When many women get their periods, they may have heavy flows and achy cramps. Periods that hinder you from performing daily tasks are not natural.
During a period, women lose 30 to 40 milliliters (mL) of blood. Women experiencing excessive bleeding may lose up to 80 mL.
This ailment generates so heavy flow that you must change your tampon or pad every hour. You are also permitted to use more than six or seven tampons every day.
Anemia and severe cramping can result from this illness. During your period, you may also pass blood clots larger than a quarter.
Because quantifying complete blood loss is impractical, speaking with your doctor is the best method to find out if your period is especially heavy.
Together, you can review:
- Your symptoms
- Conditions that might be causing greater bleeding
- What can be done to treat it
What is the cause of a heavy periods?
Heavy periods can be caused by a number of causes or concerns. These heavy periods can be regular or intermittent.
A period that all of a sudden becomes extremely heavy during one month
The signs and symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy are similar to those of a heavy menstrual period, thus the two conditions are often misconstrued.
This kind of pregnancy grows outside of your uterus and cannot continue on its own for any length of time. It is possible for it to bring on severe health problems, such as extensive bleeding and severe cramping. If treatment is not sought, an ectopic pregnancy poses a significant risk to the patient’s life.
Heavy bleeding is a frequent symptom during and around the time of a miscarriage, and it can be easily confused with a particularly heavy period.
Non-hormonal intrauterine device (IUD)
The most common adverse reaction to a non-hormonal intrauterine device (IUD) is heavy menstrual bleeding. It’s possible that after a few months of using your IUD, you’ll notice a decrease in the intensity of the bleeding.
Taking blood thinners might cause issues with blood flow and a heavier flow during menstruation.
A menstruation that is more intense on the first day of the cycle
In many cases, the first day of a period is characterized by more bleeding than the subsequent days, which are characterized by lighter bleeding. Unusually for you, there was a heavy flow that could potentially interfere with your routine tasks.
Birth control changes
If you recently stopped using hormonal birth control, during the first few days of your period, it is possible that it will be very heavy as your cycle adjusts to the changes in hormone levels.
In the same way that birth control can mess with your cycle, the medications you take have the potential to cause you to bleed heavily on the first day of your period.
A recurring period that’s heavy and painful
If you have a period that is consistently heavy, painful, and difficult to work around, you may have underlying concerns that will persist over the long term.
However, an excess of estrogen might cause the lining of the uterus to become thicker. During the time of your period, when the lining is being shed, this might result in excessive bleeding.
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is underactive, and this can lead to heavy or irregular menstrual bleeding.
Women who get heavy periods are around 10 to 30 percent more likely to have a bleeding issue, such as von Willebrand disease. Because of these diseases, it may be difficult to put an end to the bleeding.
Some women get heavier periods due to the presence of tiny growths on the uterine lining.
Fibroids are growths that occur in the muscle tissue of the uterus and are not malignant. They may form on the exterior of the uterus, within the uterine wall, or project into the cavity; alternatively, they may develop in some mix of these three locations.
Rarely is cancer in the uterus, cervix, or ovaries the only cause of heavy bleeding, but a larger period could be an indication of cancer in any of these organs.
It is possible that you will go through this premenopausal transition phase in which you will suffer hormonal shifts and particularly severe bleeding during your periods.
Recovery after giving birth
It is usual for women to experience heavier periods after giving birth to a child. You may experience these alterations for the rest of your life, or your period may eventually revert to a flow pattern that is comparable to what you experienced before becoming pregnant.
Adenomyosis is a disorder that occurs when endometrial tissue invades the muscles of the uterus. This invasion results in a thickening of the uterine wall, as well as an increase in both pain and bleeding.
A prevalent health issue known as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is characterized by an imbalance in hormones. It is possible for women who have this illness to have periods that are heavier than normal, stop altogether, or have irregularity.
Endometriosis is a disease in which tissue that is comparable to endometrial tissue grows outside of the uterine cavity where it normally would be found. Among the symptoms are:
- painful periods
- lower back pain
- heavy menstrual bleeding
When you should go to the doctor
Consult your doctor if your bleeding is so heavy that you need to replace a pad or tampon every hour.
Similarly, if your period prohibits you from completing routine activities due to pain, cramping, or heavy bleeding, it’s time to consult a doctor.
During an appointment, your doctor may:
- conduct a physical examination
- request your medical history
- requesting that your symptoms be documented
They may also arrange a biopsy or imaging tests to examine your uterus more precisely.
Without the assistance of your doctor, determining if your period is normal or heavy is difficult. They’ll be your guide while you try to figure out if your heavy periods are caused by an underlying condition.
What is the treatment for a heavy period?
Typical therapies for heavy periods focus on blood flow regulation. Some therapies can also help to alleviate symptoms like pain and cramps.
If your heavy bleeding is caused by an underlying problem, fixing it may eliminate your unusually heavy periods.
Typical treatments for heavy periods include:
Birth control pills.
Birth control tablets and hormonal IUDs may aid in hormone balance and period management.
Pain relievers sold over-the-counter.
NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium, may help relieve period pain and minimize blood loss. NSAIDs are available for purchase online.
Medication on prescription.
To manage heavy periods, your doctor may prescribe some prescription drugs, such as oral progesterone.
The removal of polyps or fibroids may aid in the reduction of bleeding and the relief of other uncomfortable period symptoms.
Curettage and dilation (D & C).
If other therapies fail, your doctor may perform a D&C operation to remove the outermost layers of your uterine lining. This aids in the reduction of bleeding and the lightening of periods. This step may need to be repeated.
In extreme situations, your uterus may need to be removed totally. You will no longer have periods and will be unable to become pregnant as a result of this operation.
The menstrual cycle of each woman is different. Because of this, it is difficult to determine whether your periods are heavy or normal for you.
Your primary care provider will be able to assist you in determining where on the spectrum your periods fall. They are also able to assist you in looking for therapies and, if necessary, in addressing any issues that may have arisen as a result of excessive blood loss.
Using the Healthline FindCare service, you will be able to schedule an appointment with an OB-GYN in your local area.
It is critical that you provide your doctor with accurate information regarding your periods and symptoms in order for them to be able to devise treatment options that are beneficial to you. There is no valid reason to feel anxious about getting your period.
There is a wide variety of helpful solutions available to you that can assist you in regulating and managing it.