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.
How To Get Rid Of Heavy Period Medically
This drug is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that reduces blood loss during period to 25 percent. It is however not advised if you have asthma or a duodenal ulcer.
This drug is used only when you experience extremely heavy periods. It can reduce excessive bleeding during period by 50 percent in women.
Combined oral contraceptives pills
This has been very useful in treating heavy periods in women. It also helps as a contraceptive to prevent pregnancy. However, it is not suitable for smoking women or women above 35 years. There is also a risk of venous thrombo-embolism. If you are overweight, then this may not be the best solution to your heavy bleeding due to additional weight gain.
Hormonal intrauterine system
Use of levonorgestrel IUDs reduces bleeding to about 95 percent in women. Though it can cause breakthrough bleeding during the first 9 months, it is reduces blood loss and painful periods in women.
Gonadotropin releasing hormone agonist
This drugs act on the pituitary to reduce or stop production of estrogen. Decreased estrogen will cause absent periods. However, these drugs are not used for long term. If used for more than 6 months, it causes hot-flushes, irregular periods, sweating and osteoporosis.
What Is Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
Heavy menstrual bleeding is when your periods are extremely heavy or prolonged. “Heavy” means that your period lasts longer than seven days or that you lose more blood than is typical during menstruation. You may bleed so much that you have to change your tampon or pad every hour for several hours back-to-back. You may pass blood clots the size of a quarter or even larger.
Menstrual bleeding that’s so heavy that it interferes with your daily life is never normal. Your provider can recommend treatments to manage heavy blood flow.
Recommended Reading: What To Expect On Your Period
How Might Your Doctor Diagnose A Long Period
Your doctor will ask how often you get your period, how many days it lasts, and do you have bleeding in between your period or after sex, says Jodie Horton, MD, an ob-gyn in Oakton, Virginia, and chief wellness advisor for Love Wellness. Other important clues to determine what is causing your abnormal uterine bleeding is how heavy your periods are, what medications youre taking, if youve been tested for sexually transmitted infections and are up to date on your Pap smears. So you’ll want to know that info before your visit.
Your doctor may perform a pelvic exam to evaluate the cervix and the size and regularity of the uterus, as well as a pelvic ultrasound or hysteroscopy to see inside your cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries for any abnormalities.
It sounds scary, but most causes of prolonged menstrual bleeding aren’t a big deal and can be fixed or improved with the help of your doctor, Dr. Toth notes. And you deserve to have a normal period that doesn’t totally suck.
You Have An Underlying Blood Disorder
It’s rare, but it’s possible that extra-long periods are a sign of an underlying illness, like a hematologic disease, says Dr. Toth. Some of the underlying diseases associated with bleeding, like hemophilia or Von Willebrand disease, are genetic, so if you have this you likely already know about it.
Still, if your periods are lasting a super-long time, and you’ve already been cleared for other conditions, it’s worth checking in with your doctor about tests to rule out a blood disorder that you might not be aware of.
Don’t Miss: Does The Period Go Inside Or Outside The Quote
Whats The Difference Between Early Period And Miscarriage Symptoms
A miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy. Most miscarriages take place during the first trimester. It often happens before the person is aware of the pregnancy, so it can be difficult to differentiate between a particularly heavy period and a miscarriage.
A miscarriage may cause more cramping and back pain than a normal period.
If the pregnancy was farther along, pink discharge, blood clots, or pieces of fetal tissue pass from the vagina.
If you believe you have miscarried, seek immediate medical attention.
If youve expelled any unusual tissue and are able to collect it, bring it with you. Your doctor will assess the tissue and use it to make a diagnosis.
Your doctor will also perform a pelvic exam and ultrasound to determine whether a miscarriage took place. In some cases, they may need to remove lingering tissue from your uterus.
How you manage your period will depend on what you think is causing it to come early. In most cases, an early period will resolve itself in a month or two.
You may be able to get your cycle back on track if you:
When Is A Heavy Period Too Heavy
- By Claire McCarthy, MD, Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing
Its common for girls and their parents to wonder if the bleeding with their periods is too often or too much. Especially in the first few years of having a period, any bleeding can feel like too much. Usually, its not but sometimes it is, and its important for parents to know what to watch for, and when to call the doctor.
In the first couple of years after periods begin, its really normal for periods to be irregular and for some of them to be heavy. At the beginning, periods arent associated with ovulation, and the hormones and hormonal patterns that help regulate periods havent fallen into place yet. If its just the occasional period that is heavy, thats usually nothing to worry about.
Its not always easy to know what counts as a heavy period. As I said, for some girls anything is too much. And while we doctors often ask how often the girl changes her pad or tampon, thats very subjective and dependent on personal preference. Some girls change as soon as there is any blood present or every time they use the bathroom. Others wait until they are completely soaked.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Your Period For The First Time
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
Signs of heavy menstrual bleeding include:
- Abdominal pain.
- Periods lasting longer than seven days.
- Passing blood clots that are the size of a quarter or bigger. The blood may appear red, pink, brown, or even rust-like.
- Bleeding through 1 or more tampons or pads each hour for more than two consecutive hours.
- Losing more than 80 milliliters of blood during your period instead of what is typical, 35-40 milliliters.
- Anemia symptoms, like feeling exhausted, tired or short of breath.
With anemia, you may also notice signs of a condition called pica. Pica symptoms include hair loss, pale skin, and the urge to eat non-food items . See your provider if have these symptoms.
Youre Actually Pregnant And Have Placenta Previa
This type of heavy vaginal bleeding is actually unrelated to a period, though you might think it is one if you don’t yet know you’re pregnant. Placenta previa is a condition that happens during pregnancy where the placenta covers the cervix, explains Dr. Horton.
