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.
Spotting: What Does The Color Mean
You’re probably used to seeing bright red or slightly dark red blood when you’re on your period. If you’re spotting, the blood might be lighter or darker . Older blood is usually brown or even close to black.
If you have an infection, you may have vaginal discharge along with spotting. Depending on what is causing the infection, the discharge can be white, yellow, or green.
We Dont Need To Bleed: Why Many Women Are Giving Up On Periods
With recent confirmation that periods have no health benefit, an increasing number of women are using contraception to stop them altogether
For some, it is about bringing an end to debilitating pain or dark thoughts. For others, it is as simple as being liberated from the sinking realisation that you need a tampon but you left them in your other handbag.
When a new wave of feminist authors and activists are calling on women to embrace their periods, the idea that some do not want a monthly bleed and are seeking to avoid having them altogether can seem radical.
The technology is there, in contraceptives. They dont only prevent pregnancy. A recent drop in tampon sales has been linked to women using contraceptive methods that stop, or lighten their periods. About a fifth of women using the contraceptive implant no longer bleed , while many who take contraceptive pills without a break often achieve the same result and they are not the only methods.
The impact can be life-changing. I started taking the mini-pill purely for the fact it would stop my periods, says Jaimi Kendall, 25, from Exeter. For years, I had extremely heavy periods that would drag on for eight weeks or so and left me severely anaemic to the point where I started experiencing pulsatile tinnitus. Not having periods any more is a blessing.
So, if women do not want a period, is there a medical reason that they should? Many may be surprised to learn that the short answer is: no.
Read Also: Is It Normal For Your Period To Be Late
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.
Millennium Pregnancy And Gynecology
What causes heavy periods? That depends on your body and individual situation. There might be nothing wrong with you at all. Things that cause heavy periods include:
- One of your ovaries not releasing an egg during one or more months
- Growths in the uterus called fibroids
- A bleeding disorder that prevents your blood from clotting normally
- Side effects of some medicines, such as some types of birth control or blood thinners
- A problem with your thyroid
How much bleeding is normal when I have my period? During a normal period, bleeding lasts between 3 and 7 days. Most women lose between 2 and 3 tablespoons of blood during that time. Losing more than 5 tablespoons of blood during a period can be a sign of a problem. Blood loss is hard to measure with a spoon. But you can look for other signs that your periods are too heavy, such as:
- Having to change a pad or tampon every 1 or 2 hours
- Passing large lumps of blood, called clots
Is my bleeding an emergency? See your doctor or go to the emergency room right away if you soak through 4 or more pads or tampons in 2 hours. Any bleeding is an emergency if you are pregnant.
Should I see a doctor or nurse? Call your doctor or nurse if you:
Are there tests I should have? Your doctor or nurse will decide which tests you should have based on your age, symptoms, and individual situation. There are lots of tests, but you may not need any.
Here are the most common tests doctors use to find the cause of heavy periods:
Read Also: How To Get Your Period Early
Cancers Of The Reproductive System
In most cases, bleeding between periods is not a cause for concern. However, vaginal bleeding between periods is one possible symptom of certain types of cancer. It is especially important to take note of abnormal vaginal bleeding if you have entered menopause.
The following cancers may cause irregular vaginal bleeding:
You May Like: Using Birth Control To Stop Period Once It Starts
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.
Also Check: Lo Loestrin Fe Cramps But No Period
What Causes Heavy Periods
For many people with heavy periods, no cause is ever found. This is known as dysfunctional uterine bleeding . DUB can occur at any age and is more common in your late thirties.
Heavy periods may be caused by:
- a problem with the lining of your uterus . This lining is called the endometrium. It can sometimes become too thick or even become cancerous
- lumps in the muscle of the uterus, called fibroids
- a medicine that you take, such as a blood thinner
- a medical condition
What Causes A Woman To Bleed For Weeks
Pregnancy is a common cause. Polyps or fibroids in the uterus can also cause bleeding. Rarely, a thyroid problem, infection of the cervix, or cancer of the uterus can cause abnormal uterine bleeding. In most women, abnormal uterine bleeding is caused by a hormone imbalance.
