Here’s a guide to perimenopausal bleeding to help you to decide when to call the doctor.
When it comes to menstruation, normal can be a little difficult to define. What’s typical for one woman might not be for another. For example, while the typical interval from the start of one menstrual cycle to the next is 28 days, a healthy cycle can range anywhere from 21 to 35 days.
As you approach menopause — defined as one year since your last menstrual period — what’s usual for you can also change. During the years just before menopause, which doctors refer to as perimenopause, women’s cycles often change in length. Bleeding may become heavier or lighter. You may even miss a period from time to time. Add these changes on top of existing individual variation, and it can be hard to know what’s a problem — and what’s not.
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About the Author
Kelly Bilodeau, Former Executive Editor, Harvard Women's Health Watch
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