Is Bleeding Heavy During Periods Normal

Is It Normal For The Color To Be Different At The Beginning And End Of My Period

Bleeding Between Periods | Abnormal Uterine Bleeding

Yes! Your period may change colors from the beginning to the middle to the end. You may even have different colors from month to month or at different times throughout your life. There are a number of factors involved, even when your periods are totally healthy.

In most cases, the variation from bright red to dark red to brown has something to do with the flow and time the blood has been in the uterus. Your flow may be faster at the beginning of your period and trail off toward the end. You may have dark red blood after laying down for a long time, too. You may see bright red blood on your heaviest days.

This doesnt mean that all changes in color are normal. If you see a shade thats unfamiliar or gray especially if you have other symptoms theres no harm in making an appointment to get checked out. And any bleeding during pregnancy is reason to touch base with your doctor.

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.

Tips For Womens Reproductive & Sexual Health

1. Have Annual Pelvic Examinations

A womans first pelvic examination should occur prior to turning 21 or when she becomes sexually active. A gynecological examination is quick, painless and only takes a few moments. For many women, it can be stress-inducing and embarrassing, but your health care provider should be gentle and reassuring.

In addition to annual pelvic exams, you should make an appointment with your gynecologist if you experience any of the following:

  • Menstrual periods have not started by the age of 15
  • Menstrual periods have not started within three years of breast development
  • Brown discharge that burns, smells bad and causes itching
  • If your sexual partner has an STD
  • Vaginal bleeding lasts more than 10 days
  • Unexplained lower belly pain
  • Debilitating menstrual cramps

2. Practice Safe Sex

STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea are major risk factors for abnormal vaginal bleeding. Using condoms properly can help protect you from sexually transmitted infections, but keep in mind that condoms do have an 18 to 21 percent failure rate according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Being in a committed and monogamous relationship where both partners have been tested and treated for any STDs is the safest way to prevent STD exposure.

3. Use Contraception

If you are not trying to get pregnant, talk to your doctor about your options for contraception and family planning. Today, there are many choices including:

  • IUD
  • Fertility awareness based method
  • Abstinence

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For Chronic Abnormal Uterine Bleeding

Hormonal medication

  • If the woman is not wanting to become pregnant in the near future and there is no distortion of the endometrium on ultrasound then Mirena is the recommended first line treatment.
  • If Mirena is not suitable due to contraindication or patient preference:
  • first choice is continuing on the oral contraceptive pill as this is protective against endometrial carcinoma
  • second choice: progestogens . Starting doses: medroxyprogesterone acetate 10 mg od or norethisterone 5 mg bd. Note this does NOT provide contraception.

Trial for at least 3 full months and preferably 46 months.

Non-hormonal medication:

  • Antifibrinolytics: Tranexamic acid 1 g tds for 35 days, and/or
  • NSAIDs: Ibuprofen 400mg tds for 34 days.

Anemia Due To Heavy Or Prolonged Periods

Light Bleeding After Plan B

Now, one of the other things that can happen very quickly, only after one or two heavy or prolonged periods is that you can get something called anemia. And anemia is low iron. You lose iron through bleeding, and if you’re having very prolonged periods or periods very close together, then your body can’t make up that shortfall, and low iron will cause a whole raft of symptoms that are very similar to menopause ones.

So low iron is going to cause fatigue, it’s going to cause joint pains, it can cause sleep problems, it can cause anxiety, it can cause stress, it can cause depression, and if you have anemia long enough, you may find that your hair starts to get very brittle, your nails will start to get very brittle and stop growing properly. So as you can see, the symptoms of anemia could very well be mistaken for menopause ones.

So if you’re in this situation, it’s really important to get a proper check from your doctor. They can check your iron levels and if necessary, they can recommend an iron supplement. If you want to go natural, I know some people don’t like the doctor’s iron tablets because they can cause constipation and black stools, which is not very pleasant, there are really nice forms of gentle iron that you can get, either in liquid forms or in tablets, and you will get those from your local health food shop.

And hopefully, I will see you next week for another edition of A.Vogel Talks Menopause.

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What Is A Normal Period

There is a range of normal bleeding some women have short, light periods and others have longer, heavy periods.

Normal menstrual bleeding has the following features:

  • Your period lasts for 3-8 days
  • Your period comes every 21-35 days
  • The total blood loss over the course of the period is around 2-3 tablespoons

Symptoms Of Vaginal Bleeding

  • Menorrhagia It is the medical term for menstrual periods with abnormally heavy or prolonged bleeding. With menorrhagia, you cant maintain your usual activities when you have your period because you have a lot of blood loss and cramping.
  • Bleeding after sex Bleeding during or after sex could occur due to a lot of reasons, such as vaginal dryness, dehydration, aggressive intercourse, sex without the use of lubricants, immune conditions, inflammation, anxiety or reluctance around intercourse and intimacy, exposure to irritant chemicals or allergens, vaginal or uterine infections are some to be named.
  • Spotting Spotting refers to any uterine or vaginal bleeding that occurs outside the menstrual period. Spotting after sex can also be a sign of an STD like chlamydia or gonorrhea.
  • Abnormally long menstrual cycles Underlying health conditions that can cause long periods include uterine fibroids, endometrial polyps, adenomyosis, or more rarely, a precancerous or cancerous lesion of the uterus.
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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.

