Ob-Gyn questions? Ask a gynecologist online.
Prior to November, were your periods regular?
How long are your normal periods?
If sexually active, what are you using for birth control?
Do you have any chronic medical problems?
Are you on any medicines?
Thank you for the additional information.
There are several possibilities that may cause abnormal periods.
It is possible that you are entering the peri-menopausal time of your life. Menopause occurs during a process where the ovaries gradually decrease the amount of hormones secreted and last many years. Periods will stop about half way through the process. Early in the process, though, it is very common for periods to be irregular in time or length. The average age of menopause is ~age 50, but it is common for irregular periods to start in women in their 40s. In this situation, the pattern that you are having would not be worrisome.
There are many other causes of abnormal bleeding that would be of concern, such as hormone imbalance, infection, or abnormal growths of the uterus or the ovaries. Significant physical or emotional stress can also cause irregular periods. Since every women goes through menopause and only a fraction develop any of these conditions, abnormal bleeding in a women of the correct age is statistically most likely due to entering the peri-menopausal period. The general recommendation, though, is that abnormal bleeding should be evaluated to ensure that there is no other process occurring.
Its impossible to know. Statistically it is more likely to stop within the next few days, but it may last longer.
Yes, you should be seen, but it is not something for which you would need to be seen in an emergency room, unless you develop other symptoms, such as fever, lightheadedness, or significant pain. If you are unable to be seen by the physician that performed the Pap smear 3 years ago or in another office, then the emergency room or an urgent care center are options.