When should you seek medical attention for abnormal menstruation (periods)?

Contact a doctor or medical professional if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Severe pain during your period or between periods
  • Unusually heavy bleeding (soaking through a sanitary pad or tampon every hour for two to three hours) or passing large clots
  • An abnormal or foul-smelling vaginal discharge
  • High fever
  • A period lasting longer than seven days
  • Vaginal bleeding or spotting between periods or after you have gone through menopause
  • Periods that become very irregular after you have had regular menstrual cycles
  • Nausea or vomiting during your period
  • Symptoms of toxic shock syndrome, such as a fever over 102 degrees, vomiting, diarrhea, fainting or dizziness

You should also see a doctor if you think you might be pregnant.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 08/25/2019.


  • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Abnormal Uterine Bleeding. Accessed 8/28/2019.
  • US Department of Health and Human Services. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. About Menstruation. Accessed 8/28/2019.
  • US Department of Health and Human Services. Office on Women’s Health. Menstrual Cycle. Accessed 8/28/2019.

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