Most women are not aware of this, but it is actually possible to know about your health from your menstrual cycle. If you are tracking your cycles, you can understand ovulation times, what is normal for you and identify major changes such as unpredictable bleeding or missed periods. For the purpose of this article, we will look at the differences between long and short menstrual cycle.
First and foremost, you should know that every woman’s cycle is unique so it is difficult to say what is normal. For instance, a normal menstrual cycle can be as long as forty days or as short as twenty-one days. When calculating the length of your cycle, day one would be when the bleeding starts and the counting will go up to the last day prior to your next period or bleed. The common menstrual cycle length is twenty-eight days.
Your period will start every 4 weeks if you are menstruating on a regular twenty-eight day cycle. It will start every 3 weeks if you are menstruating on a twenty-two day cycle. On average, the period can last for 3 to 4 days and this could be longer or shorter from 1 to 7 days.
Differences between Long and Short Menstrual Cycle
It is perfectly normal to have a menstrual cycle longer than average, but sometimes this could be a sign of an underlying problem. You could have a long cycle that last for over 28 days and this is normal.
However, you should contact your doctor if your cycle lasts for over 35 days. It is also important to consult a doctor if a long cycle is an unexpected occurrence.
In most cases, a menstrual cycle that is shorter than the average is nothing to be concerned about.
As you get older, your cycles will regulate and your bleeding days would become shorter. It is not unusual for women to menstruate for just a couple of days.
The menstrual period and cycle are generally affected by lifestyle practices and the surroundings. Stress from relationships or work can cause you to bleed more severe or to stop much quicker than normal. Increased exercise can help shorten your menstruation cycle. Your cycle could also shorten if you are living with another woman.
Hormonal imbalances are among the most common reasons for elongation, shortness or cessation in menstrual periods. 
If you have hormonal imbalances, you might need estrogen medication or shots for your cycle to get back on track. Birth control pills are also prescribed to help regulate the length and frequency of menstruation.
One could say the major differences between long and short menstrual cycle would be determined by hormonal imbalances, the surroundings and lifestyle habits.
But, as you can see it is normal to have short or long menstrual cycle. If you are worried about your cycle, you can always consult your doctor to determine if you have a serious medical condition.