What Foods Make Your Period Heavier
Watch out!Your diet can make your periods heavier!
- Beetroots. Beetroots are loaded with iron, calcium, vitamins, potassium, folic acid and fibres.
- Chocolates. Yes, they are great for your bad moods and cramps but, do you know that eating chocolates while menstruating can make your periods heavy?
- Dairy products.
If You’re Unsure How To Talk To Your Healthcare Provider About Your Period These Questions Can Help Guide You
Medically reviewed by Dr. Jessica Shepherd
Half the world’s population get a period, but the stigma surrounding menstruation leaves many people feeling too ashamed or uncomfortable to talk freely about periods. As a result, symptoms like heavy bleeding may go undiscussed and undiagnosed, potentially causing serious health problems. How can we know what’s “normal” if we’re too embarrassed to ask?
Understanding that it can be difficult to talk about your menstrual cycle with your best friends much less a medical professional we reached out to Dr. Jessica Shepherd, an OB-GYN and women’s health expert who is a member of HealthyWomen’s Women’s Health Advisory Council, with some questions to ask your healthcare provider about periods.
Heavy Period Symptoms Are
- Changing your pads every 1 or 2 hours during the days
- Waking up many times at night to change your pads
- Trying to double your pads to prevent staining
- Feeling weak after days of very heavy bleeding
- Extremely heavy periods affecting your daily activities or work
If you have any of these symptoms, then your period may be heavy. To understand how much blood you lose during periods, you should monitor your period length and menstrual cycle.
- Record the number of sanitary pads you change day and night. Is it fully soaked with period blood clots?
- Record the length of your menstrual cycle. Is your menstrual cycle getting shorter or longer?Learn how to calculate your menstrual cycle.
- Try to remember the last time you had a normal period flow. If this is the first time, then stressful activities could play a role.
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Preparing For Your Appointment
Chronically heavy periods are not normal. Dont let them hamper your lifestyle. We want to help you and ensure that you have the healthiest life possible.
Not sure where to begin? Dont worry. Well ask you some brief questions to get an overall picture of your gynecological health history.
These questions might include:
Are There Certain Apps Or Digital Tools That Are Useful For Pelvic Health And Menstruation
Period-tracking apps can be very useful for helping you tune into what’s going on with your menstrual cycle. Over time, they offer you an opportunity to identify your “normal” when it comes to your period.
Most apps let you track the dates of your period as well as your symptoms, giving you a chance to recognize patterns and plan accordingly. For example, if you know that you often feel nauseated and exhausted around the same time every month, you may not want to schedule anything too taxing at that time.
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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 60s.
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.
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Uterine fibroids are small, non-cancerous growths inside the uterus. And while they may sound scary, theyre actually much more common than youd think. One study from the Birmingham Womens Hospital found that 70 percent of women will have at least one before the time they reach 50and one of the main symptoms of uterine fibroids is heavy bleeding, sometimes with blood clots or bleeding in between periods. It can be an issue that in some cases can incapacitate a woman for a couple of times a year, says Wysocki. And anything that incapacitates a woman from carrying out her regular functioning should be looked into. Sometimes the solution can be simple as going on birth control, getting an IUD, or taking another form of non-contraceptive medication.
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According to the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Foundation, up to 10 percent of women have PCOS and approximately 50 percent of those women dont even realize they have it. Women with PCOS can get a cluster of cysts on their ovaries that could lead to heavier periods. According to Wysocki, ovulation, which is irregular for women with PCOS, triggers the conditions for the lining of the uterus to shed. If that trigger is absent, the uterine lining continues to thicken and later causes much bloodier periods.
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What Causes Heavy Painful Periods
If you have heavy painful periods, then its likely due to
- Endometriosis This is endometrial tissues found outside your uterus. It can cause painful and heavy periods. Analgesics like ibuprofen can subside the pain.
- Adenomyosis This is presence of endometrial tissues inside the wall of the uterus. It can be treated with analgesics or cured with removal of the uterus.
- Uterine fibroid
Signs To Watch For With Heavy Periods
Here are some signs that menstrual bleeding may be too heavy, and that you should call the doctor:
- The girl is looking pale and feels dizzy and/or weak. If this is happening, you should call your doctor immediately.
- She needs to change her pad or tampon during the night.
- She is bleeding through her clothes.
- She is passing clots that are bigger than an inch wide.
- Her periods are interfering with her ability to go to school, play sports, or otherwise engage in regular activities.
There are many reasons why girls may have heavy periods. The most common reason is simply that the body is just getting started and getting regulated. If that is the case, it usually gets better with time. However, there are other causes as well, which is why its important to see the doctor.
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What Lifestyle Factors Or Behaviors Affect My Period
Some of the lifestyle factors that can affect your period are a lack of physical activity, intense exercise, smoking and drinking alcohol. Both obesity and low body fat are also linked to changes in the menstrual cycle, as is stress. Women who experience chronic or long-term stress may have more severe premenstrual syndrome symptoms or irregular periods.
Why Is My Period So Heavy
Heavy periods have a wide range of causes, most commonly, theyre due to hormone imbalances, particularly high estrogen levels or not ovulating, but they can be due to a variety of underlying causes from PCOS to an uncommon but not completely rare genetic bleeding disorder that can cause heavy periods .
You can read about the causes below and see if you can identify whether any of these sound similar to what youre experiencing in addition to your heavy flow. The underlying cause will help you to find the best strategy for reducing your heavy flow once and for all. Depending on the cause, self-care strategies may be all you need or you may need to pay a visit to your favorite medical provider to help you sort out a diagnosis and the next best steps.
