Heavy periods are just.no.fun. Full stop. They’re draining. And they can really hurt! However, knowing what causes heavy periods can take some of the anxiety out of the experience.
It’s important to keep in mind that heavy flow during your period is normal.
Your menstrual flow is usually heaviest for the first day or two of your period, and then tends to taper off gradually over the course of your period being lighter on your last day or two.
Your period is caused by a series of hormones, natural chemical substances produced by your body. These hormones – like progesterone and estrogen – also determine how heavy your menstrual flow is. So, a main reason for a heavy period is your natural hormone cycle. What Are the Symptoms of Heavy Periods?
Things like drastic weight loss or gain, an extreme exercise regime, a change in your diet, medical conditions, or even stress can all prompt the hormone changes that cause heavy periods.
Heavy periods can also be caused by changes in your routine over the past few months. Sometimes, you simply have to look back in time and try to understand how your heavy periods can be explained.
Your menstrual flow can vary from month to month. Some months are lighter, and some months are heavier. Heavy period symptoms include heavier than usual flow, a longer than usual period (like more than a week long), and intense cramps. You can also feel very tired, weak, out of breath and not able to find the energy to go out and practice your favourite sport. When to See A Doctor
You can spot abnormal heavy periods when you feel you have to change your pad more regularly than usual at the beginning of your period.
Extremely heavy periods that get in the way of your life should not be ignored. If you find that you experience heavy menstrual bleeding, you may have a condition called menorrhagia.
Here are some heavy period symptoms that could mean you have menorrhagia:
- You bleed through a menstrual pad or tampon every hour for more than two hours straight
- You notice sudden gushes in your flow
- You bleed for a week or longer
- You need to wake up in the middle of the night to change your pad
Menorrhagia is usually caused by an underlying medical condition that can be addressed by your doctor. Knowing some of the causes of heavy menstrual bleeding can help facilitate your doctor’s appointment. Some of the reasons for heavy periods that you can discuss with your doctor include:
- Inherited bleeding disorders
- Uterine fibroids, non-cancerous tumours on your uterus
- Polyps, small, benign growths on your uterine lining
- Certain medications
If you think you have menorrhagia, see your doctor. And come prepared! Your doctor will want to know when your period starts and stops, how many pads or tampons you go through in a day and whether they soaked through, and what your period symptoms are. Keep a log in a notebook and bring it along with you to your doctor visit.