Heavy menstrual bleeding – causes and treatment

Your body is an unique mechanism. When there is something wrong and it can’t be fixed by itself, it immediately sends us messages and symptoms to recognize it. Our task is to listen to them carefully and visit a doctor, if needed, to find a solution.

One of such signals is heavy bleeding during menstruation. It is normal to experience a heavier flow on the first or second day of a period. But if you need to change a sanitary napkin more often than once in one hour and bleeding makes it impossible to leave the house or to fully participate in your life for more than two days per month, you need to take action. There may also be a need for concern if your period lasts more than seven days.

Heavy or prolonged menstrual periods, i.e. menorrhagia, is the most popular type of abnormal bleeding from the uterus. About 25% of women face this problem.  The most common times for women to experience heavy menstrual periods are during the first few years of menstruation, and then again during the final two to three years before menopause. The reasons of it could be both hormonal and physical.

A hormonal imbalance is the most common cause of heavy menstrual bleeding. After girls start to menstruate and for several years before the menopause, hormone levels can be unstable, which often leads to excessive uterine bleeding during periods. Women who experience thyroid problems could also be in the group of risk for heavy flow.

In addition to hormonal imbalance, intense bleeding may be caused by physical conditions. The most common are uterine fibroid tumours or polyps. They often occur in the uterus during a woman’s 30s or 40s. The cause of their appearance is unclear. Sometimes mental stress can also result in many ailments, including heavy menstrual bleeding.

To find the reason of heavy bleeding, it is necessary to visit a doctor. A pelvic exam is the first step you should take in determining the cause of it. This exam should include a Pap smear, in addition to lab tests. An ultrasound is often performed to check for any abnormalities, such as fibroids. Prepare for a visit – keep a record of your flow for a cycle or two (note how often do you need to change sanitary napkin and how many of them do you use per day).  But remember – if flow is so heavy that you start to feel dizzy when you stand up, you should go for an emergency doctor appointment.

In severe cases, heavy menstruation can interfere with sleep and daily activities. The loss of blood through heavy periods can lead to iron-deficiency anaemia, causing symptoms such as fatigue and shortness of breath. That is why women who experience excessive bleeding should be monitored closely for anaemia and treated with iron supplementation.

Nowadays there are different effective treatments for heavy flow. Based on your specific cause, a doctor will find the best solution for you. But make sure that you provide yourself everything to feel protected during heavy flow days – look for this information on napkins’ packs. Use pads which are dedicated for heavy flow, change them regularly and always make sure that you use just air breathable sanitary napkins. Thanks to this you will feel much more comfortable and will protect your intimate area from irritations.

Contact your gynecologist whenever you’re unsure about any reproductive health symptom you experience. Remember that every woman is responsible for her own health and happiness!


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