Every Woman Is Different
From Dr. Bradleys perspective, its all about each womans choice. If a woman is healthy and doesnt have a problem coping with a heavier period, then doing nothing is the right option for her.
What matters most is that women knowtheir bodies and understand that there are alternatives to a hysterectomy ifheavy periods are a problem.
At no point in our livesshould our periods stop us from living, she says.
Youre Taking Certain Medications
Medications such as anti-inflammatories, aspirin, or other blood thinners can also affect your menstrual cycle, says Dr. Horton.
Aspirin and blood thinners prevent blood clots but can increase the flow of your period, she explains. These medications can thin the blood so much that it causes your menstrual cycle to be heavy and last longer than usual.
As such, it is important to take medicines as directed and if your period becomes heavier or prolonged, to contact your doctor, says Dr. Horton. You may need blood work to determine if you are taking too much medicine, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories may be used to treat your heavy and prolonged periods.
You’ve Recently Had Surgery
You’ll have been told this when undergoing your procedure, but doctor Datta warns that if you’ve had any work on your womb or cervix recently, it could certainly affect your monthly bleed, even if only subtly.
“If you’ve had recent surgery to your womb or your cervix, for example to treat an abnormal cervical smear, this can also affect your periods initially,” she explains. You may expect a lighter flow for a few months. As always, do visit your doctor if you’re worried at all.
Don’t Miss: Primosiston To Stop Period
Vaginal Infection In Women
Women with pelvic inflammatory disease caused by gonorrhea and chlamydia infection can sometimes have irregular bleeding or spotting during their menstrual cycle. This bleeding is usually lighter than you menstruation with other symptoms like
- Low abdomen pain
- Abnormal green discharge or yellow discharge from your vagina
- Vaginal itching and pain
If you notice these symptoms, then your early period may be due to an infection. Inform your doctor as vaginal infection can easily be treated with antibiotics.
How To Deal With Heavy Feeling In Lower Abdomen
If the heaviness in the lower abdomen lasts longer than a few days or is accompanied by severe pain and/or fever, you should get checked by a doctor. If the feeling is mild and your doctor says things are fine, here are a few things you can do:
1. Cinnamon and Honey
Try mixing one teaspoon of cinnamon powder into water in a pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes. Pour into a coffee mug and stir in some honey for a nice cinnamon tea to settle the stomach.
2. Buttermilk with Cumin
Stir Â½ teaspoon of cumin into an 8-ounce glass of buttermilk and add a dash of black pepper. You can take this two to three times daily for stomach upset.
3. Clove Oil
Take two to three drops of clove oil and stir into water. Drink first thing in the morning to help relieve any gas and bloating.
Take raw fennel and chew after each meal. This can help your body release built-up gas and cleanse the bowel.
5. Baking Soda
Make a baking soda paste and rub onto your tummy. Baking soda helps balance the ph in the digestive system. Always ask your doctor before taking baking soda internally.
6. Fennel Seeds and Currants
Take a teaspoon of fennel seed and a tablespoon of currants. Crush well and add to a glass of water with some sugar and drink first thing in the morning before you eat.
Note: If you are pregnant, always ask your obstetrician before using home remedies.
Also Check: Can You Donate Plasma On Your Period
Symptoms Of Abnormal Uterine Bleeding
- bleeding for more than eight days
- heavy blood loss during the menstrual period for example, soaking through one or more sanitary pads or tampons every hour for several hours in a row
- needing to change your pad or tampon during the night
- have to change or restrict your daily activities due to your heavy bleeding
- bleeding or spotting between periods
- cramping and pain in the lower abdomen
- any vaginal bleeding after menopause.
If you think you may be experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding, you may find it useful to keep a pictorial blood loss assessment chart this can help you give your doctor an idea of how heavy your period is.
Estimating The Volume Of Your Period
It is difficult to figure out how much menstrual fluid leaves your body every cycle. If you use a menstrual cup, these often have volume measurements indicated on the side of the menstrual cup to help you estimate how much fluid you have lost.
In general, the amount of fluid lost can be estimated when using pads or tampons, depending on the size and soaking amount of the menstrual product. A fully saturated light tampon can hold up to 3 mL of fluid, while a fully saturated super tampon may hold up to 12 mL . A regular daytime fully soaked pad may hold around 5 ml of fluid, and fully soaked overnight pad may hold 10-15 mL .
If you are repeatedly soaking through a tampon or pad every two hours, this is considered heavy menstrual bleeding and should be brought to your healthcare providerâs attention.
You May Like: Dark Brown Discharge Instead Of Period
You Have Undiagnosed Cervical Cancer
Abnormal vaginal bleedingsuch as bleeding after vaginal sex or bleeding and spotting between periodscan be a sign of cervical cancer.
Because cervical abnormalities can be detected through Pap and HPV tests, make sure you stay on top of those, and always tell your doctor about your family history of female cancers.
Keeping A Menstrual Diary
It may be worth keeping a diary for a few periods . Your doctor may give you a period blood loss chart which you can fill in. Basically, you record the number of sanitary towels or tampons that you need each day and the number of days of bleeding.
A diary is useful for both patient and doctor to see:
- How bad symptoms are and whether treatment is needed.
- If treatment is started, whether it is helping. Some treatments take a few menstrual cycles to work fully. If you keep a diary it helps you to remember exactly how things are going.
Recommended Reading: 90 Day Probationary Period Policy Examples
Your Gut Isnt Healthy
Okay, this is a BIG one. The health of your GI tract is so intricately linked to the rest of your body . Practically every patient who comes to me with chronic health issues has some degree of imbalance in their digestive system.
