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To Sam

Why has my period lasted so long?

Hi Sam,

I am a 13 year old girl and only started my period this year (2018). The first time I got my period was during the 6 weeks holiday when I was in France. It sort of ruined my holiday but I carried on ass normal. It wasn't heavy at all but lasted 10 days which seemed like forever. It eventually finished after 10 days and I didn't see it for a full 28 days.

So 28 days later and it is back .... ON MY BIRTHDAY  . My birthday was 8 days ago and my period has been really heavy. I am starting to worry though as there is no sign of it finishing any time soon. When I get my period, I also get severe cramps but my cramps start a few days before and don't really stop. I was just wondering is this any cause for concern?

me and my mum talk about mostly anything but this just doesn't seem comfortable for me to do so. I know I sound stupid but I just want someone  listen to this question.

Thanks Sam

bye x

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Your periods might be irregular at first and sometimes it takes time for your body to settle into a routine that’s normal for you. It can be difficult to plan ahead when you don’t know when your next period will be and your period could happen at times you don’t want it to, like during a holiday or on your birthday.

Periods usually happen about every 28 days and last for between 3 and 8 days but everyone's different and yours might last longer or happen more or less often. They start during puberty, which for most girls will be between 8 and 14.

Your period shouldn’t stop you from doing things you normally do but it can help to make sure you’ve got pads or tampons with you when you go out and that you’ll be able to get to a toilet when you need to. It can also help to take a change of underwear in case and to change your sanitary protection often to reduce the risk of leaking. You can still exercise and join in with sports, although you might need to use a tampon if you want to go swimming. But remember to change a tampon at least every 3–4 hours and never leave a tampon in for more than 8 hours.

It’s best to speak to your doctor if you’re worried about very heavy periods, bleeding between periods or a period that lasts for longer than usual. The amount of blood you lose during your period is about 5 to 12 teaspoons but it might seem like more. If you’re not sure whether your period is heavy you can try this NHS quiz to help you to decide what to do.

You might have some pain in your tummy or around your back and for some girls the pain can spread into your thighs. The pain can start before or during your period and it can help to use a hot water bottle or relax in a warm bath. Gentle exercise like stretches, yoga and walking can all help and you can ask an adult about pain relief tablets.

You could always find a different adult you would feel comfortable talking to – remember that this is something every older woman has probably had some experience they can share with you. And remember you can talk to a Childline counsellor about anything that’s worrying you.

Thank you for your letter and I hope the advice has helped.

Take care,


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