What Are The Symptoms Of Menorrhagia
If you have to change your pad or tampon every 1 to 2 hours because it is soaked, or bleed longer than 7 days, see your doctor. Spotting or bleeding between periods is also a sign of a problem.
The symptoms of menorrhagia may look like other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
When To See Your Doctor
If bleeding is so heavy that you must replace a pad or tampon every hour, talk with your doctor.
Likewise, if your period prevents you from doing normal activities because of pain, cramping, and heavy bleeding, its time to see your doctor.
During a visit, your doctor may:
- conduct a physical exam
- request your health history
- request that your symptoms be recorded
They may also order a biopsy or imaging tests to look more closely at your uterus.
Its difficult to know if your period is considered normal or heavy without your doctors help. Theyll be your guide in the process of figuring out if an underlying issue is the reason for your heavy periods.
Typical treatments for heavy periods focus on regulating blood flow. Some treatments can also eliminate symptoms such as pain and cramping.
If an underlying condition is causing your heavy bleeding, treating it may eliminate your unusually heavy periods.
Typical treatments for heavy periods include:
When Do You Call Your Healthcare Provider If You Suspect Heavy Period Bleeding
You should call your provider if you’re experiencing the symptoms of heavy menstrual bleeding or anemia, or if your period bleeding has become abnormal. Tracking your periods using a calendar or app can help you identify if your periods are heavier and longer-lasting than usual. Share these notes with your provider.
You should also schedule an appointment if you notice that you’re having to double-up on menstrual products or if you’re skipping activities you enjoy because of heavy bleeding.
Can heavy menstrual bleeding be life-threatening?
Heavy periods arent usually life-threatening, but they can be if you lose too much blood. Bleeding through two or more tampons or pads each hour for two hours in a row is a sign that you should see your provider or seek emergency care immediately.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Just because heavy periods are common doesn’t mean that you have to learn to live with the discomfort they cause. If managing your blood flow is getting in the way of your emotional and physical well-being, speak with your provider. They can provide a care path that will provide relief.
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Treatment: How To Stop Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
If you think you might have HMB, make an appointment to see your health care professional for a checkup. Often, theyll ask you questions about your periods and general health. They might also perform a physical examination.
After this, theyll be able to suggest a variety of treatments to help, which can include:
How Do You Know If You Have Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
Heavy menstrual bleeding interferes with your quality of life. Many people with heavy periods assume that periods are supposed to be inconvenient and uncomfortable. They may have watched people in their families live with heavy periods without seeking care and followed their example. But periods should never cause you to restrict activities or accept inconvenience.
During your period, you should be able to:
- Wear a standard pad or tampon every three to four hours without changing it.
- Wear a single menstrual product without having to double-up at any point.
- Leave your home without having to pack extra bags of pads or clothing changes.
- Live your life as usual, without missing work, avoiding going out in public, or skipping activities you enjoy.
If your periods are disrupting your life, its time to see your provider.
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I Discovered There’s An Equation That Calculates Menstrual Blood Loss
I made an incredible discovery: I found an equation . A statistical equation to calculate menstrual blood loss, can you imagine!? I studied statistics and I know about the thrill of finding a great equation with precise estimations but an equation for menstrual blood loss? Isnt this a very complicated way to assess something really easily measurable with a menstrual cup? The equation is based on women keeping a diary and focuses on the following factors:
- The number of days when heavy, normal and light bleeding is experienced
- the haemoglobin and serum ferritin values
- as well as age.
How Is Heavy Menstrual Bleeding Treated
Treatment depends on what’s causing your bleeding, how severe your bleeding is, your health, age and medical history. Also, treatment depends on your response to certain medicines and your preferences. For instance, you may not want to have a period at all, or you may want to reduce your bleeding. In addition, your plans to get pregnant will affect your treatment options.
Talk with your provider about your health concerns and your goals for treatment.
Medications used to treat heavy menstrual bleeding
- Iron supplements improve your iron stores.
- Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs like Ibuprofen® or Aspirin® can ease your cramps and reduce your bleeding.
- Birth control may help make your periods more regular and lighten your blood flow.
- Hormone therapy can help balance the amount of estrogen and progesterone in your body so that your menstrual flow isn’t as heavy. HT is often recommended for heavy menstrual bleeding associated with perimenopause but comes with risks that you should discuss with your provider.
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists can temporarily stop or reduce bleeding by preventing ovulation.
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonists can manage heavy period bleeding related to fibroids.
- Desmopressin nasal spray can stop bleeding associated with von Willebrand disease by helping your blood clot.
- Antifibrinolytic medicines, like tranexamic acid, prevent clots from breaking down and causing excessive bleeding.
Procedures used to treat heavy period bleeding
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Very Heavy Menstrual Flow
When periods are very heavy or you are experiencing flooding or passing big clots you have what doctors call menorrhagia. The purpose of this article is to define normal and very heavy menstrual bleeding, to explain what causes heavy flow, and to show what you yourself can do in dealing with heavy flow.
