Perimenopause Bleeding: Symptoms And Treatment
Menopause occurs once youve not had a period for at least one full year. The stage prior to menopause is called perimenopause, a term meaning around menopause. So what is it that triggers perimenopausal bleeding? Major hormonal changes are largely to blame for symptoms, such as night sweats, hot flashes, sleep disturbances, and perimenopausal bleeding. This particular phase could last anywhere from a few months to 10 years.
How Is Menorrhagia Managed
To manage menorrhagia, some women stay home on days when they are bleeding heavily. Others leave the house if they know a bathroom will be nearby. Also, it is a good practice to keep pads and/or tampons in your purse or at work. Wearing dark pants or skirts can help if you are worried about stains on light-colored clothing. Additionally, you can use a waterproof sheet on your mattress to prevent stains.
What If Its Watery Or Filled With Clots
Besides color, the texture of your blood may change throughout your period. And your periods from month to month may be different textures as well.
Clots arent necessarily a reason for concern. They happen as your uterus sheds its lining. Size matters, though. If you see clots that are bigger than a quarter in size , you may want to let your doctor know. Same goes with clots that accompany heavy bleeding.
Watery period blood is thin and likely new blood flowing quickly from the uterus. Some women may experience particularly heavy flow, which is called menorrhagia. Clots may or may not accompany the bleeding with this condition. Look out for signs of anemia, like fatigue or shortness of breath.
Blood-tinged discharge that happens around the time of ovulation may be mixed with cervical mucus, giving your blood an egg white or gelatinous texture. This discharge may also be described as wet and slippery.
Also Check: How Long Is My Period Cycle
When Is Period Bleeding Less Than Normal
Period occurs because your hormones wash out the inner uterine covering called endometrium. The endometrium continues to get thicker and taller from the end of your period to when it begins again.
If period occurs very early or if natural hormones that control your menstrual cycle are affected, you may notice a scanty period.
Most women get their menses every 25 to 35 days. During period, bleeding last between 3 to 7 days in most women with blood loss about 40 to 60 milliliters.
Should your period last less than three days or blood lost during menstruation less than 20mls, you have a scanty period.
Is It Normal For Period Blood To Come Out In Clumps
During my period most of my blood comes out in quarter-sized clumps. My periods are normally heavy, but do these clumps mean that something is wrong? Jessica*
It’s perfectly normal to notice some clumps from time to time during your period. These are blood clots that may contain tissue. As the uterus sheds its lining, this tissue leaves the body as a natural part of the menstrual cycle. So clots of tissue are usually nothing to be concerned about. But if you notice large or frequent clots, talk to your health care provider to make sure your period is normal.
You also mention that your periods are heavy. If your period soaks through more than one pad or tampon every 12 hours, talk to your doctor or nurse practitioner. It’s also a good idea for a girl to get checked out if her periods last for longer than a week or if she is having a lot of pain with her periods.
*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.
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What Should You Know About Bleeding After Period
- Spotting lightly after your period does not always mean you are pregnant. Most women thought its implantation spotting but its not. In fact, implantation spotting does not occur after your period, it happens a week before your menstruation.
- Women can positively conceive a baby only after ovulation and successful fertilization. The process occurs ten days after their menstrual cycle. Thus, the possibility of getting pregnant right after you have your monthly period is too low.
- Spotting a week after your period cannot be linked to early miscarriage. Unlike spotting, miscarriage is always accompanied with excessive bleeding and cramps.
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.”
Recommended Reading: How To Know If Your Period Is Coming
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 60’s.
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.
What Is Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
Heavy menstrual bleeding, also known as menorrhagia, is a menstrual condition characterized by heavy or prolonged menstrual periods. Heavy bleeding is a common concern for adolescents still learning what a normal menstrual cycle is for them. However, most adolescents do not experience blood loss severe enough to be considered heavy menstrual bleeding. It is not uncommon for an adolescent to experience heavy menstrual bleeding if they have irregular periods.
Heavy menstrual bleeding can interfere with an adolescents normal activities and cause anemia. If your teen has abnormally heavy periods that are causing pain or substantially affecting daily activities, your teen should be examined by a specialist in adolescent medicine or gynecology.
Heavy menstrual bleeding may be a temporary or lifelong condition. Fortunately, there are many effective treatments for the condition.
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Back Pain On Your Period
Endometriosis And Uterine Lining
Endometriosis happens when your endometrium protrudes outside of your uterus. The issue occurs when the endometrial tissue binds itself to other reproductive organs. Endometriosis is usually really painful and may cause fertility issues.
