There are different causes of extra long periods including stress, premature ovary failure, endometriosis, birth control pills, pelvic inflammatory disease, polycystic ovary syndrome, hormone imbalance and uterine polyps. Prolonged menstrual periods are usually referred to as menorrhagia and occurs when a person experiences heavy bleeding for several consecutive hours.
Changes in a person lifestyle, such as diet and exercise routine, can impact on her periods. The use of birth control pills may lead to prolonged periods. Pills that have progestin only may lead to bleeding in between periods. Fibroids on the wall of the uterus also cause bleeding and pain during periods.
Symptoms of menorrhagia include using more pads in an hour for several hours, large blood clots, prolonged periods that last more than a week and appearance of anemia symptoms. However, different women may experience different symptoms during the cycle.
A person with menorrhagia needs to visit a doctor to identify the cause. The doctor will want to know the medication records and medical history of an individual during the visit. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as naproxen and ibuprofen, can be used to relieve pain and reduce blood loss, as stated by WebMD. A person may also require hormone therapy to correct hormonal imbalances and control the periods.