Ways To Manage Heavy Periods
Many women with bleeding disorders probably arent shocked to soak through a tampon or pad in just an hour or two. They may also be getting up during the night to change a tampon or pad. Thats because heavy menstrual bleeding is a common issue for women with bleeding disorders.
During a typical period, a woman may lose up to 30 to 40ml of blood. Women who lose 80ml or more are considered to have heavy bleeding. NHF has a chart to help women track their level of bleeding.
As many as one in 10 women with heavy periods may have a bleeding disorder, according to the Office on Womens Health. In fact, unusually heavy and long menstrual periods are the most frequent symptom of von Willebrand disease, the most common inherited bleeding disorder in women in the US. More than 60% of women with von Willebrand type 3 report menorrhagia that significantly impacts their quality of life.
Hannah Lutz was one of those women. Diagnosed with von Willebrand type 3 at birth, she started menstruating at age 12 and never really stopped. Her heavy bleeding ultimately led her to have a hysterectomy at age 18.
Heavy periods can make it tough to enjoy your regular activities Lutz says she missed all of eighth grade and most of ninth grade due to her heavy bleeding and frequent medical appointments. But there are things you can do to make heavy periods more manageable. Here are a few tips:
Focus On Your Unique Strengths
Whether youre an entrepreneur, a leader, or working as part of a team, every individual has unique strengths they can bring to the table.
The challenge is that many people end up doing things that theyre simply not very good at.
In the pursuit of reaching your goals or delivering a project, people end up doing everything themselves or taking on things that dont play to their unique strengths. This can result in frustration, overwhelm, and a heavy workload you cant get through.
It is often not about how to complete this project more effectively, but who can help deliver this project. Think about how you can bring the biggest value to your work and the projects you undertake.
Male Vs Female Colleagues
“We have free tampons and sanitary towels at work…were so fortunate. Even in the unisex loos. Were even trialling organic/non-toxic versions.
My team is fortunately mostly women so we talk freely amongst our group. The guys just stay silent given theyre outnumbered .
I have extremely heavy/painful periods and tend to work from home at least one day a month….but couldnt bare to tell my boss the real reason for being at home.”
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How Do You Know Your Workload Might Be Too Heavy
Acknowledging a heavy workload is an important first step toward seeking balance and reaching your career goals. The determining factors of when a workload becomes too heavy are subjective, but if the quality of your work is suffering or your personal life or health are being adversely affected by your job, your workload may be too heavy.
Consider whether your responsibilities are short- or long-term, or a combination of both, and how those responsibilities might affect other priorities in your life and your personal well-being.
Related:Ultimate Guide to Work-Life Balance
What Is Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
Heavy menstrual bleeding is when your periods are extremely heavy or prolonged. “Heavy” means that your period lasts longer than seven days or that you lose more blood than is typical during menstruation. You may bleed so much that you have to change your tampon or pad every hour for several hours back-to-back. You may pass blood clots the size of a quarter or even larger.
Menstrual bleeding that’s so heavy that it interferes with your daily life is never normal. Your provider can recommend treatments to manage heavy blood flow.
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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, it’s time to see your provider.
What Causes Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
Heavy menstrual bleeding can have many causes, ranging from hormone-related issues to various medical conditions and even stress.
The hormones that your body produces, like estrogen and progesterone, help regulate your menstrual cycle, including how heavy your periods are. Having a condition that causes your hormones to become imbalanced can lead to heavy period bleeding. Causes include:
- Birth control pills and injectables .
Failing to remove contraceptive devices when needed can also cause abnormal uterine bleeding.
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What Is A Heavy Period
Menstrual cycles, or periods, are defined as bleeding that lasts for three to seven days, and occurs every 25 to 35 days, with an average blood loss range of 30 to 50 milliliters.
To give you a visual, each soaked regular pad or tampon holds roughly 5 milliliters of blood. So, its totally fine to soak 6 to 10 pads or tampons during your period.
A variety of signs may indicate a heavier than average flow, also known as menorrhagia. These signs include:
- a period that lasts longer than seven days
- losing more than 80 milliliters of blood per cycle
- soaking more than 16 regular tampons or pads per cycle
- flooding, or when your pad or tampon is soaked through within 30 minutes
- clots that are the size of a quarter or bigger
- having to change pads or tampons during the night
If youre concerned about your period flow, or are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, you should speak with your doctor.
It’s Amazing To Imagine A Workplace Where We All Have The Freedom To Embrace And Then Extol The Sheer Power Of Our Bodies
Of course, there are practical challenges: a deadline is a deadline, bloating be damned. And there are risks too. In the U.S., the very act of sharing information about the timing of or reactions to ones own menstrual cycle could amount to privacy intrusions that run afoul of key anti-discrimination measures, especially with regard to conditions including pregnancy and mental health. That would be a dangerous step backward. But, at the same time, it’s also amazing to imagine a workplace where we all have the freedom to embrace, and then extol, the sheer power of our bodies.
The Best Workout to Do When You’re On Your Period
With so much progress over the past few years in making periods public, even politicalfrom the passage of laws to eliminate the tampon tax and to make menstrual products freely available in schools and sheltersmenstrual equity in the workplace is the logical next frontier.
It’s a cause that enjoys rare bipartisan support, no small achievement in today’s polarized times. For example, a new rule ensuring maxi pads are available to federal inmates was announced this summer by the Bureau of Prisonspart of the U.S. Department for Justice, led by conservative stalwart and Trump-appointee Attorney General Jeff Sessions. That is progress in which we should revel, and utilize to demand further menstrual policy advances.