This, and the article called Managing MenorrhagiaEffective Medical Treatments for your doctor or health care provider, are to help you avoid surgeries for heavy flow (
When Should I Be Concerned About Blood Clots During My Period
Having a period is normal. And while a menstruation cycle can vary in length, amount and frequency, menstrual blood clots can be a scary thing when you see them. Most blood clots during a period are normal, but if you experience large blood clots and notice changes in your period, it may be time to talk to a doctor.
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Treatment For Abnormal Uterine Bleeding
Treatment will depend on the cause, but may include:
- medication such as prostaglandin inhibitors, hormone replacement therapy or antibiotics
- dilatation and curettage involving dilation and gentle scraping of the cervix and the lining of the uterus
- change of contraception it may be necessary to explore methods of contraception other than the IUD or hormones
- surgery to remove tumours, polyps or fibroids or to treat ectopic pregnancy
- treatment of underlying disorders such as hypothyroidism or a bleeding disorder
- hysterectomy the removal of the entire uterus is a drastic last resort, generally only considered for treatment of abnormal uterine bleeding when a serious disease, such as cancer, is also present.
What’s Considered A Heavy Period
Heavy menstrual bleeding is defined as losing 80ml or more in each period, having periods that last longer than 7 days, or both. But it’s not usually necessary to measure blood loss. Most women have a good idea of how much bleeding is normal for them during their period and can tell when this changes.
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What Is Period Flooding
When periods are very heavy or you are experiencing flooding or passing big clots you have what doctors call menorrhagia . The purpose of this article is to define normal and very heavy menstrual bleeding, to explain what causes heavy flow, and to show what you yourself can do in dealing with heavy flow.
If You Use Tampons Pads Or Period Underwear
Its a bit harder to measure total menstrual loss when you use absorbent tampons, pads, or period underwear, but it can be done.
First, take into account the items fully soaked capacity. Regular tampons, for example, hold 5 milliliters of fluid. Super tampons hold double that.
If you lose 60 milliliters during your period, you may soak through 6 to 12 tampons depending on the size you use. If you lose half of that, youll likely use fewer.
You can keep a log to help you get a better idea of how much youre losing. You should note:
- what product youre using and its size
- how often you have to change it
- how full it is when you change it
Logging this info for your next three or four periods will give you enough data to calculate a reasonable estimate.
If you can help it, avoid fully soaking an absorbent product. Pushing a tampon or other product to its limit may result in a leak or other unwelcome side effects. The general rule of thumb is to change tampons, pads, and underwear every .
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What Is The Prognosis For Living With Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
Left untreated, heavy periods can interfere with your life. In addition, heavy menstrual bleeding can cause anemia and leave you feeling tired and weak. Other health problems can also arise if you don’t get help. With proper treatment and assistance from your provider, you can manage heavy periods without compromising your well-being.
Treatment Of Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
At Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia, adolescent medicine specialists are able to manage the majority of cases of heavy menstrual bleeding. However, if necessary, a coordinated approach may be used with specialists from gynecology, hematology, radiology and endocrinology and others to accurately diagnose and treat patients with heavy menstrual bleeding.
Treatment for heavy menstrual bleeding will be recommended by your adolescents physician based on:
- Your adolescents age, overall health and medical history
- Cause and severity of the condition
- Your adolescents tolerance for specific medications, procedures or therapies
- Your adolescents future childbearing plans
- Effects of the condition on your adolescents lifestyle
- Your adolescents opinion or preference
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Possible Consequences Of Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
Whenever you have a period, you lose blood. For those with normal bleeding, anda diet containing normal amounts of iron, blood loss and iron intake should bein balance. However, for those with heavy menstrual bleeding, and especiallywhen the diet is deficient in iron, blood loss can exceed iron intake and mayresult in an iron deficiency and possible low red blood count, or anemia. Iron deficiency, with or without anemia, can cause fatigue and interfere with the ability to concentrate, exercise, and, enjoy life in general.
What Tests Might Be Needed For Heavy Periods
Your doctor might do or advise one or more of the following tests:
- An examination to see whether the bleeding is coming from your cervix, not your uterus. This is done in a similar way as a cervical smear or HPV screening test.
- Blood tests to look for anaemia, iron levels, thyroid disease or a bleeding disorder.
- An ultrasound of your uterus and ovaries to detect abnormalities in your uterus, such as polyps or fibroids.
- A cervical smear in which a sample of cells is collected from your cervix and then looked at to see if you have an infection, inflammation or changes in the cells that might be or cause cancer.
- A sample of the lining of the uterus to see whether there are any precancerous or cancerous changes.
