What does a 'Normal' Menstrual Cycle look like?
The time between periods (from the day bleeding stops to the day bleeding starts again) should be between 21 and 35 days. Many people think if it is not exactly 28 days there is something wrong, but there is nothing to worry about if the number of days is different each month, especially in the first couple of years after you start getting your period.
If you’ve had your period for several years and are having regular periods that are usually over 35 days – especially if the number of days is increasing over time or if you are having more than 40 days between periods – then you should see your doctor. Long delays between periods (called oligomenorrhea) can be a key sign of a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
The duration of bleeding (your period) should be between 2-7 days. It is not unusual for blood to look brown or rusty coloured at the start or at the end. You might also get some ‘spotting’, which is where you might get a few small ‘drops’ of blood even though your period has not quite started yet or this may occur after you think your period has finished. Both of these things are quite okay and are nothing to be worried about unless you have other symptoms that concern you or your period lasts for more than seven days on a regular basis. If in doubt, use the PIPPA tool to get more information on how ‘normal’ your symptoms are or go and speak to your doctor.