Uterine Polyps Or Fibroids
In some cases, uterine polyps become cancerous, so it is important to see a doctor. Treatment for uterine polyps may involve:
- watchful waiting to assess whether they pose a risk of becoming malignant
- hormone therapy
- surgical options, such as a hysteroscopic polypectomy
Fibroids are noncancerous growths in or around the uterine lining. According to the , people may not always experience symptoms. In those who do, the symptoms can be hard to live with and may include:
- heavy bleeding
- a feeling of fullness in the abdomen
- frequent urination
Treatment options typically include medications, such as birth control, or surgery to remove the fibroids.
Read Also: How Do I Know When My Next Period Is
How Big Should Period Clots Be
For the most part, period clots are a completely normal part of menstruation, Mary Jane Minkin, M.D.,3 a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive sciences at Yale Medical School, tells SELF.
But if youre seeing clots the size of a quarter or larger, you should visit your doctor, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .4
If someone is passing quarter-size clots, that tells me that there could be something wrong the uterus that needs further investigation, Dr. Ruiz says. You can even take a picture of what youre seeing so that your doctor can look during your visit. It helps show me the magnitude of whats been going on, Dr. Ruiz says.
Birth Control / Hormonal Contraceptives Causes
- Birth Control Pills / Hormonal Contraceptives:According to Medical News Today, bleeding often occurs in the first 6 months of taking a new birth control pill. Doctors sometimes refer to this as breakthrough bleeding.
- Morning-After Pill: According to the Mayo Clinic, the morning-after pill can cause spotting between periods or heavier menstrual bleeding.
- Intrauterine Device :Some individuals with an IUD for birth control may also experience abnormal uterine bleeding.
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What Could Cause 2 Periods In One Month
The average menstrual cycle is 28 days long. But that doesnt mean that everybodys cycle runs like clockwork. Some of us have shorter or longer cycles. And some women have very irregular periods.
Also, its worth noting that even if your cycle is around the average 28 days, most months are slightly longer. This means your period wont begin on the same date every month and, over time, will shift to an entirely different time of month.
The combination of:
- A slightly shorter menstrual cycle, plus
- A period that falls at the start of one month could result in two periods occurring within the same calendar month.
A shorter or irregular menstrual cycle may be caused by:
- Anovulation: The lack of ovulation in a menstrual cycle.
- Hyperthyroidism:An overactive thyroid may cause an irregular cycle.
- Hypothyroidism:An underactive thyroid may also cause irregular bleeding.
A Period Thats Heavy On The First Day
Many women experience heavier bleeding on the first day of a period and lighter bleeding on the last days. A heavy flow that might get in the way of your normal activities is unusual.
Birth control changes
If you recently stopped using hormonal birth control, your periods may be very heavy in the first days as your cycle adjusts to the hormone changes.
Like birth control, medications you take may interfere with your cycle and lead to heavy bleeding on the first day of your period.
Recommended Reading: What Should You Eat On Your Period
Related: This Woman’s Photo Shows What It’s Really Like To Live With Extreme Pms
Anticoagulants, often referred to as blood thinners, are often taken to help people reduce and break up potentially dangerous blood clots. While anticoagulants like aspirin allow blood to flow through your body more easily, thus decreasing the risk of a heart attack or stroke, they also allow blood to flow more freely down there, according to research from the Royal Free Hospital in London. Your M.D. could help you figure out what meds might be best to prevent this from happening.
Watch 5 women share their first period stories:
How Can I Tell How Much Blood I Am Losing
Measuring the amount of blood lost via menstruation is not that easy, since it is hard to tell how much blood has been absorbed by a pad or tampon. Different products have different absorbencies, and each woman has a different perspective on when a tampon or pad needs to be changed. Using a menstrual cup is one way of getting an accurate measurement of blood loss. Alternatively, you can use this Pictorial Blood Assessment Chart which helps identify whether your blood loss is excessive.
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How Can I Stop Heavy Periods
If youve heard that the only options for treating heavy periods are hormone therapy or surgery, thats not true! Just like there are many causes of menorrhagia, there are many treatment options available. Were often able to manage heavy periods with treatments ranging from diet changes to prescription medication.
Menorrhagia can usually be managed with medication and lifestyle changes. In some cases, heavy periods caused by fibroids, growths or endometriosis might be best treated with surgery. The best way to know which treatment options will work best for you is to talk to a doctor.
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: Early Pregnancy Symptoms After Missed Period
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.
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.
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.
When you see your ob-gyn about heavy menstrual bleeding, you may be asked about
your birth control method