may be time to go to a doctor. There are many factors that could be contributing to a longer than normal period, especially during the first period. Keep reading to learn more about some of the factors that could be affecting your child’s body during their first period, and what might be causing their two week period.
Long periods can be caused by a number of factors, from diet to hormones to stress to actual medical conditions that need to be looked at. Here are some of the more common things that your child might be facing.
A poor diet high in salt and fat can create heavy periods that can be difficult to deal with. Excess weight can also contribute to a long period, as fatty tissue can cause the body to produce more estrogen, which can lead to longer than normal bleeding times.
Likewise, irregularities in hormone levels during puberty can affect your child or daughter’s menstrual cycle. Underlying health conditions, such as thyroid disorders and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), can also be the cause of a longer than normal period.
Stress is an important factor that can lead to irregular periods. One study found that high levels of stress in nurses was linked to longer menstrual cycles. Stress is linked to an increase in endorphins and cortisol secretion in the body, which affect normal hormone production. If stress causes delayed ovulation it may lead to a longer cycle than usual as well as a heavier flow.
Sometimes, the lining of the uterus might be thicker than usual and take extra time leaving the body. This can sometimes lead to a longer than normal period. Other underlying issues, such as blood disorders, can also affect it. Polyps and fibroids (irregular tissue growth in and on the uterus) could potentially lead to longer and heavier periods. Finally, medications, such as birth control, aspirin, and anti-inflammatories can have an effect on your child’s period.
If your child has come to you concerned that their first period is lasting for two weeks, it may be time to contact a doctor. Any concerns and worries should be looked at, both for your daughter or child’s health and safety and for their mental well-being. This is a good opportunity to show your child that their body deserves to be valued and protected, and that their concern for it and what’s happening to it is valid. Likewise, this can also be used as a teaching moment, as you and your child navigate the ups and downs of puberty and health, and for you to learn about periods and anything related to them together. This is a chance to support your child and daughter through a new time in their life, and to show them that the door is open for them to ask for help from their parent when they need it.
Having a period for two weeks at any time is not normal. It could be caused by stress, poor diet, medications, or underlying health conditions such as uterine fibroids & polyps (aka extra tissue growth in and on the uterus), polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), or a thyroid disorder. Any time that your child’s period lasts longer than seven days, it is called a long period, and should be taken seriously as a health issue. If your child or daughter’s first period is lasting two weeks or more, speak to a trusted adult or doctor.
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