Lets start with the most common causes of heavy periods and then Ill walk you through what you can do both natural options and some conventional medical ones, too. Then you can decide whats best for you!
High Estrogen Levels
Estrogen is a marvelous hormone. At the right levels it plays a central role in our reproductive, brain, bone, and heart health. During the first half of each menstrual cycle, called the proliferative phase, your uterine lining naturally builds up under the influence of estrogen. This lining is then shed with each menstrual cycle, leading to our menstrual flow. Heavy periods can be a sign that this layer has been building up too thickly as a result of estrogen levels that might be too high.
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Youre Taking Blood Thinners
Have you ever gone to get your ear pierced and forgotten to mention to the piercer that you took some Advil for pain? You probably encountered a LOT more blood than they were banking on.
It doesnt always clickand we arent always warnedof all the ways that new medication will impact our bodies, so you may have not realized that anticoagulants such as coumadin will indeed cause a heavier period than normal.
Anticoagulants and other anti-inflammatories prevent clots so that blood can flow more easily through your body which includes, you guessed ityour period.
Heavy Period: Top 33 Tips To Deal With Your Menorrhagia
Women empowerment starts with your body and femininity. Modern women are now encouraging other women to bleed freely and deal with menstruation lightly.
Your menstruation can be quite discomforting, especially if you are one of the women who suffer from PMS and heavy period. However, with enough knowledge, it can be easily handled and dealt with.
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Reasons Why Your Period Is Suddenly Heavy
Being surprised with a excess bleeding or a seemingly unending cycle can be frustrating and concerning. Heres what to know.
Maybe your period feels like it goes on forever. Or maybe youre relying on heavy-duty tampons or pads, doubling up on feminine products, or waking up in the middle of the night to change them. If any of these hold true for you, you may have menorrhagia, a condition defined by a cycle that lasts more than seven days or produces heavy bleeding.
Weve been conditioned to think these symptoms are all normal, says Heather Irobunda, a board-certified OB-GYN with NYC Health + Hospitals. And it is true that heavy periods are common. According to research, up to 30 percent of women experience them.
But just because theyre prevalent doesnt mean you should have to accept them. Substantial blood flow can change how you live, forcing you to stay home and avoid social events on especially bad days. Worse, regular heavy bleeding can lead to anemia, Dr. Irobunda points out, a condition in which you lack healthy red blood cells to deliver oxygen to your organs. Anemia can place your brain and heart under chronic stress and potentially cause diminished mental and cardiovascular function over the long term. Women think, what harm is it doing? but over time and cumulatively, heavy bleeding is not good for your health, she says.
All the more reason to find out what may be causing an overwhelming periodand what you can do about it. Here are seven common culprits.
How Supplements Can Help
Taking extra vitamins during your period might help with bleeding. Certain nutrients like iron, especially help replenish what you lose each month.
Check with your doctor before taking any supplement. They can determine whether you actually need to take a supplement, the appropriate dose for you, and side effects or interactions to watch for.
Potential supplements include:
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How Do I Choose A Pad Or Tampon That Is Right For Me
There are smaller, slender pads and tampons available that young women often prefer, particularly when they first start menstruating. You may find it helpful to use different products over the course of your period, with more absorbent tampons or pads being used on heavier flow days, and smaller tampons or pantiliners on low flow days. Each woman has her own preferences and whatever works best for your body is just fine!
Very Heavy Menstrual Flow
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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When Is It Time To Schedule A Visit With Your Practitioner
Youre the person who knows your body best, so consider going to a doctor if you detect any changes in your usual menstrual cycle. If you believe you are suffering from menorrhagia or hypomenorrhea, your doctor will be the best person to diagnose and treat the underlying cause.
Depending on your symptoms, your doctor will perform a physical examination. They can also order imaging tests or blood tests to determine what is causing your abnormal menstrual bleeding. Once you have a diagnosis, they will also be able to prescribe treatment and other lifestyle changes to help you get better.
Many causes of abnormal menstrual bleeding are treated through the use of hormonal contraceptives. If youre suffering from anemia, your doctor could also prescribe supplements and dietary changes. A doctor or nutritionist will be able to advise you on what to eat after blood loss. These dietary changes could include eating more protein, citrus fruits, and leafy greens to improve your hemoglobin levels.
There are many things that can cause abnormal menstrual bleeding. Whether your period is too light, too heavy, short, long, or irregular, it can cause distress and other physical symptoms.
The easiest way to start dealing with any menstrual issues is by tracking your cycle. That way, youll have plenty of information for your doctor, and youll learn more about the way your body works.
A Recurring Period Thats Heavy And Painful
If every period is heavy, painful, and difficult to work around, you may have underlying, long-term issues.
Your body typically balances progesterone and estrogen, the two hormones that play the biggest roles in menstruation.
Too much estrogen, however, can lead to a thickened uterine lining. This can cause heavy bleeding as the lining is eliminated during your period.
An underactive thyroid gland may also cause heavy or irregular menstrual bleeding
These small growths on the lining of the uterus can make periods heavier.
Fibroids are noncancerous growths of the muscle tissue of the uterus. They can develop on the outside of the uterus, within the wall, or protrude into the cavity or some combination of these.
Cancer in your uterus, cervix, and ovaries is rarely the sole cause of heavy bleeding, but a heavier period may be a symptom.
During this transition before menopause, you may experience hormonal changes and unusually heavy bleeding during your period.
After you have a baby, heavy periods arent uncommon. These changes may be permanent, or your period may return to a flow similar to what you had before getting pregnant.
- painful periods
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