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Dont Worry About Leaks
If you leak on your sheets itâs fine. Use a warm water bottle for cramps and you can drink an herbal tea before sleep for your headache or tummy cramps. âAnonymous, female, 22, Montevideo, Uruguay
I wear pads and lie on a towel if I am in someone elseâs house. My advice is to be overly cautious until you know how heavy your period is, but if you do accidentally bleed onto something itâs no big deal, just tell someone. I wouldnât wear a tampon overnight as you might wear it for longer than the recommended 8 hours which can be dangerous. âAnonymous, female, 18, North East England
Getting your period is an important milestone, and a happy one at that. I think we all talk about periods in such negative ways sometimes, that it makes it seem like the worst thing in the world, but itâs actually a completely natural thing, and so a beautiful one. I could give you plenty of advice, but the most important thing, I think, is to remember to not panic. Youâll get the hang of things. Donât be afraid of trying out new things, finding the right menstrual products for you. Donât be scared, youâll figure it out. Even if sometimes there is a leak, itâs not the worst thing in the world, I promise. If the blood is fresh, wash it with cold water first and then put it in the washer. I have woken up with blood stains many times before and Iâm still a perfectly normal human being. So no worries. 🙂 âMh, female, 24, Slovenia
to track your period.
Do I Need Any Tests If I Have Heavy Periods
See your doctor if your periods change and become heavier than previously. For most women, the cause is unclear and there is no abnormality of the womb or hormones. However, it is very important to get it checked out properly.
A doctor may want to do an internal examination to examine your neck of the womb and also to assess the size and shape of your womb. However, an examination is not always necessary, especially in younger women who do not have any symptoms to suggest anything other than dysfunctional uterine bleeding.A blood test to check for anaemia may be performed. If you bleed heavily each month then you may not take in enough iron in your diet, needed to replace the blood that you lose. This can lead to anaemia which can cause tiredness and other symptoms. Up to 2 in 3 women with recurring heavy periods develop anaemia.If the vaginal examination is normal and there are no other associated symptoms, no further tests may be needed. The diagnosis is usually dysfunctional uterine bleeding and treatment may be started if required. Further tests may be advised for some women, especially if there is concern that there may be a cause for the heavy periods other than dysfunctional uterine bleeding. For example, if you:
If tests are advised then they may include one or more of the following:
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Is Heavy Menstrual Bleeding Serious
Heavy menstrual bleeding can be serious if you lose so much blood that you show signs of anemia. Anemia is a condition arising from having too little iron in your body. Anemia can be life-threatening without treatment.
Also, some of the conditions that can cause heavy period bleeding, like cancer, require early medical intervention. Speak with your healthcare provider to discuss any risks related to your period bleeding.
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:
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If Your Flow Is Heavy Double Up
On my heaviest day, I can fill my menstrual cup within a few hours. At night I use pads and a menstrual cup. Do whatever makes you feel most comfortable and secure whilst you get used to your body and periodâparticularly at night! If that means combining lots of protection methods, go for it. I used to arrange several pads around my underwear, wear older underwear, older pyjamas, and put a towel underneath, as well as using a tampon. Now I am older and more knowledgeable about my own body, I do what I know works for me . Take the time to figure out what suits you, your body and your period, and know that what is right for someone else is not necessarily right for you, and thatâs okay. âAnonymous, female, 23, Yorkshire, England
During my period I use night time pads plus a towel. As my period is very heavy, I will likely have to change the pad twice and bleed through the towel. I recommend multiple heat packs and electric blankets if you get full body aches like I do. And ice packs if you get migraines. âRuby, non binary, 29, Australia
At night I use two pads so that they cover from front to back of my underwear, tampons and lie on a towel. Doubling up on pads so they covered from the front to back of my underwear really helped me, but also remember that leaks are normal and nothing to be embarrassed about – weâve all experienced it! âAnonymous, female, 16, Ireland
Keep Your Boss In The Loop
If you are working with different people on different projects, and all projects have contradictory deadlines, it is advised to discuss the challenges with your boss and find out which tasks need to be prioritized first. This way, you get to push back a little and involve your boss in the decision making process.
Following these simple and easy ways can help you tackle your overwhelmed workload and get back on track. Always keep yourself controlled, organized and honest about what you can actually deal with.
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Menorrhagia: How Do You Know If You Have A Heavy Period
If you are used to heavy period pads and tampons, this might be harder to measure, but most menstrual cups have measures, so you can try it and check it. Bear in mind that what you see in your menstrual cup or other sanitary products is not just blood but also includes the lining of your uterus and vaginal secretions1.
However, a menstrual flow so severe as to impact on your activities of daily living or increased use of menstrual products can also be used to define heavy periods if not menorrhagia. The NHS has developed a tool to work out if you are having a heavy period which is also relevant for menstrual cup users, as menstrual cups have a greater capacity than tampons and pads. This means that you can go about your day without having to change your period product as frequently as before. You should change your menstrual cup at least every 8 hours.
Every period is experienced differently, but your period is considered heavy if you:
- Have to change your pad or tampon every 1-2 hours for at least a day.
- Frequent flooding or leaking onto your clothes even though youre using a menstrual product.
- Use tampons and pads together to manage your flow.
- Regularly have to cancel activities because of your heavy period.
- Have to get up during the night to change bedsheets or menstrual products.
- You feel anaemic, weak, or very tired.