What Makes A Heavy Period

What Makes A Heavy Period

Menorrhagia: It’s the medical term for a heavy period. Do you have it? Are you concerned you might have it? A heavy period may upset daily routines and rouse alarms about one's health. While periods alter in amount from person to person, recognizing what establishes a heavy period, its prospective causes, and accessibility to answers are all helpful for managing menstrual health successfully.

Let’s define a “heavy period”:

A heavy period is portrayed by extreme menstrual bleeding, lasting longer than usual or involving the passing of large blood clots. Normally, a menstrual cycle lasts around 28 days, with the period portion of the follicular phase, lasting usually from two to seven days. Conversely, if you find yourself changing pads or tampons every hour or experiencing bleeding that fills your menstrual cup or disc within 1-2 hours and this bleeding lasts longer than a week, it might be telling of a heavy period.

Symptoms and Signs:

Apart from the noticeable increase in bleeding capacity and length of time, other indicators and symptoms may escort a heavy period, comprising:

  • Low energy and weakness owing to blood loss.
  • Anemia, distinguished by pale skin, possible shortness of breath, and/or feeling dizzy.
  • Uncomfortable cramping which worsens with heavy bleeding.
  • Passing blood clots greater than a quarter.
  • Having to use “double protection” (tampon and pad, or cup and period underwear) to handle flow.

Reasons for Heavy Periods:

Many influences may contribute to heavy periods, including:

  • Hormonal Imbalances: Variations in estrogen and progesterone amounts can disturb the normal menstrual cycle, indicating heavy bleeding.
  • Uterine Fibroids: Non-cancerous growths in the uterus may source heavy periods and increased cramping.
  • Adenomyosis: A circumstance where the tissue lining the uterus expands/grows into the muscular wall of the abdomen, potentially resulting in increased bleeding and pelvic pain.
  • Polyps: These are benign growths on the lining of the uterus that can trigger heavy or sometimes irregular bleeding.
  • Blood Disorders: Disorders such as von Willebrand syndrome or platelet function disorders can blight blood clotting, indicating heavy menstrual bleeding.

Pursuing Treatment or Help:

If you are unsure whether or not you have a heavy period, it's important to consult with a healthcare provider you trust. They can determine the underlying issues and provide appropriate treatment protocols, which could include:

  • Hormonal Birth Control: Sometimes options like oral contraceptives, hormonal IUDs, or hormonal implants may control or regulate menstrual cycles which can decrease bleeding.
  • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): Naproxen or Ibuprofen may relieve pain and lower blood flow throughout menstruation.
  • Tranexamic Acid: This is a medication that aids in decreasing blood loss by encouraging clotting.
  • Surgical Interventions: In instances where moderate treatments are unhelpful, methods such as ‘endometrial ablation’ or ‘hysterectomy’ may be recommended by your physician to decrease or reduce menstrual bleeding. Obtaining a second opinion is always recommended when considering a medical procedure.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Maintaining healthy weight, stress management, and recurring regular exercise, may help regulate menstrual cycles and lower the severity of heavy periods.

Recognizing what establishes a heavy period and identifying its potential triggers are the first steps toward successfully managing menstrual health. If you believe you have symptoms of a heavy period, you should seek medical guidance. With accurate diagnosis and treatment, you can reclaim control over your menstrual health and your health as a whole. No one will advocate for your health like you. So if you feel “off,” go with your instinct. Menstrual health is an essential aspect of a person’s health, that deserves consideration and care.

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