Every woman experiences menstrual periods differently. In most cases heavy flows & cramps are common & are completely normal. However, if periods are stopping you from doing your day to day activities, then there's a cause of concern.
Did you know that one in five women experiences what is medically known as menorrhagia, a term that describes abnormally heavy periods. Interestingly most women who have this condition do not even realise it.
Here are a few factors that can help you identify if your bleeding is heavy or abnormal:
- Bleeding for more than 7 days
- Need to change your pad every hour
- Need to change your pad during the night
- Need to double up on protection to keep from leaking
- Blood clots are the size of a coin or larger
Why do I have heavy bleeding during my periods ?
Here are a few factors that can cause heavy periods in women.
- Menorrhagia is a disorder that affects women who have abnormally heavy menstrual flow. Menorrhagia is usually treated with medicine and a lifestyle change.
- Hormone imbalance: Some women have excessive oestrogen levels and low progesterone levels. Menorrhagia can be caused by too much or too little oestrogen and progesterone.
- Major life changes: Typically, after pregnancy or childbirth, or as your body transitions to menopause, a phase known as peri menopause can cause heavy periods. Further, stress can also lead to abnormal periods.
- Fibroids in the uterus: Fibroids are non cancerous growths inside the uterus. Their size can range from grain of sand to a large mass that impacts the size of uterus.
- Changes in your birth control or drugs: Even birth control adjustments can impact the length of your monthly cycle and the amount of blood you bleed. Some drugs, particularly blood thinners, might cause heavy periods as a side effect.
- Endometriosis is a condition that causes pain and abnormal uterine lining growth, and the formation of uterine polyps. As your body eliminates the thicker uterine lining, it might produce brief period cycles and heavy, painful periods.
Now, how to treat heavy periods?
There can be many ways to treat heavy periods, such as:
- Hormone treatments, such as progesterone pills, can be used as quick-acting strategies to stop heavy bleeding, These are generally recommend by doctors to treat heavy periods caused by a hormonal imbalance.
- Dietary modifications: Increasing your iron intake can help you avoid anaemia caused by blood loss and lessen severe bleeding. Because sometimes the best medicine is food. Vitamin C-rich foods, such as oranges, broccoli, and bell peppers, can aid in absorbing extra iron in your diet.
- Birth control: Hormonal birth control thins the uterine lining, reducing the quantity of blood and tissue lost during menstruation. Pills, patches, hormonal IUDs, and other hormonal birth control methods can also help you regulate your periods. Birth control can also be used to shorten your cycle, relieve severe cramps, or even allow you to skip your period entirely.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS): These medicines can reduce the level of prostaglandin. Ibuprofen or aspirin are two common medications that can help with menorrhagia discomfort and lighten your period.
Heavy periods caused by endometriosis or fibroids growths are best treated with surgery.