If you have dense menstrual flow and you are considering it heavy periods or Menorrhagia, then you should think twice. There is no proper measure to check if it is Heavy Menstrual Bleeding or not.
Every woman doesn’t menstruate in the same manner. Even you and your sister experience different patterns of menstruation. The changes are maybe in pain, severity, and menstrual flow. The amount of menstrual blood that you consider heavy might be normal for your sister.
That’s why there is no universal standard on which you can say that my periods are heavy. So a question arises here is that how can you distinguish between normal menstruation and heavy menstruation?
If you want to get the answers to your questions regarding heavy periods, including the above question, then stick with me throughout this article.
Earlier this morning, I got my monthly visitor, and there I experience a little abnormality YEAH my periods were heavy than usual. Although I know that menstruation tends to be heavy in the first three days and then it goes lighter.
But I never experienced this type of menstrual flow. I have to change my pad every two hours. As I am experiencing this for the first time, that’s why I was a bit concerned about heavy menstrual flow.
Taking this into account, I do research about heavy menstrual bleeding on the internet. There I saw some useful stuff and thought to share that stuff with you.
The reason behind writing this article and the entire blog is to spread awareness among all the beautiful ladies like you. I’m not a health care specialist or a physician, I’m a girl who passes through similar situations and trying to bring a positive change in your lives.
Menorrhagia (Heavy Menstrual Bleeding)
If your menstrual flow is so dense that it doesn’t let you do your routine activities, then you might have heavy periods. A medical term used for such type of menstruation is Menorrhagia.
You might be suffering from Menorrhagia if you have to change your period product every hour for several consecutive hours. And your periods go longer than a week.
You cannot maintain your routine activities with Menorrhagia because of massive blood loss accompanied with blots and cramping.
Difference Between Heavy Menstrual Bleeding And Menorrhagia
Although Heavy Menstrual Bleeding and Menorrhagia are the same terms, there are some slight differences between these two.
11 Signs And Symptoms OF Heavy Periods
Besides prolonged and abnormally heavy bleeding, there are some other signs from which you can identify whether you have Menorrhagia or not.
You have heavy periods if you:
- Your pad is soaked with blood in an hour or less.
- Have to change your period protection every hour for several consecutive hours.
- Bleed more than a week.
- Wake up at night to change your pad.
- Need double menstrual protection, e.g., a tampon with a panty liner.
- Your menstrual flow contains blood clots more significant than a quarter.
- If you are bleeding between periods.
- If you are bleeding after menopause.
- Cramps and constant pain in the lower stomach.
- Due to heavy menstrual flow, you are unable to perform daily activities.
- Due to severe blood loss, you experience anemic symptoms including
- Breath shortness
Causes Of Heavy Periods
If you have Heavy Menstrual Bleeding, then it may be due to you have just started menstruating or you are in your teens. Because as you know that Menstruation is a result of your ovulation, so in early years ovulation causing hormones did not work correctly. And as a result of this, some abnormalities can be witnessed in your periods.
Menorrhagia can be caused by some underlying medical conditions or any disorders in your reproductive system.
Hormones are the main factors that regulate your menstrual cycle. Hormones such as estrogen and progesterone cause the formation of the uterus lining(endometrium), which sheds during menses.
Hormone imbalance regulates the excessive buildup of the endometrium. Thus it results in a massive discharge of blood along with tissues from your vagina.
What causes hormone imbalance
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
- Thyroid problem
- Insulin resistance
- Dysfunction of Ovaries
- If your ovary did not ovulate properly, it leads to the low production of progesterone. Which, in result, causes hormone imbalance, which causes menorrhagia consequently.
Formation Of Polyps
Prolonged and heavy menstrual flow can be caused by the creation of small growths on your uterus.
Uterine Fibroids are the non-cancerous tumor that appears on your uterus during childbearing age. Due to this, your menstrual flow becomes more painful than usual and even prolonged.
Intrauterine device (IUD)
Intrauterine devices used for birth control cause menorrhagia as a side effect.
When endometrium glands become embedded with uterine muscles, it causes adenomyosis, which in turn causes painful and heavy periods.
Complications in pregnancy
You can also experience heavy periods if you face pregnancy complications such as a miscarriage or unusual location of the placenta.
Family History Of Bleeding Disorders
If you have genes for any sort of bleeding disorder, then there is a high risk of developing menorrhagia in you. Because of these types of diseases, an important blood-clotting factor is impaired or missing.
You may have a medical disorder, which is the underlying reason for your heavy and prolonged menstruation.
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Pelvic Inflammatory disease (PID)
- Thyroid Problems
You can experience severe menstrual bleeding due to cervical cancer or uterine cancer.
Its risk factor increases if:
- In the past, you had an abnormal pap test.
- You are postmenopausal.
Some medications also trigger heavy periods. Let’s have a quick look at them:
- Anti-inflammatory medicines
- Hormonal medications
Diagnosis of Menorrhagia
When you visit your gynecologist for the treatment of your dense menstruation, you will go through the following questions.
- Questions about your menstrual cycle
- When you have your first period?
- When you have your first heavy menstruation?
- How dense your flow was?
- How much menstruation protection you used for that flow?
- Pain associated with that menstrual flow?
- You are better to keep a record of your menstrual days along with average days so that your health care physician understand your menstruation routine.
- Questions about medical conditions
- Any medical history?
- Any family history of bleeding disorders?
After gathering the above information, your doctor will perform some initial tests to know the reason for dense menstrual bleeding.
