What Are Heavy Menstrual Periods
When you have heavy menstrual periods , you are losing more than 80 ml of blood per menstrual period and the usual amount of blood loss per period is 10 to 35 ml. You may:
- Pass large blood clots and soak through your usual pads or tampons.
- Bleed for more than 7 days.
Heavy periods can be messy and unpleasant, and they may disrupt your life. But in most cases, they aren’t a sign of a serious problem.
A doctor can suggest treatments to ease your symptoms and make sure that you don’t have a more serious condition.
Stopping Periods With Ibuprofen
Ibuprofen is nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pain medication. During your periods, taking small amounts of ibuprofen may help prevent bloating. It can also help relieve period or menstrual cramps.
Ibuprofen contains small amounts of synthetic hormones that can inhibit prostaglandin from functioning properly. Prostaglandin hormone is the hormone responsible for smooth menstruation. It helps with proper contraction and relaxation of the muscles in the stomach or uterus. Taking ibuprofen can thus help stop your period.
If you would wish to use this method to stop your period, then it is important to have your health care provider prescribe the right dosage. This will often vary from one person to the other. The dosage will depend on your general health, individual body characteristics, and how heavy your menstrual flow is.
Common side effects of having an overdose will include the following:
- Stomach ulcers
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Can Periods Stop In 3 Days
Normal menstruation can differ widely from woman to woman anywhere from three to seven days of bleeding is considered normal, and each full menstrual cycle can last anywhere from 21 to 35 days. Three days of bleeding, which may seem short, is still considered normal as long as youre menstruating regularly.
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Emergency Treatment To Rapidly Stop Heavy Bleeding
Some women have very heavy bleeding during a period. This can cause a lot of blood loss, and distress. One option as an emergency treatment is to take a course of norethisterone tablets. Norethisterone is a progestogen medicine. Progestogens act like the body’s natural progesterone hormones – they control the build-up of cells lining the womb .So, if a period is very heavy or prolonged, your doctor may advise that you take norethisterone tablets. A dose of 5 mg three times daily for 10 days is the usual treatment. Bleeding usually stops within 24-48 hours of starting treatment. If bleeding is exceptionally heavy then 10 mg three times daily may be given. This should then be tapered down to 5 mg three times daily for a week, once your bleeding has stopped.
What Can You Do To Feel Better
If you have severe cramping during your periods, taking an NSAID such as ibuprofen or naproxen may help. An NSAID works best when you start taking it 1 to 2 days before you expect pain to start. If you don’t know when your period will start next, take your first dose as soon as bleeding or cramping starts.
Heavy periods can make you feel weak and run-down and can lead to anemia. Your doctor may suggest that you take an iron supplement if your iron levels are low. You may be able to prevent anemia if you increase the amount of iron in your diet. Foods rich in iron include red meat, shellfish, eggs, and beans.
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How Otc Medications Can Help
Some OTC pain relievers can help reduce blood loss during your periods. This includes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil, Motrin, or aspirin.
NSAIDs dont lighten bleeding as well as prescription drugs, but you can combine them with other medications for better relief. These drugs may also help relieve painful cramps.
High doses or long-term use of NSAIDs can lead to unwanted side effects. You should always have your doctor monitor your dose, and never take NSAIDs if youre allergic or have been told not to.
If you see your doctor about your heavy periods, theyll likely start by prescribing one of the following medications:
Pills To Slow Down Bleeding Fibroid Anemia Possibilities
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Who Shouldnt Stop A Period
Girls under the age of 15 should not stop their periods because in the first years of the menstrual cycle, its important to observe the interval between cycles, the quantity of blood lost, and which symptoms you have.
Observing the duration and symptoms of a girls cycle help to assess the health of her reproductive system, if the ovaries are working correctly, or if there is a problem such as ovarian cysts.
What Is The Normal Menstrual Flow
In a randomly selected group of premenopausal women, the most common amount of menstrual flow was about two tablespoons in a whole period . However the amount of flow was highly variableit ranged from a spot to over two cups in one period! Women who are taller, have had children and are in . That means it is normal to soak one to seven normal-sized pads or tampons in a whole period.
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How To Stop Your Period Early
This article was co-authored by Rebecca Levy-Gantt, MPT, DO. Dr. Rebecca Levy-Gantt is a board certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist running a private practice based in Napa, California. Dr. Levy-Gantt specializes in menopause, peri-menopause and hormonal management, including bio-Identical and compounded hormone treatments and alternative treatments. She is also a Nationally Certified Menopause Practitioner and is on the national listing of physicians who specialize in menopausal management. She received a Masters of Physical Therapy from Boston University and a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 70 testimonials and 100% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 5,730,312 times.
Menstruation for some people can be extremely painful, and a heavy flow makes for an unpleasant period. There are ways to shorten, lighten, or even stop your period, depending on your needs. Always consult your doctor first, but if you need a few quick tips about how to stop your period, read on.
Diagnosis Of Painful Periods And Heavy Bleeding
UT Southwesterns experienced gynecologists conduct a thorough evaluation, which includes a:
- Physical exam
- 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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How To Stop Heavy Menstrual Bleeding: Can Natural Remedies Help
This article was co-authored by Zora Degrandpre, ND. Dr. Degrandpre is a Licensed Naturopathic Physician in Vancouver, Washington. She is also a grant reviewer for the National Institutes of Health and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. She received her ND from the National College of Natural Medicine in 2007.There are 15 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 23 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 916,287 times.