When our guts are healthy, good things happen for us. We absorb our nutrients. Our friendly gut bacteria help us detoxify estrogen and reduce inflammation. Our hormonal systems are balanced. All good things!
But when our guts are not healthy, it sets the stage for all of the things that we dont want. Our metabolism doesnt work right. We become full of inflammation. Our immune system is imbalanced and we can develop autoimmunity. It can ruin our thyroid function. We cant get rid of excess estrogen. We cant absorb the nutrients we need. And the list goes on.
More specifically, when the bacteria and other microbes in our gut are out of balance, there are some key factors that directly contribute to period pain. Unfriendly bacteria have something called lipopolysaccharide on their outer surface. LPS is, by far, one of the most toxic and irritating substances known to the human body. And when the gut isnt healthy, LPS can move across the gut barrier and get into the bloodstream.
This creates a cascade of inflammation, revs up the immune system, blocks detoxification, and can specifically cause pelvic pain. In my practice, Ive been able to link LPS with headaches, acne, and a host of other chronic conditions.
Dont get me wrong!
When Should I Be Concerned About A Heavy Period
Periods can cause a lot of pain every month, and you may feel like your body is turning against you, but the good news is that it is rarely something you should be worried about. Dont worry you cant bleed to death from menorrhagia. If you feel weak or light-headed and are experiencing a very heavy period, talk to your doctor. You should only be concerned about your period if youve noticed it becoming heavier and heavier or more and more painful each month, or if it is suddenly very heavy. If you have a steady level of discomfort and one particularly heavy period, theres usually nothing to worry about.
Also Check: Brown Stuff Instead Of Period
Cervical Polyps Or Cancer
Cervical polyps are growth that hangs into your cervix. This can cause bleeding in women during intercourse and may be confused with period. Also, women with cancer of the cervix can have vaginal bleeding.
If you are more than 40 years and notice irregular bleeding, then it may not be period. Inform your doctor ASAP as it may be due to endometrial cancer.
Why Is My Period So Heavy
Maybe Aunt Flo used to come for shorter visits. Maybe she wasnt always so intense. Maybe youre experienced in heavier monthly flows, or they are a new part of life to navigate. Does that have to do with lifestyle? Or age? Or something else? Whichever way, we have questions.
We talked to Dr. Heather Bartos, OBGYN and founder of The Me Spot podcast to clarify what could be causing heavier periods. Because, just like all other varying factors that go along with being a woman, there isnt just one black and white answer. First of all, what exactly is considered heavy when it comes to period bleeding?
Science actually measured this, and the answer is 80 mL, or 5.5 tablespoons yes, that was someones job to determine this, Dr. Bartos tells us.
Five and a half tablespoons may not seem like a lot of liquid, until its our responsibility to think one step ahead of gravity and stop it from making a mess at all costs. This amount could mean having to change your tampon 5-6 times per day , waking up to stained pajamas or sheets, or expelling large clots.
Heavier periods, Dr. Bartos tells us, are known as menorrhagia in the medical world. She explains that when menorrhagia is on the worst end of the spectrum, youre changing a tampon or pad close to hourly for the first few days of your periodThink Carrie at the prom. While we dont love this image, Dr. Bartos, it does paint a gruesome picture. Here are some things that could possibly be contributing to your hefty flow:
Don’t Miss: Period Blood Stains On Sheets
Youre Experiencing An Ectopic Pregnancy
An unusually heavy period can be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy , says Dr. Horton. Taking a pregnancy test can help you figure out if that’s what’s going on.
If you have a positive pregnancy test and have pain and vaginal bleeding, you should be evaluated, she says. Your doctor will get blood work and a pelvic ultrasound to see where the pregnancy is located and, if it is ectopic, treat it with medicine or surgery. Unfortunately, it’s not safe for a mother to carry an ectopic pregnancy.
What Causes Menstrual Pain
Pain during menstruation is thought to be caused by prostaglandins and leukotrienes. Together, these compounds are known as eicosanoids.
Prostaglandinsare a group of hormone-like fats that are made by our cells at sites of tissue damage or infection in the body. Their job is to direct the healing process by coordinating blood vessel constriction and blood clotting. In this process, prostaglandins cause the pain, fever, redness and swelling that we experience with illness and injury.
Prostaglandins also play a role in the female reproductive system by controlling ovulation, initiating labor and regulating menstrual flow. In other words, prostaglandins cause the uterus to contract.
Two specific prostaglandins have been linked to menstrual pain: PGE2 and PGF2-alpha.
Now, normally, prostaglandins are very short-lived. Once their job is done, the body breaks them down quickly.
But problems arise when inflammatory prostaglandins are produced in excess. Certain dietary andlifestyle factors will cause persistent tissue damage and load us with omega-6 fats, resulting in round the clock production of inflammatory prostaglandins.
Below is an illustration of the process. As you can see, anything that promotes high levels of arachidonic acid, the precursor to prostaglandins, can lead to pain and inflammation.
Similar to prostaglandins,leukotrienes are inflammatory molecules that are released by our white blood cells.
You May Like: 90 Day Probationary Period Form
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
You Have Thyroid Issues
One in eight women will suffer from low thyroid function, or hypothyroidism, at some point in their lives, according to the OWH.
Your thyroid is a little butterfly-shaped gland that controls the hormones that regulate many systems in your body, including how fast you burn calories, how fast your heart beats, and yes, menstruation. Having too little thyroid hormone can cause your period to be super long and heavy, the OWH explains.
Other symptoms of hypothyroidism include weight gain, fatigue, and hair loss, so if you’re experiencing any of those, along with longer-than-normal periods, bring it up to your doctor, says Dr. Ross.
Don’t Miss: 90 Day Employment Probationary Period Template
Key Points About Heavy Period Bleeding