Is it OK to have periods after 15 days?
The average menstrual cycle is 28 days long but can vary from 24 to 38 days. If a menstrual cycle is shorter, a person can have a period more than once a month. While occasional changes in the menstrual cycle are not unusual, frequently experiencing two periods in a month may indicate an underlying issue.
When should I be concerned about my period?
Definitely call your doctor if: Your periods used to be regular, but theyve become irregular. Your period comes more often than every 21 days, or less often than every 35 days, for several cycles. You bleed for more than seven days straight.
Don’t Miss: Do You Have A Period With Nexplanon
Can The Injection Mess Up Your Periods
After two to three injections, many women will have no periods at all because there is no lining building at all. Some women will have nuisance bleeding, which is usually light and irregular. Occasionally a woman will have troublesome heavy bleeding, which can usually be controlled by hormone treatment.
Diving Into The Menstrual Research
First, I investigated the numbers. Websites likeWikipedia report the same as scientific publications on the topic . They all agree that 30 to 50 ml of blood loss during a period is the norm. Only one article from 1998 has a slightly different opinion, stating that too heavy periods start at +120ml . So what is going on here? How come the difference is so significant between my friends perception and mine and the scientific sources about menstrual blood loss? I put on my detective hat and dove even deeper into the bloody subject.
Recommended Reading: Reasons For Missed Period Other Than Pregnancy
How Can I Treat Vaginal Bleeding Between Periods
If your doctor has diagnosed the cause of your bleeding, you can treat the bleeding by following their advice, such as by taking a course of antibiotics if you have an infection, or by changing to a different form of contraception if the bleeding is caused by the contraception you have been taking. If the bleeding is light and isnt bothering you, it may not be necessary to do anything at all.
If you have not yet discussed your vaginal bleeding with your doctor, its important you make an appointment to do so, as vaginal bleeding cannot be treated at home without knowing the cause.
Until you see your doctor, using a larger tampon or pad can help you feel more comfortable if you are experiencing heavy bleeding. If you find that you need to change it very frequently, it is important you tell your doctor, since this can be sign that your period flow is heavier than normal.
What Does Dark Red Period Blood Mean
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:
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:
Also Check: How To Skip Period On Birth Control Pills
Bleeding Doesnt Smell Like Period
I started bleeding again after 10 days of my last mentsural cycle, it started a spotting then light bleding now it is going on for 5 days, but it doesnt smell anything like my period and I do not have cramping, I usually have heavy cramping everytime I have my period, but the last two bleding have been without cramps, what do you guys think it could possibly be?
You might want to just contact your PCP if your bleeding again after 10 of your LMP. I would want to know what was causing the bleeding! They may have to start/change BC if your currently using one!
< blockquote> < b> Quoting Barnett Babies:< /b> You might want to just contact your PCP if your bleeding again after 10 of your LMP. I would want to know what was causing the bleeding! They may have to start/change BC if your currently using one!< /blockquote>
Not using any, never used any before also
This month I experienced bleeding before I ovulated. I had spotting on CD11, 12 and 13. It was red and mixed in with my cervical fluid. I didnt get any on my underwear, it was only when I wiped, sometimes it was a lot, sometimes it was only a little.
Ive never had it before and I had assumed that ovulation bleeding was right at ovulation or a little after and it was just a bit of brown blood. So I did some research and there isnt a lot out there. From what I understand, this is considered to be a very fertile time for the woman.
How Much Is Too Much
If you bleed for more than seven days each time you get your period, this is called menorrhagia. A typical period lasts from 3 to 5 days and by the last day or two, the bleeding is already slowing down. If you are experiencing fresh, red bleeding through day 7 or longer of your menstrual cycle, talk to your doctor to make sure everything is normal for you. Checking with your doctor also applies if you find that even though you use the highest absorbency tampons or pads, you still bleed through. Menorrhagia can be completely normal for many women. However, talking it over with your doctor is always a good idea, as there may be some solutions to help with the heavy bleeding and the impact it has on quality of life.
