Why is My Period So Heavy?
Experiencing a heavier period than usual can be a source of confusion and concern. While everyone's menstrual flow is unique, there are certain signs that can indicate a heavy period. Here, we will explore what a heavy period may entail and when it may be necessary to consult a doctor.
Why is my period heavier than usual this month?
Experiencing a heavier period on occasion is typically not a cause for alarm. There can be several factors contributing to a heavier flow, such as stress, hormonal fluctuations, changes in medication or birth control, dietary changes, or increased intensity of physical exercise.
What does a heavy period look like?
The definition of a heavy period varies from person to person. Some individuals may consider their period heavy if they need to change their tampon or sanitary pad every four hours, while others may find it necessary to do so every two hours during the first day or two of their period. Essentially, a heavy period is characterized by a significant increase in blood flow compared to your usual menstrual cycle.
Signs to watch for:
- Frequent changing of tampons or sanitary pads: If you find yourself needing to change your menstrual product more frequently than usual due to excessive bleeding, it may indicate a heavy period.
- Large blood clots: Passing large blood clots, especially if they are consistently larger than a quarter, can be a sign of heavy menstrual bleeding.
- Prolonged bleeding: If your period lasts longer than seven days or significantly extends beyond your usual menstrual duration, it may be considered a heavy period.
- Fatigue and anemia symptoms: Excessive blood loss during a heavy period can lead to fatigue, weakness, and other symptoms associated with anemia.
When to consult your doctor:
If you experience a heavy period that disrupts your daily activities, causes severe pain, or is accompanied by symptoms like dizziness, shortness of breath, or significant fatigue, it is advisable to consult your healthcare provider. They can evaluate your specific situation, determine potential underlying causes, and provide appropriate guidance or treatment options.
Remember, while heavy periods can be inconvenient and uncomfortable, they are often manageable. However, if you have concerns about your menstrual flow, it's always best to consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice and support.
What do blood clots during a period mean?
Experiencing blood clots during your period can be a normal occurrence for many individuals. These clots, which can range in size from small to as large as a quarter, are typically a combination of blood cells, uterine lining tissue, and proteins involved in regulating blood flow.
In most cases, blood clots during menstruation are not a cause for concern. However, if you have any worries or doubts, it is always a good idea to seek reassurance from a medical professional.
Causes of unusually heavy periods:
When our bodies undergo changes, such as weight fluctuations, changes in libido, aches, pains, skin breakouts, or heavy periods, they are often trying to communicate something to us. Unusually heavy periods can be caused by various factors, including:
- Hormonal imbalance:The balance between estrogen and progesterone in a typical menstrual cycle regulates the buildup and shedding of the uterine lining (endometrium). Hormone imbalances resulting from conditions like obesity, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), thyroid problems, or insulin resistance can lead to excessive growth of the endometrium and subsequent heavy menstrual bleeding.
- Medications:Certain medications, such as anti-inflammatory drugs, hormonal medications, and anticoagulants like warfarin, can contribute to heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding.
- Childbirth: Heavy menstrual bleeding is common among women who have recently given birth.
- Uterine polyps: These small, benign growths on the uterine lining may contribute to heavy menstrual bleeding.
- Dysfunctional ovaries:When the ovaries fail to release an egg during the menstrual cycle (anovulation), hormone imbalances and heavy bleeding can occur.
How heavy is too heavy for a period?
While there is no definitive measure of what is considered "normal" or "too heavy" for a period, it is generally advised to consult your doctor if you experience vaginal bleeding that saturates at least one tampon or sanitary pad per hour for more than two consecutive hours. If you notice any unusual symptoms accompanying your heavy bleeding, such as lightheadedness or severe pain, it is important to seek medical attention.
Does a heavy period indicate higher fertility?
There is no established link between the heaviness of your periods and fertility levels. However, certain underlying causes of heavy bleeding, such as hormone imbalances, uterine polyps or fibroids, endometriosis, or pelvic inflammatory disease, can potentially impact fertility. If you have concerns about your fertility, it is advisable to discuss them with a healthcare professional who can provide appropriate guidance and further investigation if necessary.
Differentiating between a miscarriage and a period:
Signs of a miscarriage can sometimes resemble a menstrual period, including spotting or bleeding. However, in the case of a miscarriage, the bleeding typically involves more blood clots and may present as small lumps in the vaginal discharge.
If you are pregnant and experiencing heavier bleeding, especially if accompanied by back pain, cramping, and the sudden disappearance of morning sickness, it is important to contact your doctor for further evaluation.
When to be concerned about a heavy period:
While periods can cause discomfort and pain, it is generally rare for them to be a cause for major concern. However, if you experience extreme weakness, lightheadedness, or if your heavy period becomes progressively heavier and more painful with each cycle, it is advisable to consult your doctor.
It's important to remember that you cannot bleed to death from menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding). If you are experiencing very heavy bleeding and feel weak or lightheaded, it is recommended to seek medical advice.
Managing a heavy period:
A heavy period will typically resolve on its own within 3-7 days. If you continue to experience bleeding beyond 10 days, it is recommended to consult your doctor. Some natural remedies that may help manage heavy periods include:
- Consuming vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables, as they can aid in blood clotting (examples include strawberries, broccoli, tomatoes, and peppers).
- Increasing iron intake through foods like beans, tofu, spinach, or considering iron supplements.
- Opting for pain relief with ibuprofen or paracetamol instead of aspirin, as aspirin can act as a blood thinner and potentially increase bleeding.
If you are struggling with heavy periods, it is advisable to discuss your concerns with a gynecologist or healthcare provider. They can explore various treatment options, such as the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (IUS), tranexamic acid tablets, or hormonal contraceptives, to help regulate your periods and manage heavy bleeding.
While it may be impossible to rejig the way your body’s hormones work, there are ways you can make yourself more comfortable during a heavy period. With Beautikini leak proof underwear, you can rest assured that your period leaks will stay firmly intact. Our period underwear can hold up to five regular tampons or ten teaspoons of liquid. With full front-to-back protection, you have one less thing to worry about!