    What Does Dark Red Period Blood Mean

    When Is Menstrual Bleeding Considered “HEAVY PERIOD”? Signs and Symptoms of MENORRHAGIA

    You may see dark red blood upon waking during your period or after youve been lying down for a while. The deep color may simply mean that the blood has been sitting in the uterus for a while but hasnt oxidized to the point of turning brown.

    Dark red blood is associated with:

    The end of your period

    You may also see this color blood toward the end of your normal menstrual period as your flow slows.


    The bleeding after delivering a baby starts out heavy and may contain clots. It may appear dark red in color for the first three days before changing to different shades and textures. Women who had cesarean sections may only experience this heavy bleeding for the first 24 hours.

    Your period may start with bright red bleeding. This means that the blood is fresh and is flowing quickly. Your blood may stay this way your whole period or may darken as your flow slows.

    Red blood is associated with:


    Some infections, like chlamydia and gonorrhea, may cause bleeding between periods. If youre seeing blood before youre due to start your period, consider contacting your doctor.


    Bleeding during pregnancy of any color may or may not be reason for alarm. Sometimes, however, its a sign of miscarriage. Sometimes women have bleeding and go on to deliver healthy babies. Each case is unique. Its best to check in with your doctor whenever you see blood during pregnancy.

    Polyps or fibroids

    Pink blood is associated with:


    Low estrogen

    Mid-cycle spotting


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    How Is Heavy Bleeding Diagnosed

    After a thorough history and clinical examination including a cervical screening test and swabs your doctor might order blood tests and/or a pelvic ultrasound to eliminate some of the possible causes listed previously. The gold standard is to perform a hysteroscopy and curette in all women over 35 years of age to rule out endometrial hyperplasia or cancer. This is where the lining of the womb is viewed with a telescope the hysteroscope and is then lightly scraped away and a biopsy taken for examination.

    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.

  • How can heavy menstrual bleeding affect my health?

    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.

  • What causes heavy menstrual bleeding?

    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.

  • How is heavy menstrual bleeding evaluated?

    When you see your ob-gyn about heavy menstrual bleeding, you may be asked about

  • pregnancy history

  • your birth control method

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    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.

    Very Heavy Menstrual Flow

    Heavy Menstrual Bleeding: causes, diagnosis and treatment ...

    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 (

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    The Shot And The Implant

    Methods like the contraceptive injection and the implant suppress ovulation . Most people who donât ovulate due to these progestin-only contraceptives experience shorter, lighter, or occasionally absent bleeding days, though this doesnât always happen .

    Unpredictable bleeding, spotting, and prolonged bleeding are common when using these methods, especially during the first few months . These symptoms usually improve with time, but they can continue for some people.

    Diagnosis & Conventional Treatment

    If you have unexpected vaginal bleeding, brown discharge or spotting between periods, please consult your doctor. Diagnosing the root cause of abnormal vaginal bleeding may require a variety of diagnostic tests, including blood tests, ultrasounds, pelvic examinations, MRIs and CT scans. In some cases, biopsies and sonohysterography tests may be requested.

    Your physician will ask about your menstrual cycle, including where you are in your current cycle, and how your symptoms differ from your normal symptoms.

    Once a determination of the cause of the irregular period or abnormal bleeding is complete, your physician will determine your treatment plan. Options, depending on the underlying condition, may include:

    • Hormonal treatments: Birth control pills or patches to regulate hormone production
    • GnRH agonists: Medications to stop menstrual cycle and reduce the size of fibroids
    • NSAIDs: To combat excessive bleeding and relieve menstrual cramps
    • Antibiotics: For certain infections and STDs
    • Surgical interventions: Endometrial ablation, uterine artery embolization, myomectomy or hysterectomy may be recommended depending on the diagnosis

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    Female Bleeding: When Should You See A Doctor

    Thankfully, most of the time your period will come and go without causing much fuss. But what about those times when your cycle gets thrown out of whack and you have abnormal bleeding? Should you be concerned?

    Every woman is different when it comes to her cycle. However, when period changes happen such as a heavier or lighter flow than usual or timing abnormalities it can be hard to decide if you need to call your doctor or if what youre experiencing is in the range of normal.

    Its a good idea to always track your menstrual cycles, including how heavy your flows are, how long they last and how many tampons or pads you use during a single cycle. This information can be useful for your doctor.

    We spoke to INTEGRIS Health OB-GYN Dr. Elise Schrop to get her insights on a scary topic. What causes abnormal bleeding, just what is abnormal anyway, and when should you consult your doctor?

    “Abnormal bleeding is a very common problem for women,” Dr. Schrop says. “In fact, about a third of office visits to the gynecologist are for abnormal bleeding. It can happen to women of all ages but most commonly occurs in the first several years after a young woman starts having a period and as women start to make the transition to menopause.”

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