You May Like: Can You Have Sex With A Period Cup
Why Is My Period So Heavy
There are many causes of heavy menstrual bleeding, such as:
- Adenomyosis, which occurs when endometrial tissue grows and becomes embedded in the uterine muscle
- Cancer, such as uterine or cervical cancer, particularly in postmenopausal women or those who have had an abnormal Pap test
- Hormonal imbalances, which can occur if estrogen or progesterone levels are off, which in turn can interfere with your bodys ability to regulate the buildup of the uterine lining, or endometrium, thats shed during your period
- Intrauterine devices heavy menstrual bleeding can be a side effect of using a nonhormonal IUD for birth control
- Medications, such as anti-inflammatory drugs, hormone medications, and blood thinners
- Menopause: As you near menopause and begin to skip periods, the flow may be heavier than normal when you do bleed, but women of any age can experience heavy menstrual bleeding
- Irregular ovulation, which can lead to hormone imbalances and affect your flow
- Uterine fibroids, which are noncancerous growths that can appear in uterine tissue during childbearing years
- Uterine polyps, or small, noncancerous growths that can develop in the lining of the uterus
- Von Willebrand disease, which is an inherited bleeding disorder marked by impaired blood-clotting ability
- Other disorders, such as issues with the liver or kidneys, thyroid disease, insulin resistance, obesity, polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, or pelvic inflammatory disease
Symptoms Of Painful Periods And Heavy Bleeding
Signs and symptoms of heavy menstrual bleeding include:
- Bleeding for more than seven days
- Bleeding that soaks through one or more tampons or pads every hour for several hours in a row
- Need to use multiple pads to control menstrual flow
- Need to change pads or tampons during the night
- Menstrual flow with blood clots larger than a quarter
- Flooding of clothing and bedsheets with menstrual bleeding
- Symptoms of anemia, such as fatigue and shortness of breath
Symptoms of menstrual pain include:
- Lower back pain
- Pain that starts a few days before the period, worsens during the period, and lasts two to three days after the period ends
- Throbbing or cramping pain in the lower abdomen that can be intense
- Lower back pain during menses
Patients should see their doctors if:
- Their periods stop for more than 60 days
- Their periods become erratic
- They have any vaginal bleeding after menopause
- They suddenly get a fever and feel sick after using tampons
Recommended Reading: Does Your Period Come On The Same Day Every Month
How Can I Know If My Period Is Too ‘heavy’
It can be difficult to know whether you have normal menstrual bleeding or if your period is too heavy. Your period shouldnt interrupt your daily activities such as going to school or work, nor should it make you feel stressed or anxious. Signs that you may be bleeding too heavily during your period include:
- having to change your tampon or pad every hour
- bleeding or ‘flooding’ which is not contained by a thick pad
- having to change your pad during the night
- bleeding for more than 8 days
- passing clumps of blood bigger than a 50-cent piece
If you are concerned that your period is too heavy, you should speak to your doctor to help you work out the cause of your heavy bleeding and to seek solutions.
Whats Considered A Heavy Period
You might be surprised to learn that about one in five women experience menorrhagia, the medical term for heavy periods. Because each womans period is unique, it can be tricky to know if what you think is normal for your cycle is actually excessive bleeding. In fact, half of women who experience menorrhagia dont realize they have it.
While the best way to know if your heavy periods are chronic is to talk to a doctor, you can keep an eye out for some common symptoms of menorrhagia.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, any of the following is considered a symptom of heavy bleeding:
- Bleeding for more than seven days
- Blood soaks through one or more tampons or pads every hour
- You need to change your pad or tampon during the night
- You need to double up on protection to keep from leaking
- The blood clots in your flow are the size of a quarter or larger
Read Also: Best Rsi Period For Swing Trading