When Your Period Is Heavier Than Usual

What Is A Typical Period Volume For People On Progestin

My Period is Heavier than Usual

There are many different types of hormonal birth control, all containing differing types and levels of hormones. Some types of birth control do not contain any estrogens and only contain progestinâa synthetic form of progesterone . These methods include progestin-only pills , progestin injections , or progestin implants .

Treatment Of Heavy Menstrual Bleeding

At Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia, adolescent medicine specialists are able to manage the majority of cases of heavy menstrual bleeding. However, if necessary, a coordinated approach may be used with specialists from gynecology, hematology, radiology and endocrinology and others to accurately diagnose and treat patients with heavy menstrual bleeding.

Treatment for heavy menstrual bleeding will be recommended by your adolescent’s physician based on:

  • Your adolescent’s age, overall health and medical history
  • Cause and severity of the condition
  • Your adolescent’s tolerance for specific medications, procedures or therapies
  • Your adolescents future childbearing plans
  • Effects of the condition on your adolescents lifestyle
  • Your adolescent’s opinion or preference

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

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How Is Heavy Menstrual Bleeding Treated

Treatment depends on what’s causing your bleeding, how severe your bleeding is, your health, age and medical history. Also, treatment depends on your response to certain medicines and your preferences. For instance, you may not want to have a period at all, or you may want to reduce your bleeding. In addition, your plans to get pregnant will affect your treatment options.

Talk with your provider about your health concerns and your goals for treatment.

Medications used to treat heavy menstrual bleeding

  • Iron supplements improve your iron stores.
  • Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs like Ibuprofen® or Aspirin® can ease your cramps and reduce your bleeding.
  • Birth control may help make your periods more regular and lighten your blood flow.
  • Hormone therapy can help balance the amount of estrogen and progesterone in your body so that your menstrual flow isn’t as heavy. HT is often recommended for heavy menstrual bleeding associated with perimenopause but comes with risks that you should discuss with your provider.
  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists can temporarily stop or reduce bleeding by preventing ovulation.
  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonists can manage heavy period bleeding related to fibroids.
  • Desmopressin nasal spray can stop bleeding associated with von Willebrand disease by helping your blood clot.
  • Antifibrinolytic medicines, like tranexamic acid, prevent clots from breaking down and causing excessive bleeding.

Procedures used to treat heavy period bleeding

Reasons Your Period Is Heavier Than Usual

Is My Period Normal? Use This Chart to Find Out  SheKnows

From no-biggie birth control changes to serious medical problems.

When it comes to menstruation, not all periods are created equal. Any Mean Girls fan knows that some women just have a heavy flow and wide-set vagina! And while you shouldnt worry if you typically use super tampons while your friends always grabbing the light ones, something might be up if your flow has dramatically changed and is now heavier than it usually is.

Women are definitely aware of whats normal for them, says ob-gyn Jennifer Ashton, M.D. If one of my patients is experiencing something irregular and it happens three months in a row, I like to see her.

From no-biggie birth control changes to serious medical problems, here are seven reasons why you might be bleeding more than usual.

Considering that hormonal birth-control pills often regulate and lessen periodsin fact, some doctors prescribe it specifically to lighten up heavy flowsit makes sense that if you switch to a non-hormonal pill or stop taking oral contraception completely, youre going to be going through your tampons faster. And although IUDs like Mirena also lighten periods, Ashton says that non-hormonal IUDs tend to cause heavier periods in most women. While this is generally normal, see a healthcare professional if your heavy bleeding continues three months after insertion.

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How Long Is Too Long

Your menses should last between three and seven days, and the average is five, board-certified ob-gyn Dr. Pari Ghodsi tells HelloGiggles. Most people menstruate around the same amount of days each month, but even if there is variation, as long as it isnt more than seven days, it is not abnormal.

Dr. Jennifer Conti, another board-certified ob-gyn and co-host of The V Word podcast, says its not a big deal if your period varies by a few days every once in a while, but if its becoming a frequent occurrence, its worth a pause. A long period is one that lasts beyond eight days, she explains. If youre routinely having periods that last eight days or longer, definitely see a provider to make sure youre not losing too much blood. That can potentially lead to anemiaa condition where you dont have enough healthy blood cells bringing oxygen around the body, which can leave you feeling exhausted and weak, among other things.

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?
  • Honey.
  • Dairy products.

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What Tests Might Be Needed For Heavy Periods

Your doctor might do or advise one or more of the following tests:

  • An examination to see whether the bleeding is coming from your cervix, not your uterus. This is done in a similar way as a cervical smear or HPV screening test.
  • Blood tests to look for anaemia, iron levels, thyroid disease or a bleeding disorder.
  • An ultrasound of your uterus and ovaries to detect abnormalities in your uterus, such as polyps or fibroids.
  • A cervical smear in which a sample of cells is collected from your cervix and then looked at to see if you have an infection, inflammation or changes in the cells that might be or cause cancer.
  • A sample of the lining of the uterus to see whether there are any precancerous or cancerous changes.

Symptoms Of Painful Periods And Heavy Bleeding

5 Signs of Heavy Periods | Heavy periods are not normal!

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:

  • Diarrhea
  • Lower back pain
  • Nausea
  • 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

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What Should I Do About It

To treat HMB, you and your healthcare provider need to determine its cause orcauses. This can be done by a few simple tests including a blood test, atransvaginal ultrasound and/or taking a sample tissue from the uterine lining.

  • Polyps: Surgical removal of the polyp is the most effective therapy.

  • Adenomyosis: Treatment with hormonal contraception, especially anintrauterine device that releases a hormone called progestin.

  • Fibroids: Some medical or hormonal therapies are effective, althoughprocedures involving surgery are often necessary.

