Do periods go for longer than a week?
December 5, 2010 12:14 PM   Subscribe

YANMDfilter: My period is over...or is it? (NSFW - TMI grossness within.)

To get some basic info out the way: Female pushing 30, not sexually active, not on birth control or on any prescription meds.

My period started on Thanksgiving (great timing there) and I had some spotting on December 2nd. I'm accustomed to having 5 days of actual flow and two days of spotting. However, I'm still noticing a bit of pinkish color in my discharge. This has never happened to me before. Could it be my body reacting to stress (just lost my job and I'm running around like a headless chicken trying to get another one.) Is this something I should go see a GP or a gynecologist for? Has this happened to anyone else?

Thanks in advance!
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (11 answers total)
Not to be super gross, but did you accidentally leave a tampon up there? Sometimes it's easy to insert a second on top of a first, and the first one gets forgotten. Which then causes what seems like spotting, but is really just... well, leakage.
posted by headspace at 12:18 PM on December 5, 2010

Are you on any medication?

Since we're sharing TMI, this happens to me when I take triamcinolone, a corticosteroid.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 12:26 PM on December 5, 2010

When I'm stressed my cycle gets all out of whack and is anything but regular. If it were me, I'd chalk this up to stress and then visit a doctor if it goes on for another week beyond today.
posted by ACN09 at 12:33 PM on December 5, 2010

It could just be some hormonal stuff. Which could indeed be caused by stress.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 12:33 PM on December 5, 2010

I once asked my doctor about weird spotting period things. She said if it happens more than one time (ie during more than one menstrual cycle), to let her know. But just once, not a big deal.

Stress can definitely be a factor.
posted by bluedaisy at 12:40 PM on December 5, 2010

You're not eating a lot of beets, are you? (They are economical.) I've had it affect the color of my pee, and I don't know if it can affect the color of discharge.
posted by salvia at 1:07 PM on December 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

For me, high doses of vitamin C have caused spotting, and once when I thought I was getting a UTI I started taking cranberry capsules, which also caused spotting. (I think both for the same reason: vitamin C is an emmenagogue.)
posted by soviet sleepover at 1:25 PM on December 5, 2010

Nthing that it's probably stress. Annoying as hell, isn't it? Try a good hard workout and lots of water.
posted by shiny blue object at 1:28 PM on December 5, 2010

if we're in TMI already - a question - how has your sex (solo or with a partner) been? sometimes after my period i have, for lack of a better term, old blood mixed with my regular discharge and if i don't have a few cleansing orgasms to sort of push it all out, it can color my discharge for a week. maybe poke around a little, especially near your cervix, to see if you're holding on to anything?
posted by nadawi at 1:49 PM on December 5, 2010

I've been known to spot a little a couple days after I'm completely done with my period. Also, sometimes your body just does weird things (like skip an entire cycle after running like clockwork for 10 years, THANKS SO MUCH.)

A UTI can also cause blood in your pee, so unless you're sure it's in your discharge and not your pee, maybe that's a possible cause.

If you aren't already using a cup, like the DivaCup or Keeper or Instead (that one's disposable, while the others are reusable), I'd strongly suggest it. You can leave one of the reusable ones in for a looooong time, and because they're nonporous and hypoallergenic they can't absorb your body's natural moisture or bacteria (good or bad) like tampons and pads can. This makes them perfect for times when you're spotting.
posted by Madamina at 9:51 AM on December 6, 2010

I would say that since you already ruled out birth control, sex, and meds that the most likely cause is stress. But if this happens again on your next cycle or two, please see your gyno just to make sure.

In the meantime, you could try vitex (chaste tree berry) supplements. They help to regulate the cycle for women of all ages.
posted by xenophile at 11:08 AM on December 6, 2010

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