Credit: Juliette Borda

Juliette BordaQ: My periods often go on forever—up to nine days! Is something wrong?

A: When it comes to periods, every womans different; whats normal for you may be abnormal for your best friend. The average flow lasts four to seven days, but if you have a month where youre in period mode for longer, theres probably no need to worry—stress, illness, and weight loss can all throw your cycle off.

But if your endless periods continue for more than one month, play it safe and ask your gynecologist to rule out other possible causes like hormonal changes, polycystic ovary syndrome, or fibroids. She may check you for anemia, too, especially if your flow is so heavy that you have to change your pad or tampon every hour, several hours in a row. Depending on the cause of the bleeding, your doctor may prescribe birth control pills or a progestin-releasing intrauterine device to correct hormonal imbalances and lighten your monthly bloodshed.