How Do I Know Whats Causing My Heavy Periods
Your doctor will perform an evaluation and likely ask you a variety of questions about your menstrual cycle and how it affects your quality of life. Consider keeping a period log for multiple cycles that notes how many days of bleeding you experienced, how heavy your flow was, and how many sanitary products you needed to control it, and then share this log with your doctor.
From there, to determine the cause of your heavy menstrual bleeding, your doctor may order one or more of these tests:
- Blood test to screen for anemia, thyroid disorders, and blood-clotting issues
- Endometrial biopsy to assess the uterine tissue for abnormalities or growths
- Pap test to evaluate cells from the cervix for infection, inflammation, or cancer
- Ultrasound to evaluate the structure of the uterus, ovaries, and pelvis
Depending on what these initial tests find, your doctor may order additional tests or procedures:
- Sonohysterography to look for problems in the uterine lining
- Hysteroscopy to take a closer look inside the uterus
- Dilation and curettage to find whats causing the excessive bleeding
Anemia Due To Excessive Bleeding
, MD, PhD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
When blood loss is rapid, blood pressure falls, and people may be dizzy.
When blood loss occurs gradually, people may be tired, short of breath, and pale.
Stool, urine, and imaging tests may be needed to determine the source of bleeding.
The cause of bleeding is corrected, and transfusions and iron supplements are given if needed.
The most common cause of anemia Overview of Anemia Anemia is a condition in which the number of red blood cells is low. Red blood cells contain hemoglobin, a protein that enables them to carry oxygen from the lungs and deliver it to all parts… read more is
When blood is lost, the body quickly pulls water from tissues outside the bloodstream in an attempt to keep the blood vessels filled. As a result, the blood is diluted, and the hematocrit is reduced. Eventually, increased production of red blood cells by the bone marrow may correct the anemia. However, over time, bleeding reduces the amount of iron in the body, so that the bone marrow is not able to increase production of new red blood cells to replace those lost.
Traditions Taboos And Education
Many religions have menstruation-related traditions, for example: Islam prohibits sexual contact with women during menstruation in the 2nd chapter of the Quran. Some scholars argue that menstruating women are in a state in which they are unable to maintain wudhu, and are therefore prohibited from touching the Arabic version of the Qur’an. Other biological and involuntary functions such as vomiting, bleeding, sexual intercourse, and going to the bathroom also invalidate one’s wudhu. In Judaism, a woman during menstruation is called Niddah and may be banned from certain actions. For example, the Jewish Torah prohibits sexual intercourse with a menstruating woman. In Hinduism, menstruating women are traditionally considered ritually impure and given rules to follow.
Seclusion during menstruation
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Guidelines To Determine If What You Are Experiencing Is Heavy:
Your menstrual period lasts longer than seven days.
Your flow soaks through tampons or pads every hour for a few hours in a row.
You need to change pads or tampons during the night.
You have multiple grape-sized blood clots.
Your heavy menstrual flow keeps you from doing things you would normally do.
You are tired, have a lack of energy or are short of breath.
You feel heavy pain in your abdomen and lower back.
Make an appointment with your gynecologist if your menstrual bleeding seemsheavier than usual, or if it lasts more than seven days or impacts your life.
If you experience bleeding between periods, during or after sex, duringpregnancy or after you have entered menopause, it is important to visit yourgynecologist.
When To See A Doctor
Period blood clots are a normal part of your menstrual cycle. But when you notice any changes to the size and amount, it could point to an underlying condition. When speaking to your doctor, be prepared with the following information:
- How long your period usually lasts.
- How heavy your usual flow is.
- If youve been bleeding between periods.
- If youve noticed changes over time.
- If youve been experiencing pain.
- If theres a chance you might be pregnant.
- A list of medications you are currently on.
- A list of other medical conditions.
Expect your doctor to do a pelvic exam. They may also want to do a blood test, a pap test or an ultrasound during your visit.
After an exam and testing, your doctor may prescribe the following based on the results, how severe the clots are and your other symptoms:
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Bleeding Due To Miscarriage
During a “normal” miscarriage, vaginal bleeding is usually heavier than a typical menstrual period, so how can you know how much is too much? What qualifies as “normal bleeding” and what constitutes a “hemorrhage?”
Immediately seek medical help if your bleeding is heavy enough to soak through a menstrual pad in less than an hour.
It’s also important to seek immediate medical assistance if you have any symptoms that could suggest an ectopic pregnancy, regardless of the amount of bleeding. Symptoms of a ruptured ectopic pregnancy may include the sudden onset of pain in your abdomen or back, a rapid pulse, lightheadedness, or loss of consciousness.
Do You Have Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
Understanding whether or not you suffer from HMB requires the accurate recordingof your menstrual history. The intensity of bleeding varies from person toperson, so determining what is clinically heavy is tricky. Furthermore, while asingle period can be heavy, a real problem isnât likely to exist unless the HMBis present at least most of the time.
The medical definition of this is when HMB is present for the majority of periods within the previous six months. Entering your bleeding intensity diligently and correctly in your Clue app will make it easier to assess if bleeding qualifies as heavy.
Your healthcare provider may ask you how many pads/tampons youhave been using in one day. Also, blood clots are very important to note â theirsize, number and color. They contain blood, and it is important to measure andcount them to get an approximation of how much blood has been lost.