  • Cancer or pre-cancer: Most pre-cancers can be treated with medication, butcancers usually require surgery.

  • Blood clotting disorder: Tranexamic acid or hormonal medications are theusual treatment strategy.

  • Ovulatory disorders: Ovulatory disorders can generally be treated withhormonal medication such as progestins or other hormonal contraceptivemedications.

  • Endometrial disorders: People with endometrial disorders can respond well totranexamic acid, use of simple NSAIDs like ibuprofen, naproxen or mefenamicacid, the progestin-releasing intrauterine system or other types of hormonalcontraception. When a copper intrauterine device is the cause, some of thetreatments for endometrial disorders can be effective.

  • Iron deficiency: Whenever there is an iron deficiency, and especially ifthere is anemia, an iron replacement should be part of the treatment.

Reasons Your Period May Be Heavier Than Normal

Monthly parties in our pants are never fun, but when your period suddenly becomes heavier without explanation, they can also be rather frightening. What in the name of the Moon Goddess is going on? Who decided that this was the month to exhaust the entire state supply of tampons and pads? And could having a heavier period than normal point to a more serious medical condition?

The technical term for a heavy period is menorrhagia, and the question of “how much is too much?” is actually quite a tricky one. You may be surprised to know that the average period only causes between 30-40 mL of blood loss, and that the normal upper limit is about 80 mL if you’re experiencing more than that regularly, apparently it’s a sign of heaviness, but since most of us don’t actually weigh our menstrual blood, we rely on knowledge of “normal” cycles to diagnose what heaviness actually means. We’re most likely to bleed heavily in our teens and just before menopause, which are the periods when estrogen levels spike, but “heaviness” becomes an issue when you’re going through many sanitary items a day, are becoming anaemic, and/or there are blood clots larger than a quarter in your flow.

If you’re having severe problems, your doctor will likely prescribe something that increases the level of progestogen in your body, which slows down the growth of womb linings . Ibuprofen is also supposed to help, but don’t take that regularly as treatment without your doctor’s OK.

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Causes Of Abnormal Uterine Bleeding

While in many cases it is not possible to determine the exact cause, there are a number of reasons a woman may experience abnormal uterine bleeding. Some of the known causes of abnormal uterine bleeding include:

  • spontaneous miscarriage in pregnancy
  • ectopic pregnancy lodgement of the fertilised egg in the slender fallopian tube instead of the uterine lining
  • hormonal disorders conditions such as hypothyroidism , polycystic ovarian syndrome and hyperprolactinemia can disrupt the menstrual cycle
  • ovulatory dysfunction this is when the ovary does not release an egg each month. Most commonly, this occurs at either end of a woman’s reproductive years, either during puberty or at menopause
  • endometriosis the cells lining the uterus can travel to, attach and grow elsewhere in the body, most commonly within the peritoneal cavity

How Can The Risk Of Abnormal Menstruation Be Reduced

Heavy Periods

Here are some recommendations for self-care:

  • Try to maintain a healthy lifestyle by exercising moderately and eating nutritious foods. If you have to lose weight, do so gradually instead of turning to diets that drastically limit your calorie and food intake.
  • Make sure you get enough rest.
  • Practice stress reduction and relaxation techniques.
  • If you are an athlete, cut back on prolonged or intense exercise routines. Excessive sports activities can cause irregular periods.
  • Use birth control pills or other contraceptive methods as directed.
  • Change your tampons or sanitary napkins approximately every four to six hours to avoid toxic shock syndrome and prevent infections.
  • See a doctor for regular check-ups.

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What Does A Heavy Period Look Like

Everyone has different versions of what a heavy flow feels and looks like. For some, a heavy first day might mean that they need to change their tampon or sanitary towel every four hours, whereas some may need to do the same twice as much for the first day or two of their period. Essentially, a heavy period is any time you feel youre seeing significantly more blood over the course of your period than usual.

Common Reasons Why Your Period Is Heavier Than Normal

It can be very easy for a woman to tell if her period is heavier than usual, and its something that can also make it easy for her to feel alarmed. Because not all periods are created equal, its actually normal for you to experience a heavier flow from time to time, and below you will find some of the most common reasons why.

There are many things that can cause your period to be heavier than previous ones, and they can range anywhere from switching to a different birth control method to the intake of certain types of medications. But then there are also some reasons that warrant a trip to the doctor, such as having an STD or pelvic inflammatory disease.

Again, its very much possible for your period to be heavier than usual once in a while, although gynecologists recommend women who experience heavy flow for 3 consecutive months to be checked up. And by the way, you should also pay your GYN a visit if your period is unusually lighter for a few months already.

So without further ado, here are some of the common reasons for a period thats heavier than normal:

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A Period Thats Suddenly Very Heavy One Month

Ectopic pregnancy

The signs and symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy may be confused with a heavy menstrual period.

This type of pregnancy develops outside your uterus and isnt sustainable. It can cause severe health issues, including heavy bleeding and severe cramping. Left untreated, an ectopic pregnancy is life threatening.


During and surrounding a miscarriage, heavy bleeding is common and may be mistaken for a very heavy period.

Non-hormonal intrauterine device

of a non-hormonal IUD. After a few months with your IUD, you may find that bleeding becomes less severe.


Blood thinners can lead to blood flow problems and heavier menstrual flow.

Did I Miscarry Or Is It My Period

My Period is Shorter and Lighter than Usual

Signs of a miscarriage may include spotting or bleeding, which may look like a menstrual period. In the case of a miscarriage, the bleeding typically includes more clots than a period and may appear as tiny lumps in the vaginal discharge. Bleeding is not necessarily a sign of a miscarriage, but you should always call your doctor if you experience heavier bleeding when pregnant, especially if its accompanied by back pain or cramping and your morning sickness suddenly disappears.

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