Hear from women living with endometriosis

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Hear from women living with endometriosis

Read personal stories from women with endometriosis and get tips for living life with endo.

What exactly is a "normal" period?

Most women understand the menstrual cramps that come along with periods. They’re caused by an excess of a chemical called prostaglandin [PRAHST-uh-GLAND-in]. But, if severe menstrual pain is interfering with your daily activities, like work or school, it’s time to talk to a gynecologist.

Here’s a rundown of what’s considered a normal period

Length of period:
The length of a period varies. They usually last between 3 and 5 days, but anything between 2 and 7 days is considered normal.

Amount of time in between periods:
For most women, periods are between 21 and 35 days apart.

Amount of bleeding:
Normal periods can be light; they can be moderate; they can even be heavy. Women usually bleed 30-80 mL worth of blood. But how do you measure that? A good way to do it is to look at how many tampons or pads you use. If you use 1 pad or tampon every 1 to 2 hours—that’s normal.

Here’s what a period looks like when it’s not normal

Length of a period:
If your period lasts for more than 7 days, it may not be normal.

Amount of time in between periods:
Your period may not be normal if it comes more often than every 21 days.

Amount of bleeding:
If you’re bleeding more than 80 mL of blood, that’s not normal. A good way to tell how much you’re bleeding is to look at how many tampons or pads you’re using. If it’s more than 1 pad or tampon every 1 to 2 hours, then you may want to speak to your doctor.


  • Pain or cramps that interfere with your daily activities
  • Pain that doesn’t go away with the use of over-the-counter pain medicine
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Pelvic pain after your period has ended

If you’re experiencing any of these signs, your period may not be normal, so make an appointment with your gynecologist. There are a lot of possible reasons why your periods might not be normal and they are not all listed here, so discuss all of your symptoms. And then make sure to ask about endometriosis.

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Inspired to talk to your GYN?

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