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When Is Menstrual Bleeding An Emergency
It can take a serious toll on your body when a significant amount of blood is lost every month. Dont hesitate to seek emergency care if you experience new or severe symptoms related to heavy menstrual bleeding.
Uterine lining is rich in iron, so you lose iron every time you have your period. Heavy periods can be linked to anemia. Anemia occurs when your body doesnt have enough of certain blood cells or when blood cells arent functioning properly.
Anemia can make you feel:
A Period Thats Suddenly Very Heavy One Month
The signs and symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy may be confused with a heavy menstrual period.
This type of pregnancy develops outside your uterus and isnt sustainable. It can cause severe health issues, including heavy bleeding and severe cramping. Left untreated, an ectopic pregnancy is life threatening.
During and surrounding a miscarriage, heavy bleeding is common and may be mistaken for a very heavy period.
Non-hormonal intrauterine device
of a non-hormonal IUD. After a few months with your IUD, you may find that bleeding becomes less severe.
Blood thinners can lead to blood flow problems and heavier menstrual flow.
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What Should I Do About It
To treat HMB, you and your healthcare provider need to determine its cause orcauses. This can be done by a few simple tests including a blood test, atransvaginal ultrasound and/or taking a sample tissue from the uterine lining.
Polyps: Surgical removal of the polyp is the most effective therapy.
Adenomyosis: Treatment with hormonal contraception, especially anintrauterine device that releases a hormone called progestin.
Fibroids: Some medical or hormonal therapies are effective, althoughprocedures involving surgery are often necessary.
Cancer or pre-cancer: Most pre-cancers can be treated with medication, butcancers usually require surgery.
Blood clotting disorder: Tranexamic acid or hormonal medications are theusual treatment strategy.
Ovulatory disorders: Ovulatory disorders can generally be treated withhormonal medication such as progestins or other hormonal contraceptivemedications.
Endometrial disorders: People with endometrial disorders can respond well totranexamic acid, use of simple NSAIDs like ibuprofen, naproxen or mefenamicacid, the progestin-releasing intrauterine system or other types of hormonalcontraception. When a copper intrauterine device is the cause, some of thetreatments for endometrial disorders can be effective.
Iron deficiency: Whenever there is an iron deficiency, and especially ifthere is anemia, an iron replacement should be part of the treatment.
Iron Deficiency And Anaemia
If you have heavy periods each month, one of the key things to watch out for is iron deficiency. One of the most common causes of iron deficiency is prolonged or heavy periods. This can leave you feeling tired and lacking energy. In some cases, this can even lead to anaemia.
Ask your doctor or nurse if you need a blood test to check your ferritin and full blood count. If your results indicate your iron is low, you may need to also take iron supplements.
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How Many Pads Per Day Is Normal
How many pads should you use in a day? Good question. However, there isn’t a single right answer because there are a few factors to consider that might change how many you’d need. A very rough estimate would be four or five pads, assuming that you’re getting at least the recommended 7 hours of sleep at night.
Diagnosis Of Painful Periods And Heavy Bleeding
UT Southwesterns experienced gynecologists conduct a thorough evaluation, which includes a:
- Review of personal medical history, including details of the patients menstrual cycle
- Discussion of symptoms
Patients should bring information about the dates and lengths of their last several periods. For sexually active patients, a pelvic exam will be performed to check for infections and to examine the cervix.
To diagnose heavy bleeding and painful periods, our doctors usually recommend one or more tests, such as:
- Blood tests to look for signs of iron deficiency, thyroid disorders, or blood-clotting abnormalities
- Ultrasound: Diagnostic tools that use sound waves to produce images of the pelvic organs. Used to look for any abnormalities
- Pap smear: Sample of cells from the cervix that are examined under a microscope for infection or changes that can lead to cancer or already are cancerous
- Endometrial biopsy: A test that samples a small amount of endometrial tissue for examination under a microscope
- Magnetic resonance imaging scans: Equipment that uses a large magnet and radio waves to produce detailed images of pelvic organs
Based on the results of these tests, we might recommend further testing, such as:
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Bleeding In Perimenopause And Menopause
Heavy bleeding during a period becomes more common amongst women in their late 40s and early 50s as they move through perimenopause and menopause. While the hormonal ups and downs during this time can be the culprit behind the heavier bleeding, it is always a good idea to bring it up with your doctor. They may run a hormone blood test as well as do a pelvic examination and an ultrasound to check that there is nothing wrong. They may also want to check your iron levels for anemia if you are losing more blood than usual during your period.
Seeing A Gp And Further Tests
A GP will start by asking you about your heavy bleeding, any changes to your periods and any other symptoms you have, like bleeding between your periods or period pain.
All women who have heavy periods should be offered a blood test to check for iron deficiency anaemia.
The GP may also suggest a physical examination or refer you for further tests to try to find out if theres an underlying cause for your heavy periods.
Further tests may include:
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