Distinguish between regular and maxi tampons or pads, as maxi can usually absorbtwice more than regular .
Check how soaked your tampon or pad is. Is it fully soaked with blood, or justhalf?
Count blood clots they contain blood too.
For a menstrual cup, check the volume capacity and measure how full the cup is.
If the number of soaked tampons or pads is **sixteen or more** for the entireduration of your period , thenyour flow is heavy.
If you note 80mL or more blood with your menstrual cup for one entire cycle,your flow is heavy.
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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.
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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Your Life Is Disrupted
If your period pain is so bad that you need to call off work on a regular basis, you should speak to your doctor. The condition is not rare. But its not normal, either.
Depending on which study you look at, between 5% and 20% of women experience painful periods that interfere with their daily life.
Some countries offer a couple days off every month for menstruation. Dont misconstrue this for saying that menstruation should be so painful that you cant come to work. The issue is more complex than that. Its not even clear whether these laws are good or bad.
In 2013, Russian lawmaker Mikhail Degtyaryov proposed that Russia should offer days off for menstruation. He argued that sometimes the “pain for the fair sex is often so intense that it is necessary to call an ambulance. Not exactly a realistic portrayal of menstruation.
If your pain is bad enough to call an ambulance, please call one. Those aren’t period cramps. Something much more serious is going on. In a more likely scenario, if your pain is bad enough to regularly miss work or school, make an appointment to speak to your doctor.
Signs And Symptoms Of Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
Symptoms of heavy menstrual bleeding may include:
- Soaking through one or more sanitary pads or tampons every hour for several consecutive hours
- Needing to wake up to change sanitary protection during the night
- Needing to use double sanitary protection to control the menstrual flow
- Menstrual bleeding that lasts longer than a week
- Symptoms of anemia, like fatigue, light-headedness and shortness of breath
- Passing blood clots larger than a quarter
- Restricting activities because of heavy menstrual flow
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You Have Random Pelvic Pain
Pelvic discomfort just before your period and during the first few days of your period can be normal. You may also experience some sensitivity around ovulation. But if you have pelvic pain at other times during your cycle, that may signal a problem.
Another possible sign your cramps arent normal is if you experience pain during sex. Some causes of painful sex are also responsible for abnormally bad period cramps.
If severe cramping is accompanied by fever, vomiting, dizziness, unusual vaginal bleeding, vaginal discharge, or if the pain is especially severe, call your healthcare provider immediately.
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 low iron levels and anaemia. These can cause you to feel tired more easily, feel weak or dizzy, be short of breath or have chest pains.
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How Much Bleeding Is Normal During Pregnancy
Vaginal bleeding during the first three months of pregnancy is relatively common and usually is a cause of concern for the mother. Women wonder how much bleeding during early pregnancy is normal. While early bleeding may indicate the presence of a serious problem, this is frequently not the case. In fact, approximately 20% of pregnant women experience light bleeding or spotting during the first trimester of pregnancy. Most women go on to have uncomplicated pregnancies and ultimately deliver a healthy baby.
Spotting: Spotting usually refers to a few drops of blood that would not cover a pad or panty liner. Bleeding refers to blood flow that is heavy enough to require wearing a pad. If bleeding occurs during the first trimester, wear a panty liner or pad so that you are able to get an idea of the amount of bleeding that is occurring and can tell the health care professional. However, you should not use a tampon in the vagina or douche during pregnancy.
What If Im Experiencing A Miscarriage
If youre experiencing a miscarriage, unfortunately, nothing can prevent it from occurring if youre not yet 20 weeks.
The important thing is to take care of yourself emotionally and physically. Be kind to yourself you arent responsible for a miscarriage happening.
If you experience a miscarriage, to feel more physically comfortable try:
- Paracetamol/Panadeine/Naprogesic to ease the cramps
- Hot water bottle or heat pack for your tummy
- Tea and support from your partner and others
You might feel the vaginal loss of the developing fetus and other tissue after that, the bleeding should settle and stop.
If you continue to bleed, you might need a surgical procedure called a dilation and curettage.
Your doctor can provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as well as counseling for your pregnancy loss.
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You Have Debilitating Mood Issues Before Your Period
When your estrogen and progesterone drop before your period, you may experience the typical mood swings that can come with premenstrual syndrome .
But if you deal with severe mood swings, irritability, anger, a lack of enjoyment in things you usually enjoy, and other symptoms that affect your life, you may have premenstrual dysphoric disorder . PMDD happens when you experience these symptoms in the week before your period, then they start getting better in the first few days of bleeding, and disappear in the weeks after your period. Its listed in the DSM-5, the most recent version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, for good reason: This psychological issue can be devastating.
If you suspect you have PMDD, the one thing I would encourage is keeping a daily record of the severity of your symptoms, Dr. Minkin says. If you notice these symptoms only appearing the week before your period, PMDD might be your issue. If you realize youre constantly dealing with these symptoms and your period just makes them worse, it could be premenstrual exacerbation, which is another way of saying you have a mental illness like depression that gets worse during your period thanks to hormonal changes.
Either way, talking to a doctor may help. If you have PMDD, your doctor may have you take antidepressants in the timeframe when you usually experience symptoms, then stop once your period starts, Dr. Minkin says.