These tests include
- Blood tests
- A blood sample will be collected to check iron deficiency due to severe blood loss. This sample is also used to check
- Bleeding disorders
- Thyroid disorders
- An ultrasound will be performed to check the condition of your ovaries, uterus, and pelvis by making an image through sound waves.
- Pap test
- This test is performed to check any kind of infection and inflammation in your cervix.
- Endometrial biopsy
In this test, tissues of your uterus are examined by a pathologist.
Based on your initial test results, your gynecologist will perform some advanced tests.
Treatment OF Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
Treatment and controlling of Menorrhagia and heavy menstrual bleeding depend on different factors.
You may go for home remedies and natural methods to deal with dense periods, or you can go for medication and surgical therapies in case of menorrhagia.
Natural ways to deal with Heavy periods
If you want to deal with your dense menstrual flow naturally at home, you can use two approaches for this, including
- Managing your diet
- Lifestyle Changes
These approaches are not enough to treat menorrhagia, but these can help you in managing your heavy menstrual bleeding.
Managing Your Diet
Your diet can help you to get through it. If you stay hydrated and take proper food along with specific supplements like iron and vitamins. You are less likely to develop severe conditions associated with menorrhagia, such as anemia.
- Stay Hydrated– losing lots of blood for a long time can cause dehydration in your body. It can make you tired and dull; to maintain your energy level in those particular days, drink lots of water.
- Take Iron Supplements– When you undergo continuous blood loss, there may occur water and iron deficiency in you. To manage that iron deficiency, you should take an iron supplement to ensure the presence of red blood cells in your body. Which, in turn, protects you from anemia.
- There are also some foods that you can eat to maintain the level of iron in your body, including
Lentils and Beans
Green Vegetables especially spinach
- Natural Remedies– There are also some herbal and natural remedies that ease in your heavy menstrual flow, such as
myrtle fruit syrup
pomegranate flower capsules
Eat foods enriched with Vitamin C– Eat vitamin C enriched foods. It will also help you to maintain an iron level in your body. You can also take vitamin C supplements.
Foods To Eat
- Exercise– Stress can also cause you menstruation dense, so exercising such as yoga can help you in dealing with this.
- Take a rest– excessive loss of blood decreases energy levels in you and increases the risk of fatigue consequently. So if you take maximum rest, you can regain energy.
- Use heating Pads– Heavy menses comes with more pain o if you use a heating pad, it will give you relaxation and minimize the effect of cramps.
- Use a menstrual cup-If you use a pad or tampon in your heavy days, you will need to change them more. So I suggest you use a menstrual cup in days od dense menstruation because a cup gathers more blood than a pad or tampon. As a result of this, you don’t need to change a menstrual cup too often.
- Wear period panties at night– when you have a heavy menstrual flow, you need to change your tampon or pad at night. Also, there are chances of bloodstains on sheets too. That’s why, for a comfortable sleep, wear period panties while going to bed.
If your doctor suggests a medicine therapy for you to treat heavy periods, then it will consist of the following
- Tranexamic acid
- This medicine is taken at the time of bleeding. It will reduce blood loss.
- Oral progesterone
- It will balance your hormones, thus protect you from menorrhagia.
- Oral contraceptives
- It will regulate and normalize your menstrual cycle. It also reduces prolonged periods.
- Hormonal IUD
- This type of IUD emits a specific type of progestin hormone. Which balances hormones level in you and thicken the uterus lining. As a result of this, you will have light menstruation.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- NSAIDs such as ibuprofen ease your menstruation as well as it reduces menstrual cramps and painful periods- dysmenorrhea.
If your gynecologist diagnosed fibroids or polyps, then she will suggest a surgery for the removal of them to treat menorrhagia.
There are several other procedures performed by your health care specialist to treat your reproductive system. You can go through the removal of the internal lining of the uterus.
In severe cases, your uterus can also be removed. As a result of this, you will never have periods and never get pregnant.
Do Periods Get Heavier As You Age?
Your periods are regulated by female hormones, estrogen, and progestin. These hormones make your menstruation light or heavy. When you age, you are more likely to face heavy menstrual bleeding because of this hormone imbalance. Some other factors contribute to it:
1: Bleeding disorders
2: Medications side effects
3: Uterine cancer
How Do I Stop Heavy Menstrual Bleeding?
If you have heavy menstrual bleeding, consult your doctor. She will prescribe your treatments according to its underlying cause. The therapy might be consist of certain medications, including both hormonal and non-hormonal. Also, you may undergo surgery to stop it.
When Should I Be Concerned About Heavy Periods?
You should pay attention to dense menstrual flow, If you are:
1: Menopaused but having vaginal bleeding.
2: Bleeding between periods.
3: Have Irregular vaginal bleeding.
4: If you are facing any symptoms of anemia.
5: Your pad or tampon gets soaked with blood every hour for consecutive two hours.
Does Stress Cause Heavy Menstrual Bleeding?
Yes totally! Stress can make your bleeding dense. Whenever I’m stressed, I experienced heavy periods.
Menorrhagia is something you should definitely concerned about. Make a visit to your gynecologist if you face any signs of it.
Severe pain is also associated with heavy menstrual bleeding, and this pain can stop you from performing your daily activities. You can also develop anemia in case of extreme blood loss.
Only your doctor will give you the exact instructions to treat this. Before going to the doctor, prepare your self, get all the records about your menstruation and its density.
You can also make changes to your diet and lifestyle to deal with heavy periods. Don’t be shy to discuss your condition with your elder sister, mother, or friend who can best guide you.
Comment down any approach you used to manage your heavy periods. Share this article with someone you concerned about.
Your feedback is my motivation, so share your precious thoughts with me in this regard.
Have happy periods ❤