Patients will usually have heavy vaginal bleeding throughout their pregnancy and will need to deliver their baby by C-section. Take a pregnancy test and see your doctor to figure out the best treatment method.
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
For Chronic Abnormal Uterine Bleeding
- If the woman is not wanting to become pregnant in the near future and there is no distortion of the endometrium on ultrasound then Mirena is the recommended first line treatment.
- If Mirena is not suitable due to contraindication or patient preference:
- first choice is continuing on the oral contraceptive pill as this is protective against endometrial carcinoma
- second choice: progestogens . Starting doses: medroxyprogesterone acetate 10 mg od or norethisterone 5 mg bd. Note this does NOT provide contraception.
Trial for at least 3 full months and preferably 46 months.
- Antifibrinolytics: Tranexamic acid 1 g tds for 35 days, and/or
- NSAIDs: Ibuprofen 400mg tds for 34 days.
Recommended Reading: Over The Counter Pills To Stop Period
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.
What Causes Heavy Periods And Abnormal Bleeding
In girls, pregnancy and dysfunctional uterine bleeding are likely to cause abnormal bleeding.
In perimenopausal women, consider endometrial carcinoma. General bleeding problems such as von Willebrand’s disease may be the cause as well.
It is an abnormal thing if you have to use 2 or more pads within two 2 hours.
Heavy bleeding can also be related to the following issues:
Dysfunctional uterine bleeding . This is a heavy and/or irregular bleeding in the absence of recognizable pelvic pathology. It is associated with anovulatory menstrual cycles. Anovulation is a medical term for the situation when the ovaries do not release an oocyte during a menstrual cycle. Therefore, ovulation does not take place.
Complications in pregnancy. Heavy periods can be due to a miscarriage and it can also be as a result of an abnormal location of the placenta .
Don’t Miss: How To Not Have A Period
What Is The Prognosis For Living With Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
Left untreated, heavy periods can interfere with your life. In addition, heavy menstrual bleeding can cause anemia and leave you feeling tired and weak. Other health problems can also arise if you don’t get help. With proper treatment and assistance from your provider, you can manage heavy periods without compromising your well-being.
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.
You May Like: Periodic Table With Real Elements Inside
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.
Can Excessive Menstruation Be Treated
If your doctor finds stress or birth control pills as the cause of your excessive menstruation, you will be advised or other contraceptive methods used. Also, vaginal infections and other causes will require further testing. Vaginal infections gonorrhea and chlamydia, can be treated with antibiotics. If your bleeding is due to a polyp, a curettage or polyp forceps is used with good success rate.
Also, vaginal infections and other causes will require further testing. Vaginal infections gonorrhea and chlamydia, can be treated with antibiotics. If your bleeding is due to a polyp, a curettage or polyp forceps is used with good success rate.
Wondering why My period wont stop? Let us know.
Dont Miss: 90 Probationary Period Employment Form
You May Like: Can You Get Pregnant Right After Your Period
Uterine Polyps Or Cervical Polyps
Uterine polyps can be the cause of your prolonged menstrual flow. These are masses attached to the wall of the uterus and can sometimes extend down into the cervix. They cause irregular spotting between periods and can be visualized with a hysteroscope or ultrasound.
Uterine polyps are a common cause of bleeding after menopause. If you are below 4o years, then you may have pain and prolonged periods.
If your doctor finds uterine polyps as the cause of your prolonged periods, a D& C will be advised.
The Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill
This reduces bleeding by at least a third in most women. It often helps with period pain too. It is a popular treatment with women who also want contraception but who do not want to use the LNG-IUS. If required, you can take this in addition to anti-inflammatory painkillers , particularly if period pain is a problem. See the separate leaflet called The Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill for more details. Other options which work in a similar way are combined hormonal contraceptive rings or patches.
You May Like: How Long Does A Period Last For
How Is Menorrhagia Diagnosed
Diagnosing menorrhagia has two parts: confirming that your bleeding is unusually heavy, and identifying the underlying cause.
For the first part, your doctor will ask you questions about your medical and menstrual histories. For the second part, one or more tests may be used. Examples include:
- A blood test to check hormone levels and look for signs of anemia or clotting issues.
- A Pap test, where cells from your cervix are examined for signs of infection, inflammation or other unusual changes.
- An endometrial biopsy, which involves taking samples from your uterine lining. The samples are looked at to see if any unusual or cancerous cells are present.
- An ultrasound, which uses sound waves to check for dysfunction in the pelvic organs, as well as blood flow issues.
- A sonohysterogram, another kind of ultrasound thats done while your uterus is filled with liquid to get a better look at the uterine lining.
- A hysteroscopy, where a very small, flexible camera is used to examine the uterus for fibroids, polyps and other possible causes of bleeding issues.
How Can I Stop A Heavy Period
A heavy period will stop on its own, as normal, after 3-7 days. If youre still bleeding after 10 days, talk to your doctor. Some natural remedies to try are:
- Eat vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables, as they help your blood clot
- Eat more iron or take an iron supplement
- Take ibuprofen or paracetamol for pain relief, instead of aspirin if you normally grab an aspirin when the cramps set in, think again. Aspirin is a blood thinner and may make you bleed more
If youre struggling with your heavy periods, talk to your gynecologist or doctor, as there are several things they can do to help:
- You may be able to get an IUS . This small, plastic device is inserted into your womb, where it slowly releases progestogen to help regulate your periods.
- Your doctor may prescribe you tranexamic acid tablets if an IUS is not suitable. These tablets help the blood in your womb to clot and will not affect your chances of getting pregnant if you choose to do so.
- The combined oral contraceptive pill may also be a viable option, although many young women have reported adverse effects on their mental health.