Most women experience a heavy menstrual flow occasionally. If you have periods that last longer than 7 days and cause excessive bleeding, this is called menorrhagia.XTrustworthy SourceCleveland ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source That sounds like a scary name, but dont worry! You have a lot of options for treating a heavy period. Some home remedies might help control your flow and relieve your pain. However, if you regularly have heavy periods, then see your doctor to make sure you dont have any underlying health issues causing them.
What Are The Treatment Options For Heavy Bleeding
Your doctor may prescribe some of the following treatments for heavy bleeding.
Medication: Medications are first-line recommended treatments for heavy bleeding.
- Uterine artery embolization : If excessive menstrual bleeding is due to small noncancerous growths called fibroids, then UAE may be done. It is a minimally invasive procedure that can be performed through a small tube inserted into the groin. Through this tube, small plastic beads are injected into the arteries supplying blood to the fibroid. This blocks the arteries and causes the fibroid to shrink over the subsequent six months.
- Myomectomy: Sometimes, the fibroids can be removed using a surgical procedure known as a myomectomy. However, the operation is not suitable for every type of fibroid.
- Endometrial ablation: The womb lining is destroyed.
- Hysterectomy: This is the surgical removal of the womb, which may sometimes also involve the removal of the neck of the womb, fallopian tubes and ovaries.
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Cervical Or Endometrial Cancer
Endometrial cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the endometrium grow into the uterus and/or other organs. While the cause of endometrial cancer is unknown, the most common age for diagnosis is the mid 60’s.
Treatment for endometrial cancer is usually a hysterectomy, possibly followed by chemotherapy and/or radiation treatments.
Early diagnosis is key to the effective treatment of cancer. In addition to regular Pap screening for cervical cancer, the American Cancer Society recommends that women at high risk of endometrial cancer have an annual endometrial biopsy.
Supplement A Healthy Lifestyle
Vitamin C helps your body to absorb iron and, when taken with bioflavonoids, it also strengthens the capillaries and reduces heavy bleeding. Dosing up on vitamins A and K can also support your overall health, but supplements will only truly benefit an already healthy lifestyle, not to mention you should consult your doctor before adding any supplements to your routine. Addressing external stressors is equally important since stress has a negative impact on hormone levels, regardless of how many supplements youre taking. Explore ways to counter thisanything from yoga to talking therapy or more sleep, so long as it works for you.
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What Causes Menorrhagia
During your menstrual cycle, if an egg is not fertilized, the uterine lining breaks down, and bleeds. The egg and the uterine lining are then shed during your period.
Hormone problems or conditions that affect the uterus can result in heavy bleeding. Other diseases or bleeding disorders can also cause it.
Hormone problems include:
- Pregnancy problems
- Use of an intrauterine device
Other conditions such as thyroid, kidney or liver disease, cancer or bleeding disorders can also cause heavy bleeding.
What Are Heavy Periods
The amount of blood lost during a period varies a lot between women. This makes it difficult to give a general description of heavy periods. The amount of blood lost can also vary at different times in your life, including if you have had surgery or take medication. However, most women have a good idea of how much bleeding is normal for them during their period and can tell when this changes.
|A good indication that your periods are heavy is if you:
Heavy periods can lead to a drop of iron levels and red blood cells. This means you may feel tired more easily, feel weak or dizzy or be short of breath and have chest pains.
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Take Time To Menstruate
Sure, it sounds corny to take a few days off from your usual life just to sit on the couch and bleed, but sometimes its just what your body needs. Susun Weed calls it Crones Time Away, and its all about acknowledging the changes your bodys going through. As you take time off from your usual routine or duties, make space to ponder the meaning of your fertility cycle and how its end will change you, for whether you will it or not change is coming. For me, that kind of time is bittersweet. I relish the time when my life is no longer dominated by the hormonal ups and downs of fertility, yet I grieve the passing of my child-bearing years just as well. Flooding, as much as I wish Id never experienced it, gives me time and reason to acknowledge my grief then tip the emotional scales in the direction of moving into my Elder Years free of regrets over what might have been.
Frequently Asked Questionsexpand All
- How common is heavy menstrual bleeding?
Heavy menstrual bleeding is very common. About one third of women seek treatment for it. Heavy menstrual bleeding is not normal. It can disrupt your life and may be a sign of a more serious health problem. If you are worried that your menstrual bleeding is too heavy, tell your obstetriciangynecologist .
- When is menstrual bleeding considered heavy?
Any of the following can be a sign of heavy menstrual bleeding:
Bleeding that lasts more than 7 days.
Bleeding that soaks through one or more tampons or pads every hour for several hours in a row.
Needing to wear more than one pad at a time to control menstrual flow.
Needing to change pads or tampons during the night.
Menstrual flow with blood clots that are as big as a quarter or larger.
Heavy menstrual bleeding may be a sign of an underlying health problem that needs treatment. Blood loss from heavy periods also can lead to a condition called iron-deficiency anemia. Severe anemia can cause shortness of breath and increase the risk of heart problems.
Many things can cause heavy menstrual bleeding. Some of the causes include the following:
Bleeding disordersWhen the blood does not clot properly, it can cause heavy bleeding.
When you see your ob-gyn about heavy menstrual bleeding, you may be asked about